The Special Programs Department of St. Mary of the Woods envisions to integrate
students with special needs into the regular school system and the community, and
to provide ample opportunities for a full and happy life.
I. Special Education Program
Designed for slow learners, children with learning disabilities and with delayed cognitive development. Its main goal is to fully develop the potential of the child with special learning needs, thereby enabling the learner to become self reliant.
The Special Education Program’s objectives are to:
II. Behavior Management Program
- develop and maximize full learning competencies
- inculcate values to make learners with special needs effective and worthy members of society
- integrate students with special needs into the regular school system, and eventually into the community
- provide ample opportunities to develop one’s potentials and talents to the fullest.
Designed for children with behavior or disciplinary problems that delay learning. It provides a comprehensive guide and support system – emotional, moral, social, physical, psychological and spiritual – for growing children with disciplinary problems. Beyond mere controlling or punitive measures, the Behavior Management Program applies assertive discipline combined with consistency, sensitivity follow-through, and positive relationship building.
The Behavior Management Program aims to:
Multi-leveling considers each child individually:
- develop attitude and interpersonal relations
- strengthen the skills and values that become the foundation for self-esteem
After these considerations, the individual student is placed in the educational level of every subject he/she rightfully belongs in, but always considering the child’s age and emotional needs.
IV. Multi-Cultural Education
Developed for children reared in diverse cultures, categorized by different world views, values, and styles and above all different language.
Recognizing the impact of this cultural and linguistic diversity, the Multi-Cultural Education Program aims to promote and develop respect and acceptance of diversity by maintaining the following:
- A statement of the student’s present levels of educational performance after assessment is done at the beginning and the end of each School year;
- Physical needs – difficulty with motor coordination or physical activities requiring strength and stamina;
- Poor performance in certain areas and outstanding performance in other areas.
An important addendum to Multi-Cultural Education is a two to three month program whose main objective is to promote acceptance and respect of diverse cultures.
Its main features are:
- Flexible, appropriate and unbiased curricula
- Inclusive, rather than supplementing, instructional materials – free of biases, omissions and stereo-types
- Educational evaluation procedures which assess content of the curricula and instructional materials as well as the experience and attitudes which have encouraged better understanding and respect for diversity
- Affirmation of languages of cultural groups as different rather than deficient, as well as honing the English language skills through the STEAP (STRUCTURED ENGLISH ARTS PROGRAM) program.
The Personality Development is the cog of the whole Special Programs. It aims to:
- Participating in non-graded curricular, co-curricular, and extra-curricular activities.
- Developing students’ English Language Skills, STEAP (STRUCTURED ENGLISH ARTS PROGRAM).
- Encouraging students’ sense of class belonging through discussions and sharing of their cultural heritage – folktales, games, songs, etc.
- Participating in field trips to improve community understanding and relationships.
PROGRAM COMPONENTS for SPECIAL PROGRAMS DEPARTMENT
- Draw out each learner’s potentials and talents.
- Develop the learner’s confidence and self-esteem.
- Provide an environment that is democratic to both students and teachers.
- Explore and integrate the students into mainstreaming classes on a gradual basis according to the child’s readiness.
- Prepare the learner to interact, react, and adjust to varied situations and people.
A. INDIVIDUALIZED PROGRAM DESIGN
- Design programs for each child after a thorough individual assessment
- Provide options within each program adapted to each child’s needs
- Mainstream the child in non-academic subjects
- Empower the child by building a strong foundation through value formation and skills development
- Motivate the child to succeed despite perceived hindrances
Each child is different. Under the Special Programs Department, the child attends classes only after a thorough psycho-educational assessment. The regular education curriculum is modified according to the learner’s capacity; teaching strategies are adapted to each child’s instructional needs and learning styles, strengths and weaknesses. Instead of adjusting to others, the child gets the program built around him or her.
B. Tools designed for learner’s progress:
C. STRUCTURED ENGLISH ARTS PROGRAM (STEAP)
- Concept mapping
- Portfolio making
The Structured English Arts Program is an educational strategy designed to help foreign students with their English communication skills. It harnesses students’ abilities through different activities – training them in listening, speaking, writing, reading and applying grammar rules correctly.
Students benefit through the STEAP academically as well as psychologically since students gain self-confidence in being able to communicate wit ease.
Due to some requests from adults, we adapted the STEAP for them. We have begun teaching some parents how to speak English as they seem to be very happy with the results.