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A Place for All Learners

Prospect Academy was founded by local community members, parents, and educators who have a passion for providing public options for students in all front range districts, especially students who come from educationally disadvantaged backgrounds. Our focus is serving students with level 1 and 2 autism, dyslexia, ADHD, and similar learning profiles, as well as struggling learners without diagnoses.

For Practitioners

Prospect Academy is the first, free, public charter school in Colorado that has built their programming to specifically serve  students who learn differently or need extra support for learning, regardless of diagnosis. 

 

As parents and practitioners, we have seen first hand how students get tracked into center-based programming or placed into full-inclusion, and they often need more or different supports and instruction to fully thrive and reach their potential.  Prospect was created to fill the gray area/gap in between center-based programming and full inclusion.  

 

Our methods are based on two very successful school models that utilize the science of learning and human motivation: Morningside Academy in Seattle, Washington, and Haugland Learning Center in Columbus, Ohio.  Morningside pioneered the Morningside Model of Generative Instruction (MMGI) , and has served students with learning disabilities or those who have struggled in school since 1980.  They are a private school and provide a money-back guarantee to families.  Haugland is a replication of the MMGI and specifically serves students with diagnoses of Autism and Asperger’s.  

 

These schools capitalize on the science of human motivation and understand that people need to feel safe, supported, and successful to optimize learning and growth.  Additionally, the methods used at these schools and at Prospect are individualized because all students will need slightly different supports, different amounts of support, and learn at different rates.  

 

How Prospect is different: 

  • We emphasize instruction in language and communication. 

  • We look at skills using multi-level analyses, which allows us to target critical foundational skills for students and help them strengthen those to fluency.  The mastery of these foundational skills has a domino effect on other skills in many different areas.  

  • We incorporate specialized practice 

  • Students get regular feedback through their own self-monitoring of skills, as well as opportunities to self-reflect on their skill development 

  • Students get application and authentic practice with skills that are directly taught. 

 

We directly teach and embed executive function skills and social emotional skills across the curriculum and school day. 

We would love to talk to you should you have any questions about our approach and methodologies. Please don't hesitate to reach out should you have any questions to hello@prospectacademyco.org.

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Our supportive, safe, and responsive learning environment features:

  • Small classes

  • Specialization in serving neurodiverse and neurotypical students, including students with:

  • Social and emotional learning support

  • Programs for twice-exceptional students

  • Support for COVID learning loss

  • Student-centered and responsive planning

  • Conscious collaboration with families

FAQs for Practitioners
  1. Will you follow IEPs or 504 plans already in existence? 

 

Yes, Prospect is a free, public charter school and therefore is legally bound to a student’s IEP or 504 plan as written.  However, given that Prospect’s model is unique and everything we do is tailored to meet the needs of neurodiverse students, we will likely modify IEPs and 504 plans so that they are more consistent with our programming.  In most cases, students will be getting more specialized services, not fewer, and family (including the student) is always part of the IEP team.  

   2. Do you use Orton Gillingham? 

 

Yes.  “Orton Gillingham is a direct, explicit, multisensory, structured, sequential, diagnostic, and prescriptive way to teach” (https://www.ortonacademy.org/resources/what-is-the-orton-gillingham-approach/), and all of the methods and curriculum for teaching at Prospect (in all subjects, not just reading), use these elements throughout the scope and sequence for each grade and level, providing strong support in Tier 1, available to all students.   

 

   3. Will you group kids by diagnosis? 

No, students will not be grouped by diagnosis.  This is because a diagnosis is a label used to describe a set of behaviors or actions, including academic skills (at Prospect, we define the word “behavior” a little differently than you are used to - behavior means any action on the environment - so to us, the term “reading” refers to a set of behaviors).  Not all students with the same diagnosis will exhibit the same set of behaviors.  Therefore, for the most effective instruction, we will group students by the skills they show in the different subject areas - math, reading, and writing.  Other classes will be grouped in different ways, but the main content areas will have flexible, skills-based groupings.  We anticipate groups will change based on the pace of learning for some students.  

   4. How will you serve kids with behavior concerns? 

 

We will provide a robust behavior program for all students, with the cornerstones of strong relationships and social-emotional learning.  Our behavior program is based on learning, growth, and positive behavior supports.  This means our efforts focus on acknowledging the correct/good things students do, providing brief corrections or redirections for other behaviors, and moving on to avoid power struggles or escalating behavior.  We know that many school behavior issues stem from environmental set-up and the way that adults respond to behavior.  We aim to change this by adding in a layer of understanding the “Why” behind a behavior, seeking to understand students at a deeper level, and engineering different environments to solicit successful behaviors, both academically and socially.  


In terms of reactive behavior management, we will focus on keeping all people in the building safe, and making sure there are opportunities for learning through Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS), and restoration of the environment after a breach of community trust.  Our full discipline matrix can be found here

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