Maximum Challenge means that each child is challenged at his or her level in every core subject. After being evaluated, students are grouped by skill level, not grade level. This means a 4th grade student could be taking 5th grade math and 3rd grade reading if that is what is appropriate for his needs.
Why does ASA require all K-8 siblings in a family to enroll?
The reason is two-fold: unity of the family and integrity of the Maximum Challenge philosophy. ASA was founded to strengthen family unity by eliminating the need for families to be enrolled in multiple schools due to their children's academic, developmental or social needs or gifts. It was not founded as a "special needs" school, but rather a school for all children. Currently, ASA has approximately 40% regularly developing, 40% special needs and 20% gifted students, which has proven to be an ideal balance for the Maximum Challenge program's success.
Classical curriculum capitalizes on children’s natural development, giving them sufficient time to develop the tools needed to learn. It is especially suited to our Maximum Challenge since it allows for numerous modifications tailored to each child's needs.
Preventive Method of Education was created by St. John Bosco. He firmly believed that education was a "matter of the heart". By loving the students and being present among them constantly (as in a family), he realized that many misbehaviors could be prevented.
Are ASA teachers certified?
An important part of ASA’s Philosophy Statement is that parents are integrally involved with the school, in order to fulfill ASA’s mission. All Saints Academy was founded as a homeschool co-op of 3 families, and parents continue in their role as teachers today. Several of our parent-teachers do have a background in education, and have been certified to teach at schools in the past. Other parent-teachers come from a homeschool background and have degrees in other fields. All parent-teachers are unpaid and have a solid commitment to their children and the mission of All Saints; thus the presence of community in Christ is unlike anything found in other schools, private or public.
Why isn’t ASA a Diocesan school?
ASA is a private independent school and is a member of the National Association of Private and Catholic Independent Schools (NAPC*IS). The Diocese of Raleigh and All Saints Academy have been in contact with each other since before ASA was founded. For the time being, it has been determined that ASA has more flexibility in serving its target population than it would if it had to fit the model of current Diocesan schools. While this topic may be revisited in the future, there is still a positive relationship between ASA and the Diocese of Raleigh. Several Diocesan priests come to All Saints Academy to offer Mass and Reconciliation, and ASA occasionally partners with Diocesan schools for certain activities - especially with fellow NAPC*IS schools St. Catherine of Siena Catholic School in Wake Forest and St. Thomas More Academy in Raleigh.
What are some modifications ASA can provide in the classroom for students with disabilities?
Some common modifications for students with disabilities include:
- placement into a lower level subject
- preferential seating
- modified assignments (e.g. fewer paragraphs or sentences, only the odds or evens on a worksheet, etc.)
- modified test formats
- additional time for tests or assignments
- alternative curriculum choices
- breaks (either in class time or during a test)
- providing a copy of notes if a student has trouble with note-taking
- a buddy-friend can be identified to help if a student has social challenges
- For students with significant or critical needs, ASA may recommend a one-on-one assistant provided at the parent’s expense and/or one-on-one instruction for certain subjects.
What are some modifications ASA can provide in the classroom for gifted students?
Some common modifications for gifted students include placement into a higher level subject or increase in the difficulty of an assignment. In math, this might mean the addition of critical thinking problems. In composition this might mean addressing a topic more thoroughly.
Does ASA have standardized testing?
Yes, ASA uses the Woodcock Johnson III standardized test every spring for all K-8th grade students. This test allows for one-on-one verbal testing, which is especially critical for a true assessment of the skill levels of our children with special needs. It also greatly reduces the time spent on standardized testing, which allows for more time for real education! Parents are responsible for the cost of the testing, which is available at a discounted rate through the school.
I would like to be involved on a daily basis at ASA, but I am not sure I am qualified to teach. How can I help?
Many of our parent-teachers come to ASA skeptical about teaching, but have found their contribution is greatly appreciated and critical to ASA’s continued success. In fact, some who never thought of themselves as teachers have come to enjoy it very much. Through constant guidance of our Curriculum Director, Celina Manville, and with the support of other parent-teachers, our teachers grow in skill and creativity every day. Small class sizes and teachers’ overwhelming familial presence among the students contribute to a homeschool like atmosphere that is easy to adapt to for those parents inexperienced in classroom teaching.
There are also many other ways to contribute that are invaluable to the operation of the school: Assisting in the preschool/nursery, administrative tasks, event planning, and building maintenance are some ways that our parents are currently serving.