The Noble Academy Way is the roadmap to the magic that is Noble Academy. It consists of Five Steps to Building Great Futures, which are outlined on our website providing the structure and base of our entire school. In order to continually ensure we are providing the best possible education and support to our students, we will be focusing on one of these steps each year, creating a “theme” for our school year. This theme will be woven into our professional development plans, our facility plans, and curriculum plans.
For the 2019-2020 school year, we have chosen the step of Guidance and Support to be our theme. We define Guidance and Support broadly to include assistive technology, social and emotional learning, safe school environment, character education, accommodations and modifications, opportunities for movement, and advisor/advisee relationships.
In the spirit of our theme we are implementing a school wide mindfulness program. The entire faculty, including many of our substitutes, were trained by a certified mindfulness trainer for two days prior to school starting on the importance of mindfulness, the science behind its practice, and ways to use it in the classroom. Faculty members will be using it throughout the school day on a regular basis as a way to center students and prepare them for learning. The research behind mindfulness is truly compelling and the benefits in self regulation, emotional balance, and ability to learn new concepts is fascinating. It is our belief that equipping our students with mindful practices is equipping them with lifelong strategies that they will be able to use well into adulthood.
We are not stopping at mindfulness in our quest to strengthen our, already remarkable, Guidance and Support program. The Lower School will be adopting the social and emotional curriculum - Responsive Classroom. The entire Lower School faculty will attend a training in Charlotte in November and we will be investing in a full implementation of this program.
We are also creating opportunities for our faculty to mentor each other on the use of accommodations and modifications in classrooms, to attend conferences on diverse learning and anxiety, and are introducing a comfort animal to our school (more information on that will be coming as we get closer to the finalization of that plan). Yoga has been added as a weekly class for our 2nd and 3rd grade students. Our focus this summer has been on adjusting some parts of our facility to be more welcoming and a better learning environment, most notably an extensive remodel to our Grey House where music classes take place.
Our technology department will also be focusing on ensuring every Noble Academy faculty member is thoroughly trained and familiar with all of our assistive technology tools. With each faculty member having this deep knowledge, we believe we can further integrate assistive technology into every classroom. Assistive technology tools are essential supports for many of our students and allow for a life-long tool they can carry with them to college and the workforce.
Clearly this is an intensive focus for us this year and we are very excited to see how we can take our implementation of our Guidance and Support step to astronomical levels. Our two school counselors, Julie Bean and Lance Oldham, are truly some of the best in the business. But, we know the business of providing guidance to our students and supporting them in and out of the classroom, does not live solely in the counselors’ offices. Equipping our faculty and our students with these resources, knowledge, and opportunities will allow Noble Academy to continue to be a leader in supporting students with learning differences and ADHD in non-academic ways. We know our students’ academic success is only a portion of their development and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to serve our families at a deeper and more comprehensive level.