College Preparatory Academics
Monarch School challenges our students with a rigorous college preparatory curriculum. We believe all students can fulfill their true academic potential when provided with the right environment and support. Students work with teachers trained to meet each student at his or her level of ability and to challenge that student to excel. Although we believe college is a natural next step for all of our students, we nourish lifelong learners who are open to new educational experiences wherever and whenever encountered.
Monarch School’s academics run year-round, and the block system accelerates the speed at which students earn credit. Students take classes in four core subjects (for example, Social Studies, English, Science, Foreign Language, and Math), two creative arts classes, one elective class, and one vocational studies class. For each 14-week class, students receive a semester’s worth of credit. This pace allows students to earn one and a half years of high school credit in as little as twelve to fifteen months.
Our goal for our students is college matriculation and success in college coursework. In order for our students to achieve their goals, we must first help them gain confidence in their abilities. We nurture this confidence by providing an intimate and supportive learning environment. Our class sizes average between five and eight students, which allows teachers to offer highly individualized attention and to form relationships with every student. This level of teacher-student engagement empowers our students to meet the demands of our rigorous college-preparatory curriculum. Students experience the sustained success that inspires continued investment. End of semester report cards, weekly progress reports by teachers and scheduled conferences with the Academic Director allow families to keep abreast of their child’s progress.
In a student’s first block at Monarch School, he or she participates in Orientation, a class that introduces a new student to Monarch’s culture as well as fosters the study skills necessary for academic success. Given the importance of executive functioning skills for today’s students, orientation class offers a forum for students to adjust to their new surroundings with support in organization, time management, collaborative problem solving, and prioritization. Instructors use this class to assess a student’s unique learning interests and needs as he or she earns initial Monarch School credit.
We at Monarch School believe the relationship between students and teachers should develop into a personal one. To that end, teachers contribute to all aspects of the Monarch program: They eat meals with students, participate in the emotional growth program, attend group therapy sessions, take part in vocational crews, and participate in all student activities on and off campus. Teachers are also regularly available outside of the classroom to provide students with extra academic support. This involvement allows teachers and students to form meaningful relationships based on mutual trust and awareness.
After a student graduates from Monarch School program, he/she may need some extra time to finish up high school. The Extended Studies program allows our students to complete their high school education while remaining at Monarch School with the support from the teachers with whom they are familiar and within an environment they feel supported. The Extended Studies students live in the dorms and attend group once a week. Students work or volunteer in town. Extended Studies students have access to their cell phones, iPods and laptops. We also encourage students to explore the surrounding area, whether that be going to movies, skiing, hiking or just hanging out in a café. Students simply check out with a faculty member to let them know where they are going and when they will be back. This program is designed to give senior high school students a more traditional school environment. Click here to read testimonies from Monarch School Extended Studies students.
~ Click here for an example Weekly Schedule at Monarch School