Written by Program Teacher, Tyson Schoeber • Last Updated: 08-07-2014
The THRIVE Program at Nootka School offers help and encouragement to kids with dyslexia (and related learning disabilities) who've had a hard time in regular classrooms. We get to know the talents and interests of every one of our students and seek to build an individualized learning program that matches their needs.
THRIVE enrolls only fifteen students at a time — about half the number in today's typical classes! That fact enables us to provide kids with much more individualized attention than they could ever get in the mainstream. As a result, we are able to involve them in program planning in a very deep way, even writing their IEPs in language that they can read and understand!
We seek to align what we do with the latest research and employ a variety of strategies inspired by the Orton-Gillingham, multi-sensory approach to learning. Our highest priorities center on helping our students to develop the academic skills, attitudes, and confidence they'll need to return to the mainstream in high school — and to find success in life!
To that end, we work closely with the families of our students to ensure that every child makes continuous progress and feels successful in school. We also make extensive efforts to help families understand and feel connected to what we're doing in class. We even let parents decide how much (and what kind of) homework is right for their child!
In addition, THRIVE seeks to empower kids by teaching them to use many different kinds of technology to help them learn and achieve. Our students get lots of hands-on experience with some of the latest Mac computers, a big-screen projector, a high-definition video camera, and the Internet. (THRIVE kids have even won several awards in recent years for their work in creating short documentary films about local environmental stories!)
Although THRIVE includes students from many different parts of the city, we are well-connected to the wider community in and around Nootka. We participate in all whole-school activities and our students get to know kids in other classes, too. Indeed, we credit an important part of our success to the strong support we have received from the administration, staff and PAC at this school.
Our doors are always open, we welcome visitors, and we share all of the resources we create with anyone who can use them — for free.
In short, THRIVE is about building skills and hope.