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Five Steps to Building Great Futures For Students with ADHD and Learning Differences

Personalized Instruction

All students learn differently, and for some that means they do not fit well in traditional education. They need classes that recognize their individual strengths and support areas of weakness. At Noble Academy our small classes, varied teaching techniques and highly trained teachers allow us to help students who learn differently succeed.


In addition to traditional teaching models, Noble Academy teachers engage their students in student-centered learning both in class and during special educational programs such as:

  • Flexuary, an inquiry based flexibly-scheduled exploration of a topic or theme culminating in a student driven final project.

  • Authentic assessment midterm projects in high school instead of traditional tests.

  • Projects based on student interest and motivation across all grade levels.

  • Hands on learning.

  • Community service.


At Noble Academy, we differentiate our program to meet the needs of students through several avenues by which all students can learn the same content. Teachers adjust content in order to address individual:

  • Readiness

  • Interests

  • Learning needs

  • Multiple intelligences 


The faculty at Noble Academy is trained and dedicated to teaching, modeling, and encouraging the use of strategies in all classrooms. Students with learning disabilities and ADHD benefit from learning strategies that make tasks easier and more manageable. We teach a range of strategies in the following areas:

  • Content specific strategies for math, writing, and reading

  • Note-taking

  • Time management

  • Study skills

  • Social interactions


In order to meet the needs of our students who struggle with reading, writing, and language, Noble Academy has adopted the Wilson Reading System®.  Students participating in this reading class receive small group instruction at their level that targets both decoding (reading) and encoding (writing/spelling) skills.  This structured literacy program is derived from Orton-Gillingham principles and provides direct instruction in:

  • Phonemic awareness

  • Word analysis

  • Fluency

  • Encoding and decoding

  • Comprehension skills


Class size at Noble Academy averages 1:8, with some classes being much less. The size of the class depends on the course content and the level of the students. A low teacher-student ratio gives us the opportunity to:

  • Offer more individual attention.

  • Have greater time on task.

  • Help each student meet his or her goals.

  • Provide appropriate accommodations for our students.

  • Teach study skills, strategies, and routines that will help ensure success.


At Noble Academy, we believe that learning new material is best done through direct interaction with the teacher. However, homework serves as a useful tool for relevant practice and reinforcement. Some of the homework methods we incorporate are:

  • Proof of study

  • Online/virtual assignments

  • Small/large projects

  • Blended learning

  • Review of previously learned material

Personalized Instruction
Individual Growth

At Noble Academy, we are used to challenging the idea that some students just can't learn. Our students routinely begin to learn that school is not something that you are good or bad at, it is something that you can improve with hard work and support. Students come to us frustrated, tired and even angry. They leave us as successful students on the path to lifelong learning.


Noble Academy has a structured Self-Advocacy program in which each student progresses through different tiers of the self-advocacy process.  This process begins with primary students and culminates with high school graduates ready to advocate for themselves.  Students learn:

  • Skills to assist them in understanding their strengths and needs.

  • How to identify their personal goals.

  • Their legal rights and responsibilities.

  • How to communicate these to others.


Every student at Noble Academy has an individualized written document called an Academic Profile. The general purpose of the Academic Profile is to provide specific accommodations and study skills/strategies needed to maximize the student’s performance.

  • MAP testing indicates the student’s current performance and readiness in reading, English and math.

  • Each student’s Academic Profile is discussed in formal parent/student/teacher conferences in the fall and spring.

  • As students progress they take a more active role in leading their own conference.


Growth Mindset is the belief that students most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work; brains and talent are just the starting points. We encourage growth mindset by:

  • Creating strategies to support areas of weakness.

  • Providing opportunities to expand on areas of strength.

  • Encouraging students to recognize their own growth as a student and individual.

  • Developing self-advocacy skills.

  • Promoting opportunities for engagement.


Social Skills is the ability to consider your own and others’ thoughts, feelings, beliefs, intentions, and knowledge. At Noble Academy we take the time to teach our students social skills. Some of the programs we use include:

  • Guidance and counseling programs.

  • Skills to assist them in understanding their strengths and needs.

  • How to identify their personal goals.

  • Their legal rights and responsibilities.

  • How to communicate these to others.

  • Counseling related to transition to college and post high school life.


Noble Academy offers more than just help and growth in academic programs such as math, English, history, foreign language, and science. Other important aspects of our program include:

  • Visual and performing arts

  • Middle school and varsity athletics

  • Technology courses

  • Honors courses

  • Online and Blended Learning

  • Student government

  • Clubs


We provide opportunities for students to feel more connected with the school through social opportunities, student activities and leadership roles such as:


  • Annual social events including end of year parties, holiday parties, prom, homecoming and picnics

  • Mentoring programs

  • Student senate

  • Field trips

  • Student involvement in planning skills week and other events

  • After school athletics, drama and music performances, art exhibitions

Individual Growth
Structure and Organization

Students with learning or attention differences need structure and routine in their academic tasks to allow them to feel comfortable with the process of learning. Using our methods and tools, students learn to develop good habits around studying, organization and time management.


Students meet with their advisors prior to dismissal for a daily checkpoint. Advisors help students have success in completing their homework, planning for upcoming projects and studying for tests by:

  • Reviewing student planners and FACTS

  • Verifying needed materials for assignments are going home

  • Reviewing notes or comments from teachers

  • Making sure assignments are written correctly and legibly

  • Gradually allowing students to take more responsibility for this process


Lower & Middle School students maintain a “Perfect Notebook” that is organized according to the needs of their grade level. The notebook is set up in a way to allow parents and students to easily find and store class notes, resources and other materials quickly and easily. Perfect Notebook organizational strategies include:

  • Specially created Student Planners

  • Homework and communication folders

  • Section dividers relevant to student class schedules

  • Teacher support to maintain organization


Every student at Noble Academy is issued a student planner/assignment book. The planner varies for each academic level and is tailored to the needs of those students.


