Shortridge Academy provides students with an intellectually stimulating learning environment that is flexible and sensitive to students’ individual needs. The majority of our students are bright underachievers who experienced challenges in the classroom in their previous schooling, revealed in a more recent decline in academic performance, or a longer history of struggling in school due to attention issues and/or learning differences. Curriculum and instruction at Shortridge are designed to motivate and engage all students to reach their academic potential and become lifelong learners.
Our faculty members are experienced, skilled teachers who are passionate about their subject area. They teach using multi-modal approaches to learning, emphasizing classroom discussion, collaboration, problem solving, and active learning. Our instructional approach is effective in engaging and challenging gifted students in addition to supporting those with a range of learning needs and challenges from ADHD to mild learning disabilities.
Instruction is guided by the following principles:
- Students have different strengths and learning styles and learn at different paces.
- Positive relationships between teachers and students both in and out of the classroom are essential to the learning process.
- Teaching and learning needs to be student-centered; students need choices, within limits, in what and how they learn.
- Students learn best when content and instruction are varied and revolve around stimulating subject matter where emotions, ethics and values have a place.
- The classroom must be a nurturing and supportive environment that honors diversity and promotes tolerance.
- Mistakes are an essential part of the learning process: students need to be challenged and taught to take intellectual risks in order to develop resilience and perseverance.
- Creativity, imagination and play all have an important role in the learning process.
We believe that integrating technology into the classroom is necessary to assist the development of 21st century skills and to facilitate visual and auditory learning. All students are provided their own new laptop upon enrollment for use in the classroom. However, Shortridge sets limits on the students’ internet access and on the use of computers outside the classroom. Laptops are used to enhance students’ writing and research skills. In addition, students develop technical skills by having the opportunity to become familiar with, and fluent in, a wide range of software. Teachers have access to a Smart Board, projectors and other audio/visual equipment to enhance instruction.