NORTH TUSTIN, Calif., Aug. 03, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) —
The Prentice School, a private, nonpublic, and nonprofit academic school with an established reputation as one of the leading schools for children with learning differences that include dyslexia (language-based processing disorder), dyscalculia (math-based processing disorder), dysgraphia (written language-based processing disorder), attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and anxiety is one of the few schools in the country working towards developing and implementing a comprehensive Universal Design for Learning (UDL) model for educational assistive technology (EdAT).
According to Understood.org, assistive technology (AT) is any device, piece of equipment or system that helps students who struggle with listening, math, executive function, reading, and writing work around his or her challenges. Such accommodation tools used at Prentice include text-to-speech and word prediction to support reading and writing respectively.“The goal of our EdAT program is to prepare Prentice students to attain greater academic independence and become more self-reliant in their classroom learning and related assignments,” said Stanley Tom, Educational Assistive Technology Manager. “These tools are designed to help students with learning differences become more successful and productive while building their confidence and independence.”The use of Google Apps for Education (GAFE) allows Prentice faculty and students access to an ever expanding set of Chrome browser-based tools and resources. These communication and collaboration tools are greatly enhanced through use of AT accommodations (such as screen reading and spelling support) provided to most Prentice students.
Unique to Prentice is a dedicated on- campus Educational AT specialist providing in-depth year round support to students, teachers, and parents.“School districts typically have a number of resources such as an Assistive Technology Specialist, Occupational Therapist, and a Resource Specialist “narrowcasting” to one or several students in a classroom. What sets Prentice apart is that the AT specialist works with all the students and all the teachers in both classroom and 1:1 settings to provide the broadest opportunity for AT tool familiarity and to increase their knowledge-base,” said Alicia Maciel, Executive Director of The Prentice School. “Prentice was also one of three finalists for the Project Tomorrow 2015 Innovation in Education Award under the category of Innovative Schoolwide Program. We were recognized for our unique focus on Educational Assistive Technology (EdAT).”
For Prentice parents, AT orientation opportunities are unique and specific to each of them. Through regularly offered workshops and seminars, they are made critically aware of their responsibility as active case managers for their child’s AT tool use now and in the future. Prentice parent Tracy Suzakawa said, “Mr. Tom’s AT Tools class at Prentice was a valuable opportunity to learn about all of the different technology that is available to help children, teens and adults achieve success in school and in future careers. After taking his class, I felt much more optimistic about my son’s upcoming transition to public school. I am now confident we can make the most of his IEP and set up the appropriate supports that will allow our son to succeed in school and beyond.”Parents attending AT workshops, are more confident in engaging with school districts, teachers, and administrators about AT accommodations and implementation for their child. Mr. Tom finds these workshops with parents most professionally rewarding: “It’s quite a thrill to witness A-Ha! moments with the parents when they share their experiences and recognition of the potential when we look at various AT tools.”
ABOUT THE PRENTICE SCHOOL
Founded in 1986, The Prentice School is a private, nonprofit academic school located in North Tustin, California and is a Nonpublic School (NPS) through the California Department of Education and is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. The Prentice approach is designed to engage students on three learning pathways, including auditory, visual, and kinesthetic. Using evidence-based curriculum and instructional methodologies, a structured literacy approach, multi-sensory instructional strategies, and ongoing progress monitoring, The Prentice School offers an unparalleled learning experience to students with learning differences who possess average to high intelligence, and whose needs have not been met in a more traditional classroom setting.You can learn more about The Prentice School at www.prentice.org or call (714) 244-4600.
The Prentice School