Core values that guide the Academy

  • Individualized and student centered: Activities and services need to be flexible and based upon the unique transition needs of each student. Student choice and self advocacy are critical elements to successful transition.
  • Community based and inclusive: Students will participate in planning, activities, and services that promote membership and active participation in local communities. Local communities become the classrooms for instruction.
  • Collaborative: Transition is a shared responsibility. Schools, students, families, and agencies need to work together for effective transition outcomes.
  • Parent (family) sensitive: Schools and adult systems should consciously listen to student and family values, dreams, and choices. Parents need early and ongoing information, education, and support as they learn about, negotiate, and engage both the school and adult service systems.
  • Longitudinal: Transition planning and preparation is a long term process, not simply a moment in time. It is a process that should begin well before students enter the Academy.
  • Reasonable Risk: There is a dignity which comes from experiencing risk. Students will be encouraged to take reasonable risks within the context of their community activities. This will include the systematic fading of direct staff support in work and other community activities (including walking, riding Metro, etc.). It will also include the learning opportunity associated with the “law of natural consequences.” We will try our best not to “bail students out” of difficult situations.
  • Age appropriateness: We encourage age appropriate behavior, activities, dress, etc.
  • Law of Natural Consequences: "Yes. You get wet in a rainstorm without a jacket."
  • Law of Natural Proportion: We try to venture out into the community as individuals, pairs, or small groups.
  • Effective (outcome based): Activities, experiences, and services should lead to tangible and valued transition outcomes that can be measured. The key outcome is a schedule of meaningful community based activities.