The educational focus of TCGDC is to meet the needs of every learner through a unique combination of researched best practices including Transformation Education, TEACCH, on-line learning, Project Based Learning, Character Development, Arts Integration and Information and Communication Technology. TCGDC will focus on serving special education students in the District within a comprehensive general education setting. A continuum of special education services will be provided in addition to a Diagnostic and Evaluation program.
TCGDC’s educational focus is on creating an educational experience that fosters the ability to think critically, solve problems creatively, be self-disciplined and create caring students who serve a cause larger than themselves.
Whole Brain Teaching
Whole Brain Teaching is an approach designed toward maximizing student engagement, and focusing on the way the brain is really designed to learn. For the upcoming school year, TCGDC staff will utilize an integrated method combining effective classroom management and pedagogically sound approaches to student engagement to meet our student’s needs. Below are the five norms that will guide support our positive behavior program.
- Norm #1—Follow directions quickly
- Norm #2—Raise your hand for permission to speak
- Norm #3—Raise your hand to leave your seat
- Norm #4—Make smart choices
- Norm #5—Respect yourself, others, & the environment
Literacy forms the basis for reading to learn. TCGDC will commit to a program that fosters early literacy and the development of comprehension skills within the context of the Common Core State Standards.
Numeracy and reasoning form the basis for the Common Core State Standards. The mathematics program will focus on the math practices and reasoning behind the foundations of math.
TEACCH (Training and Education of Autistic and Related Communication Handicapped Children):
TEACCH was developed at the University of North Carolina and provides the foundational structures that enable every student to succeed: environmental organization, schedules/routines, work systems and visual structures. Organizing the physical environment, developing schedules and work systems, making expectations clear and explicit, and using visual materials have been effective ways of developing skills and allowing students to work independently with success.
Project Based Learning (PBL):
PBL is the instructional delivery system that identifies teaching strategies that connects the “what” = Common Core State Standards to the “how” = Project Based Learning. PBL will enable teachers to differentiate learning to address the diverse learning needs of the students while providing real world connections and application of the curricular concepts. In addition, Project-based learning provides the connective tissue among discrete high school courses. PBL, through a thematic approach, provides an authentic application to subject content.
Character Development is also integrated throughout the content areas and aligns with the school’s values. Students identified as requiring additional behavioral support will benefit from utilization of the Student Support Center (SSC). In the SSC, students develop an understanding of what gets in the way of their ability to comply with school-wide expectations and learn strategies to employ in the future. Teachers receive feedback and support from the SSC in how to effectively accommodate the learning/behavioral needs of their students. Together these components contribute significantly to the culture of the school and ensure that every student is successful.
Arts Integration embeds the arts within the core academic subjects to foster engagement, aide in retention and enhance comprehension.
Information and Communication Technology (ICT):
ICT provides opportunities for the enhancement of learning and may significantly support students in their inquiries, and in developing their conceptual understanding. TCGDC views technology as a tool for learning, albeit with its own set of skills, as opposed to an additional subject area. ICT skills should be developed and learned in order to support the needs of individual learners in their inquiries.
Brain-based education assures that the whole brain is engaged during the instruction period through having it process through information it knows, gathering what it needs to know, processing what it learns from engaging in a problem it needs to solve, and then trying to apply its new learned knowledge to a different situation or context.