Research & Methods

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Research & Methods

There is a reason that the classrooms at Uinta don’t look like the traditional classroom. Our Academic curriculum and school setup is based on the doctoral research of our Academic Director, Dr. Valarie Giacalone, whose focus was helping children succeed in the classroom. Her thoughtful approach to addressing the educational needs of students in treatment led her to incorporate evidence based methods into the curriculum and instruction at Uinta. The largest educational study ever conducted, Project Follow Through, showed that evidence based methods were more effective in increasing academic achievement than other methods, including traditional school programs and student-centered models. Some of the evidence based methods used in our classes include

  • Arranging and relating, identifying similarities and differences
  • Cues, questions, advance organizers, chapter outlines and key words
  • Corrective feedback and positive reinforcement
  • Continuous assessment
  • Mastery criteria
  • Peer partnering
  • Keeping learners successful
  • Repeatable opportunities
  • Graded work with teacher comments
  • Parent/adult involvement (This is why our direct care staff are in each classroom.)

The individualized instruction provided by teachers allows them to identify the skills needed by each student and to modify their approach as needed. The teachers can also provide special accommodations (extended time, quiz preview, use of note cards, one-on-one instruction) when necessary. As a result, we see the academic achievement of our students greatly improve, including an average grade point increase of 1.8 points (D to B-).

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Uinta Academy is where I would send my own daughter if she needed treatment.

Educational Consultant