  • In Lower School students are taught how to record assignments, match assignments to materials needed, and monitor assignment completion. The planner also serves as a daily communication tool between home and school.

  • In the Upper School, students use the planner along with online systems to plan for long term assignments and practice good time management skills.


FACTS and Google Classroom are learning management systems that work in conjunction with the student planner and creates a way for students and teachers to communicate outside of school in order to enrich the learning experience and prepare students for college.  Middle and High School students and parents have access to this web-based venue for:

  • Checking homework assignments

  • Monitoring due dates

  • Viewing current grades in all classes

  • Accessing links and other valuable class resources

We understand that students with ADHD and learning differences often struggle with homework completion. We want to hold students accountable for completing their homework, as well as keep them from falling behind. We support our students in their homework endeavors in the following ways:

  • After school “Back on Track” (Lower School) or “Homework Detention” (Middle School) for full or partial credit

  • Mid-day option for study hall (High School)

  • Teachers available after school for assistance

  • Homework that is relevant and meaningful rather than busy work

  • Checkpoint to verify assignments are recorded and necessary materials are taken home

  • Online access to view homework assignments (Upper School)

Guidance and Support

It is essential for students, many of whom feel left out or rejected by their educational setting, to have the support they need to find themselves as students. Children learn best from teachers who they respect and care for, and they feel safe to experiment and grow in an environment where they don't feel like an outsider.


With an emphasis on small classes and supportive environment, our teachers know their students, and develop a relationship built on respect and trust which allows for fewer disciplinary issues and greater learning. This community is built through:

  • Close advisor/advisee relationships.

  • Opportunities for team building throughout the year, both off and on campus.

  • Counselors who are available for support and guidance.

  • Administrators that are positively involved with teachers and students.


Students at Noble Academy receive accommodations based on their diagnosed learning disabilities. Accommodations maximize student learning and performance by utilizing areas of student strength. Grades K – 6 are provided with standard Noble Academy accommodations as needed. Grades 7 – 12 begin to work toward using only those accommodations that the student’s psychologist and academic team have determined are needed based on the student’s specific testing and diagnosed disabilities. Accommodations include such things as:

  • Extended time on tests.

  • Assistive Technology.

  • Use of charts and diagrams in addition to lecture.

  • Utilizing a student’s strength to redefine how an assignment needs to be completed.


Modifications are changes in the content, standards, expectations, and other attributes which may be made to increase student success. Teachers will modify instruction to provide meaningful learning experiences based on individual needs and abilities. Modifications are made on an as-needed, individual basis, and may be made in a variety of ways including:

  • Students may be accountable to learn fewer objectives

  • Tests and quizzes may be less complex

  • Students may be given alternate projects

  • Students may be required to read on a different reading level


Each student is assigned an advisor at Noble Academy. A strong advisor-advisee relationship is one of the keys to student success. The advisor is the primary teacher responsible for:

  • Teaching advisees about general Noble Academy routines, strategies, and expectations

  • Serving as the student’s advocate and academic coach

  • Coordinating the Academic Profile process for students

  • Serving as the primary contact for parents


Physical activity has a direct impact on student readiness to learn. Time is provided throughout each school day for students to engage in gross motor activities such as:

  • Outdoor activities and classes

  • Daily recess for all grades

  • A class relay-race

  • A jog around the school

  • A short dance video in the classroom

  • The use of “brain breaks” to break up instructional time

  • Stretching, wall push-ups, and yoga poses to re-energize during the school day


Mindfulness is the practice of bringing awareness to what you are thinking, feeling, or sensing in any individual moment. Students are encouraged to utilize their mindfulness techniques for focus and self-regulation.  They are taught multiple methods of mindfulness in an effort to help them find the one that works best for themselves:

  • Breathing Techniques

  • Guided Imagery

  • Mindful Movement

  • Sound Based Mindfulness

Preparation and Readiness

Whether a student graduates from Noble Academy, or transitions back to their previous school, they must be prepared for what they are stepping into. Students must have the skills and tools they need in order to be successful, while understanding that their learning differences are a part of who they are, but don't define who they are.


Executive functioning skills include a number of mental processes that make learning more effective and allow students to internalize and practice what they learn. We work to develop these skills in our students with direct instruction as well as hands on activities. These include:

  • Problem solving

  • Reasoning

  • Flexible thinking

  • Planning and execution


Technology today allows students and employees to collaborate and create using digital tools. Noble Academy incorporates the following technologies into our program:  

  • Google Apps for Education including email, documents, online file storage

  • Coding classes

  • 3d printing technology

  • Digital art

  • One-to-one computing environment 

  • Smartboards in all classrooms

  • Assistive technology (online texts, text to speech, dictation, etc.)


Beginning as early as Lower School, we educate our students about the choices they have following high school. School counselors and advisors facilitate this process through:

  • College visits during junior year

  • Career testing and guidance

  • Senior internships to explore a field of interest

  • College selection and application assistance


Students at Noble Academy learn more than just curriculum based content; they also learn a variety of academic, life, and social skills to be successful life-long learners. The Skill Building program involves:

  • Academic skills such as test taking, study skills and note-taking

  • Guidance classes for life skills and social skills

  • Skills Week Learning Expeditions

  • Self-Advocacy program

  • Opportunities for student involvement and leadership

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