All Kinds of News for March 08, 2017
One of the things that makes Summit Achievement unique is the addition of teachers to the hybrid wilderness model. We believe the academic setting is as challenging, or even more challenging than the wilderness, and it is an integral part of both assessment and treatment. Our teachers are in the classroom with students 3 days per week, working on skills and helping students succeed. Teachers are part of the treatment team, adding their insight and expertise. They are able to witness how students are functioning in the classroom, and constantly communicate that information back to therapists and program staff. The classroom allows students the chance to practice the skills they are leaning and results in an easier transition back to a traditional school environment. Dynamic, thoughtful teachers are instrumental, and we are thrilled to have them on our team!
Teacher Spotlight: Reilly Shea
Reilly worked as a behavioral health professional and a special education teacher at a middle school prior to coming to Summit. She notes that all of her work experiences have revolved around helping children and young adults reach their fullest academic potential by building confidence in areas of strength and an understanding of areas that will require additional perseverance.
How do you find students benefit from the unique Summit model?
“I feel like this comes down to one word- flexibility. Due to our small program size, our ability to individualize for each student provides them with exactly the level of support they need. For some students, this is minimal - they are able to find success with limited support and move through their courses at a pace that is comfortable to them, often more accelerated than they were previously allowed. For others, each assignment is reviewed with a teacher, each quiz question is read aloud, and additional material is provided as needed. As teachers, we meet daily to discuss best practice with each student and to share our challenges and successes. This is unique and beneficial for students because as educators we are constantly reflecting on how to best meet the needs of each student.”
What has been your favorite moment teaching at Summit?
“I can't identify one specific favorite moment teaching at Summit. What I can identify is with each student there comes a time where they have a personal breakthrough. A student who was previously too anxious to make it to school walks through the door laughing, gets their work out, advocates for their needs. A student who has social challenges finds the confidence to make a joke - and everyone laughs. A student who never read for fun finishes a free-choice book for the first time. Being a part of these life-changing moments so often is incredibly rewarding.”
What do you feel are some of the keys to helping a student find success in the classroom?
“Our setting mimics a larger setting with separate classrooms and teachers for different subjects, but on a much smaller scale. We're able to spend a good amount of time observing students, pointing out to them some of the coping skills that they're already using, and supporting them in trying new strategies in finding academic success.”About Summit Achievement
Summit Achievement is, and always has been, guided by positive reinforcement and the power of choice. Our outcome-focused program employs effective therapeutic and educational principals. Through the process of engaging therapy, classroom academics and exciting wilderness expeditions, students experience the therapeutic benefits of outdoor adventure-based activities while learning to manage the demands of a more traditional environment. As an intentionally small, owner-operated wilderness therapy program, we serve adolescent boys and girls, ages 13-20, from around the world.