Empowering students with language-based learning differences
Northern Virginia | Academics
The Siena School maintains high academic standards and learning expectations for all our students. Using the Common Core Standards and National Standards as the framework for our academic program, we emphasize individualized instruction.
Study skills and organization techniques are embedded throughout the curriculum areas:
Siena is known for teaching literacy by providing individualized reading/language work through daily reading classes offering explicit, systematic instruction in the five essential skills identified by the National Reading Panel: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Manipulatives, learning software, and hands-on activities direct and inspire exploration of language skills. English and reading are separate courses, which is key to developing strong writing skills and enthusiastic readers.
Due to reduced fluency, students are not yet able to fully dedicate their attention to the meaning of the text. Reading classes include targeted work on reading rate, accuracy, expression, and phrasing.
Through individualized, multisensory instruction, students develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills and acquire the tools and strategies needed to become successful and independent learners. Teaching is research-based and guided by best practice.
Study skills and organizational techniques are embedded throughout the curriculum. Students engage daily in movement-based learning, and in addition to academics explore their strength areas in art, band, chorus, drama, music, and technology.
Siena provides first-hand experiences to make learning come alive. Each field trip directly enhances the classroom curriculum. Through active participation and experiential learning, our students are given an ideal learning environment for inquiry and discovery. Hands-on learning or learning by doing is one of the most powerful tools for our students, and we must provide the means for the students to access the curriculum through their senses.
Technology is integrated into classroom learning. It is used to enhance and deepen the learning process. Technology is used routinely and is very transparent in each classroom as support for curriculum goals. Classes utilize both hardware and software to assist and accommodate each student's learning.