Throughout the Excelsior curriculum there is a strong emphasis on mastery of the basic skills of reading, writing and math, as well as mastery of content area concepts. Blending the learning of skills with concept mastery is vital to EA's program. Our curriculum approach, therefore, takes into account the needs of students in both skill and content areas as it considers motivational factors which support students in their quest for knowledge.
The curriculum domain is divided evenly into three areas of student growth: academic, social/emotional, and physical. Below are the primary areas of curricular focus:
Language Development – The Excelsior language approach is cognitive in nature, multi-sensory, structured, and sequential. Infinitely adaptable, it is a philosophy rather than a system. Students at all levels develop skills in reading, comprehension, spelling, speaking, thinking, and listening. The programs chosen to deliver language instruction reflect best practices that meet the needs of students with unique learning profiles.
Speech/ Language Therapy – For those students needing additional attention to their speech/language needs, Excelsior therapists are available. Speech/language therapy may address any of the following areas: communication, articulation, listening, language development, pragmatic language, cognition, and the like.
Written Expression – Students with unique learning profiles require particular attention to writing. Excelsior provides a daily writing class specifically designed to provide instruction in the many areas of written expression. Writing is taught as a move from narrative forms to expository forms: from creative writing to the critical thinking involved in writing arguments, opinions, and research papers.
Mathematics - The Excelsior math program focuses on developing an understanding of concepts and applications. Problem solving is an integral part of this learning process as it prepares students for everyday life skills. Math instruction is approached through the following sequence: concrete, use of manipulatives, numerical representations, and abstract concepts. Coursework begins with basic concepts and extends through Algebra II, Calculus, and higher depending on student needs.
Content Area Classes - A multi-sensory and experiential approach is used to teach the content area curriculum, such as the specific science and history classes. Students are engaged in activities that emphasize skills in reading, research, and problem solving as well as the development of study skills . Curriculum objectives are taught through a variety of lessons including small groups, whole groups, and student- centered cooperative groups.
District Course Requirements – Every Excelsior student completes a course of study designed to advance them toward completion of high school graduation requirements set forth by their school district of residence.
Social Skills Program – The Excelsior Social Skills Program provides daily classes for social skills development at all levels. Students acquire skills in the areas of relationships building, problem solving, decision making, school success, stress management, transition skills, and many more.
Character Education – As a National School of Character, Excelsior advances character development in students at all levels throughout the school day. In structured settings and non-structured settings, in leisure time and in class, and on campus and off campus, students practice and demonstrate character traits such as respect, responsibility, cooperation, kindness, tolerance, making good choices, conflict resolution and more.
Service Learning – Throughout the year, Excelsior students are enthusiastically involved in community service projects. Students who attend Excelsior understand and agree with the importance of giving to others. Some of the many community service projects include: letter writing campaigns, feeding the homeless, visiting the elderly, litter campaigns, food drives, collecting clothes and supplies for families in need, and such.
Transition Program – The EA Transition Task Team ensures that each student takes part in developing an Individualized Transition Plan to set goals for the future. Students complete career interest inventories and research vocations. They may have opportunities to enroll in off-campus vocational classes. Some students choose dual enrollments with Excelsior Academy and with another school. Apprenticeship programs, and specific work experience opportunities are also available for those students wishing to learn specific job skills. EA staff members plan field trips to local colleges in order for students to learn more about the vast array of opportunities in higher education.
Counseling Services – For those students requiring additional support, Excelsior provides non-therapeutic counseling services to strengthen students social/emotional, and academic functioning. Counseling, consultation and collaboration on a schoolwide basis assist students with communicating, problem solving, coping skills, and maintaining healthy relations.
Physical Education - The ultimate goals of the Excelsior Academy Physical Education Program are to improve the quality of living and enhance the health of our students. Students attend physical education classes on a daily basis and are instructed in the knowledge, attitudes, skills, and processes that lead to regular and enjoyable participation in physical activity, team building, fitness, and good health.
Intramural Sports - Intramural sports at Excelsior allows students of all ages and abilities to learn the value of sportsmanship, respect, and teamwork, but in a less competitive environment. Intramurals provide students the opportunity to play organized sports with their peers on a weekly basis during lunch. Every student will play in each game provided they have met their academic responsibilities during the week.
Interscholastic Sports - The Interscholastic sports program provides students an opportunity to learn the benefits of competition, hard work, goal setting, cooperation, teamwork, respect and sportsmanship. Students are able to learn, practice, and demonstrate these skills in a safe, structured, and positive environment. Three sports are offered each year for students ages 13 and older: flag football, basketball, and softball. Interscholastic teams compete with teams from small schools like Excelsior.
Experiential Education - Excelsior Academy’s Experiential Education Program focuses on the necessary concepts and skills which students need in order to develop a sense of self-worth in order to become confident, productive, and independent learners. Experiential education transfers learning from inside classrooms to outdoor settings. Students are challenged in safe and nurturing ways to discover their personal strengths, attitudes, and talents.
Occupational Therapy – The Excelsior Academy Occupational Therapy program provides evaluation and treatment to students with neurological and orthopedic problems. Therapeutic activities are implemented by the Occupational Therapist to individual students, as needed, to enhance student performance and to help them achieve a higher level of learning in the classroom setting.
Summer Aquatics – During the summer session each student has the opportunity to learn a new aquatic skill or to refine aquatic skills they may already have acquired. Aquatic opportunities vary from summer to summer, depending upon availability and interest.