Austen-Coley Academy was created with the dyslexic child in mind. Our entire curriculum has been designed to best reach students with dyslexia and its related learning differences. We understand that dyslexic students typically learn on two levels. Although they struggle with reading and language, they often excel in other subjects. With our small class sizes, each of our teachers is able to instruct her students to meet both levels while targeting the learning difference and developing their gifts.

Repetition is a powerful tool in remediating dyslexia. It may take a dyslexic child hundreds of exposures to the same concept before truly mastering it to successfully move forward. Typical classroom settings do not allow for this intense repetition. Our teachers have years of experience in incorporating each mastered concept to the next lesson so that students are continuously re-introduced to a concept, shown how to bring it forward and apply it to new areas of learning to promote optimal retention.

Multi-sensory teaching is another critical component of teaching to a learning different child. Multi-sensory or Kinesthetic teaching is a type of teaching in which students are not simply lectured to or shown demonstrations but are allowed to use their tactile sense in touching, feeling and performing physical activities to master the lesson. Dyslexic learners have true processing disabilities, and reaching them through traditional methods of auditory and visual teaching is simply not sufficient.

A structured environment is certainly an important part of any school, but that is doubly true of a child with learning disabilities. They must re-learn how to learn. It's imperative they know what to expect and have a clear expectation of the learning process. While it is necessary for the individual classroom to run by a consistent routine, moving from one grade level to the next must also be a flawless transition in which the main techniques and principles do not change. Only the intensity of the subject matter changes.

Although most schools are not set up in a way to teach in this manner, Austen-Coley Academy has carefully chosen each subject's content with these core principles as the primary consideration for each subject. Our curriculum is based on the TEKS for grade level subject matter content, while being taught with a simultaneous, multisensory, structured approach that is taught every day for every single subject — not as once-a-week tutoring or pull out program.

Math, Language, Writing, Reading, Spelling, Science, and Social Studies will all be included in the home room classes between the hours of 8:30 to 12:30, with Art, Music, P.E., Computer, and Bible being taught in the afternoons.

Student assessment is a necessary part of learning so that teachers may determine if each child is mastering what is being taught. Austen-Coley Academy will perform assessment testing on every student at the beginning and end of each year to determine their progress. There will be four scheduled parent/teacher conferences throughout the school year to further evaluate each child.

So that students and parents may have a concrete gauge of student progress, students will receive report cards at the end of each six week period. Austen-Coley Academy will be using a lettering system as follows: E (excellent), G (good), S (satisfactory) and N (needs improvement). We will include specific skills components mastered as well as behavioral goals. Behavioral goals include such criteria as age-level attention, organizational skills and social skills. It will be student assessment testing, report cards and teacher feedback that will determine grade placement for the subsequent school year.