The typical student at Potentia Academy experiences mild learning challenges and/or has unique learning needs. Often incoming students have struggled academically in the past, especially in math and reading skills. Some of our students come to us performing three to four years below their age appropriate grade level. Other students are on the autism spectrum or experience some other intellectual challenges. Many of our students are highly intelligent, but learn in unique ways. Whatever their challenge might be, the student’s capacity for academic success has often been underestimated in the past. Because of their uniqueness, many have even been the targets of bullying at their previous school.
Parents seek out Potentia Academy because they know their student has a greater potential for successful learning if only given the right environment with instructors employing suitable teaching methodologies. When given a positive learning environment, these students consistently demonstrate a high level of motivation to learn!
Experience has taught us that students with mild cognitive impairments and unique learning needs are often at more risk than other groups because:
- They are more likely to be subject to bullying and verbal abuse by their peers.
- Learning challenges may remain unrecognized and/or undiagnosed with the assumption that the child is simply “at the lower end of the bell curve.”
- Because of this, appropriate resources might not be deployed and the student falls behind peers and usually develops low self-esteem and poor confidence in his/her ability to learn.
- When resources are deployed, this may take the form of placement in “special ed” classes with more severely disabled students and the mildy impaired student remains academically unchallenged.
- Because in this circumstance the student has been placed within a peer group that is not on the same learning level, the mildly challenged student often draws invalid conclusions about his/her learning potential.
Our learning strategy has been highly successful because:
- We populate classes with students on the same learning level. Students are true intellectual peers who motivate each other to achieve higher academic performance.
- We set appropriately high expectations for learning. We aspire to never underestimate a student’s learning potential.
- We maintain a safe and nurturing learning environment, free from the distractions that inhibit learning. We have a zero-tolerance policy for bullying and verbal abuse.
- Our classes are small by design, allowing teachers to carefully monitor student needs and progress, which enables our instructors to make any necessary adjustments to their teaching methods.