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Academics Overview

Oak Creek Ranch School's College Preparatory Program is uniquely designed to meet the needs of teens with ADD, ADHD and other learning challenges. Our goal is to create an environment that allows students the greatest opportunity to succeed. Therefore, we limit our class size to ten students per class.

This approach allows our teachers to work with students, individually and create a program of learning that addresses their specific needs. New students are tested during the orientation process to determine their academic level in each subject. We can then tailor a program of study that addresses the new student’s areas of deficiencies and uncovers his/her areas of strength.

OCRS has been helping teens realize their full potential for over 45 years. Our teachers utilize many of the proven methodologies listed below to overcome the common challenges facing students with ADD/ADHD and other learning challenges.

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  • Provide a predictable routine and structure
• Provide clear expectations. Communicate them frequently
• Provide of immediate and explicit feedback
• Provide opportunities for students to self-verbalize in:
    - problem-solving - short term and long term strategies
    - “stopping to think” - steps toward “being careful”
• Provide cooperative learning activities
• Accommodate the individual learning style while trying to develop additional learning skills
• Break down tasks into sub tasks and sub skills
• Arrange tasks hierarchically
• Use performance incentives
• Use orienting procedures (e.g. recalling learning by pictures or key words)
• Teach compensatory strategies (e.g. calculator skills, keyboarding, spell check, mnemonic devices,
verbal rehearsal and self-testing,)
• Devote adequate time in class to teaching basic skills:
    - Note-taking - Attacking problems in an orderly manner
    - Listening - Time-management
    - Test-taking - Developing the habit of asking questions when unsure of the next step
    (“Where do I begin? Where do I go from here? What should I try next?”)
• Provide regular measurement of performance
• Inform students of their progress, frequently.

Oak Creek Ranch School utilizes a 'block schedule' that limits the number of core classes a student takes each term but allows the student to earn eight full credits per nine month school year. Instead of feeling 'constantly overwhelmed,' our students begin to feel capable and confident in their academic abilities. Both comprehension and retention dramatically improve. Teens who were previously falling behind in their studies now earn A's and B's, often for the first time. Students can also make up credits previously lost so they can graduate on time.

Our faculty understands that students have different learning styles. Therefore our program accommodates auditory, visual and tactile/kinesthetic learners. Many of our ADD or ADHD students are primarily kinesthetic learners. Tactile/Kinesthetic persons learn best through engaging in activities that allow them to explore the physical world around them. Typically these students find it hard to sit still for long periods and may become distracted by their need for activity and exploration. Therefore, we incorporate 'mini classes' into our curriculum or 'electives' that students select themselves. Mini classes include various sports, arts & crafts, marketing, chess, leathercraft, community service, guitar, digital photography, construction, and yearbook development courses.

Extra help periods are held during the lunch hour Monday through Friday and are assigned by teachers on an 'as-needed' basis. Students may report to teachers during their extra help period to request additional help with any subject. In addition our computer lab is available for students to research, study and prepare homework assignments.

During the first semester, Junior and Senior students are required to complete a class project under the supervision of a faculty advisor. Students are required to research and present post high school plans. Students investigate their goals and interests, receive SAT and ACT preparation, and also learn about real-life issues such as banking, investments, savings, budgeting, applying for jobs, and completing college applications. All students must give an oral presentation to their peers and faculty advisors as well as communicate their plans to their parents.

The Stanford 10's are given to all students during the fall and spring semesters. Juniors are encouraged to take the PSAT during their first semester. ALL SENIORS take the SAT or ACT.

Please click here for our Academic Guidelines.


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