Every classroom has a range of students with different academic, social, and emotional needs. In a typical classroom, educators find students who are reading above their grade level, and others who have fallen behind. These same classrooms have students who learn best by working with other children, while others prefer to work alone. And, in most classrooms, students with special needs rarely get the assistance they need to fill in areas where they struggle.
Still, every teacher seeks to reach all students by giving the whole class a great experience. Yet, while most academic settings reduce instruction to what is best for a group of students (differentiated instruction), Kanawha Christian School has determined that the best form of education starts with individualized instruction, and that begins with the ideal that the needs of each child are unique. Teaching is specific and targets one need at a time. This teaching method can be used on its own, or it can be part of a differentiating (group) form of teaching. Some students who receive individualized instruction need teachers to help them understand and learn. Other students using the same teaching method can skip topics they already know and go on to advanced information.
The curriculum we provide through a cooperative relationship with Alpha Omega Publications is geared toward individualized instruction: a method by which content, instructional technology, and pace of learning are all based upon the abilities and interests of each individual learner. Through a number of assessment techniques, students are placed in social constructs according to their cognitive aptitude and potential for successful achievement, not age. This method personalizes instruction to the needs, learning style(s), and multiple intelligence of each learner, and varies the pace of instruction, the method of learning, and the content to be learned to the needs of mastery before moving to new concepts. The flexibility of this instructional approach allows students to spend more time where needed and gives teachers the ability to work with different ages under individualized academic programs. As children grow in their mastery, children also move between academic constructs that support this learning, thereby growing at their own rate and ability. Teachers in this model are departmentalized – somewhat like high school learning – and, facilitate learning according to the needs and aptitudes of each construct.
Most individualized learners surpass academic expectations, scoring higher on ACT and SAT assessments, and graduating their K-12 education some two years earlier than most public approaches to education.
Dual Credit College Courses
Kanawha Christian School offers students who complete their academic work early an accredited dual-enrollment option to help students get a head start on college! In fact, may students utilize this option to earn high school and college credit simultaneously. Students who register for dual-credit courses are enrolled both at Kanawha Christian School and the University of Northwestern – St. Paul, and these students work directly with professors from the college to complete online courses. As a result, students who choose to participate in the dual-credit program are held to the same academic standards as students at the university. An additional fee is required to participate in this program.