Students who are unable to participate in traditional public school programs due to mental health needs, behavioral or emotional disorders, learning problems and other maladaptive behaviors need educational opportunities that will allow them to succeed both academically and behaviorally. Our educational programs are designed to meet the individual needs of students, and provide them with opportunities to reach academic and behavioral success in a supportive therapeutic environment.
At Oyster Point Academy, we focus on individual and differentiated instruction, behavior management, developing interpersonal skills, family involvement, and community and social awareness. This approach is designed to facilitate a successful transition back to a less-restrictive educational setting.
Academic programs for youth K-12 are offered through our Day School and Extended School Year services, and through RISE, a specialty program to support youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
The instructional program at Oyster Point Academy is based on the Virginia State Department of Education Standards of Learning, following the Newport News Public Schools curriculum guide. Core curriculum is available through the use of consumable and non-consumable texts, as well as a variety of teacher-provided resources. Any additional materials needed for electives outside the core curriculum are requested and purchased as needed. Comprehensive academic instruction for grades K-12 is offered in math, language arts, social studies, science and physical education/health.
Oyster Point Academy staff is dedicated to maintaining a structured learning environment based on an understanding of individual learning styles. The school staff works closely with the referring school district and parents to review the results of all educational, psychological and eligibility evaluations to develop both academic and behavioral goals and objectives, consistent with the student’s needs as identified by the IEP. Oyster Point Academy follows an approved curriculum for each content area that is aligned with the Standards of Learning (SOL) supplied by the Virginia State Department of Education. A variety of textbooks, literature, resource materials and teacher-provided adapted materials are utilized to meet instructional goals, based on the capabilities of each student. In addition, school personnel provide individual and small group instruction, cooperative learning, and a team approach for teaching effective learning strategies. A broad range of instructional approaches is implemented to meet identified individual needs, including but not limited to differentiated instruction, co-teaching models, and a content anchoring routine.
We maintain a student-teacher ratio of 8:1 within each classroom. However, student-staff ratios are often 5:1 or lower. Each classroom teacher is assigned a classroom intervention specialist and, when deemed necessary, students with severe behavioral needs are assigned a one-to-one student support aid (per the student’s IEP).
Oyster Point Academy embraces the use of instructional technology as a core part of our curriculum. Technology is a vital component to student learning and should be used just as much as a pencil and paper. Research has proven there is a significant increase in overall student achievement when students are provided with, and use, instructional technology. With technology at their fingertips, students receive a quality education that is in line with the mission and vision of our school.
Technology is at the heart of our school, and Oyster Point Academy students are provided with the opportunity to use technology daily. From the state and district to individual student levels, technology is an important component to student achievement. As research proves and VDOE mandates, technology should be an integral and interwoven in daily instruction.
We know that our students’ opinions on technology use in the classroom is a direct reflection of that of their teachers, putting even more emphasis on the importance of successful technology integration here at Oyster Point Academy.
Our technological resources include:
Our students are given access to the internet and are provided with an endless supply of educational resources such as interactive encyclopedias and textbooks, virtual field trips and research materials. All are securely monitored by our teachers and IT department.
Research supports that for technology to be effective in the classroom, teachers must be trained and leaders must support their efforts by allotting time to complete professional developments targeted towards technology integration. Oyster Point Academy staff has completed multiple Google Classroom trainings, participated in hands-on Google Classroom professional development, and has created Google Classrooms of their own.