Frequently Asked Questions
Our older students receive homework for each subject, which should take 30 min to an hour nightly. Hands-on projects and reports are also assigned and are listed on the syllabus for each class. Our policy on homework is that it is independent practice of skills that have already been taught or concepts that can be more fully developed. It is to improve mastery of a skill. It also gives parents an idea of the topics and level that the child is working on.
A daily agenda is utilized as appropriate for students. An online parent portal is used for communication and grade reporting.
Assessment is ongoing through the use of curriculum based assessments such as Running Records, Repeated Readings, and grade level evaluations. Other means of evaluation include FCAT released tests in reading, math, science, and writing, and curriculum based assessments. Standardized testing includes the Brigance and the SAT10, which is a computer based standardized test created by Pearson Assessments, a nationally recognized organization. We utilize scores from many different instruments to document growth and progress.
We use the same grading system as the public schools where 90-100 is an A, etc. We utilize weights for the different areas of "assessment," including class work, homework, participation, projects/reports, weekly quizzes, and chapter tests. This allows students to demonstrate their abilities in different manners. Testing accommodations are utilized as needed, including oral testing with documentation, extended time, reduced items, etc.
During the application process, we discuss the parents' perception of the child's abilities. It is often more accurate than the IEP. We also review school and medical records as provided by the parents. Then the child will visit the school so that we can determine appropriate placement. Most of the instruction takes place in small groups based on ability and grade level. The teachers are very familiar with the important, research-based interventions, including the direct instruction of social skills.
Every child is teachable. Monarch is not the best place for every child. But we will be as upfront as we can in regards to our capabilities to serve your child. If we feel that we cannot effectively and successfully serve your child, we will help you find appropriate placement.
IEPs are documents dictated by federal law. Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE), as governed by federal law, gives the student rights in public school. As a private school, we are not able to participate in the writing of an IEP, nor does it have to be implemented by private schools. The Safeguards for Private School Students are available at http://www.fldoe.org/ese/pdf/procedural.pdf .
Monarch believes that the IEP is a good start. From there, we do our own academic and behavioral assessments, then our team meets to establish a Strategic Academic Plan (SAP) based on the needs of the student and guided by Sunshine State Standards and Common Core Standards, as they are implemented nationally. Examples of those are available for you to see. If you choose to return to public school, the child will return to the previous status under FAPE and an IEP will be rewritten by the public school.
YES! SSS are utilized in writing the Strategic Academic Plans each 9 weeks. Demonstration of mastery of each skill must be documented by date and evidence in the portfolio. In addition, the creation of the Common Core Standards, a national effort to further standardize curriculum requirements.
Monarch is a faith-based school, but we teach character development. Because our program focuses on students primarily on the autistic spectrum, a behavioral approach is often used, and for students with Asperger's syndrome, logic and language are very valuable tools to reshape behavior. We do feel that spirituality is very important, and encourage the discussion as appropriate. This involves the process of making decisions based on logic and wisdom. Our values and lessons reflect positive moral values.
At the discretion of the school and with parent permission, Monarch may provide Assemblies, a time of Bible teaching and prayer. In addition and as applicable, your child may have the chance to participate in an elective such as Religious Studies. Understanding that we seek to accommodate families of many faiths, we also seek to meet the spiritual needs of students and families.