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New Perspectives - June, 1994 Issue #28 

ST. CHRISTOPHER ACADEMY
Kent, Washington
Darlene Jevne, Director 
206-852-1515 

This private day school for learning disabled and academically at-risk students (including those diagnosed A.D.D.) in the Seattle area, Grades K-12, has 61 students. They take students who are failing regular schools, both public and private, and bring them up to speed academically by providing "support personnel to provide one-on-one instruction, diagnostic testing, language therapy, and visual perceptual therapy." 

The heart of the curriculum is an approach called Direct Instruction. "Individual student needs are met through ability groupings wherein each child is placed in a group designed to meet his or her needs. Direct Instruction programs cover several academic areas including reading, math, language, and spelling.... The instructional design of this curriculum is unique. Skills are broken down into component parts so as to make the acquisition of skills easy. Students are highly engaged with no time to be off task. Feedback is provided for students at every step. Consistent reinforcement of previously acquired skills is provided." 

The school also runs a summer working ranch for boys in the vicinity of Sun Valley, Idaho. Working with the same academic at-risk students the day school in Kent does, the "Ranch is a junior leadership program for campers with diverse abilities and backgrounds. The cornerstone of this program is to instill a sense of responsibility and leadership by continually challenging the campers in an outdoor western setting." 

Copyright 1994, Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced without prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author attribution accompanies the copy.)

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