Imago Dei School-Upper School
The Imago Dei School is committed to providing a supportive environment in which students with learning and developmental disabilities can develop intellectual, academic, spiritual, social, emotional and vocational skills. The Imago Dei faculty strives to assist each student to successfully access the rich variety of learning opportunities provided by Trinity and Imago Dei School courses, therapies and extra-curricular activities. Although we are an academic program, as students move throughout their Upper School years they will have increasing opportunities to explore vocational opportunities in our community. The Imago Dei School supports students’ efforts to become self-aware, self-advocating, strategic learners, reaching their potential to fulfill God’s unique purpose in their life.
Through daily devotions the curriculum will focus on the recitation of scripture and the application of Biblical principals into every day life. Additionally, Biblical principals are woven throughout the study of other courses such as History and Science.
This program offers a complete course in the fundamentals of writing. It begins with thorough instruction in the writing process, which serves as a springboard for learning how to write across domains. Some writing styles covered are essays, reports, poetry, persuasive writing and writing for job applications. The rules of spelling and vocabulary instruction are also reinforced throughout this course.
Imago Dei students will participate with their Trinity peers in general education electives. The IDS Principal and Upper School Principal will consult to find the best fit for IDS students with the support of Peer Mentors.
Group Educational Therapy
In order to develop successful, independent learners, Group Educational Therapy focuses on developing four key components – cognition, perception, academics and emotions. The focus of the individualized intervention is to strengthen the underlying causes of learning difficulties rather than simply treating the symptoms, which is what tutoring does. Educational therapy is a true therapy in that it aims the intervention just above the student’s level of functioning and raises expectations for performance.
Students in Group Educational Therapy receive small group intensive intervention. These sessions include a variety of techniques designed to address students’ specific areas of difficulty and to improve their overall ability to think, reason and process information. Techniques emphasize basic skill areas such as reading, writing, spelling and grammar, and applying reasoning skills within each area.
Students work with an educational therapist who is trained specifically in mediated learning and educational therapy strategies, primarily employing methodologies from the National Institute for Learning Development and Feuerstein’s Instrumental Enrichment.
Introduction to Careers/Community Based Instruction
A Careers unit will explore 21st-century career clusters. Paired with community based outings, this introductory course is designed to engage the student’s interest and excite them about the vocational opportunities available to them in the future.
Science courses begin with an introduction to the main themes of science and the scientific method. Courses move through Earth, Life, Physical and Biological sciences utilizing an interactive curriculum designed to stimulate curiosity and build a fundamental understanding of the scientific world as the Lord created it. Science, like all subjects, is taught through the lens of a Christian worldview.
Literature choices are designed to complement the classical nature of the student’s education. Designed to pair as closely as possible with the general education curriculum, most books are selected in abridged or “retold” versions to support the Imago Dei student’s reading level. Whenever possible, students join their general education peers for socratic discussion of the text. Additionally, the understanding of literature is supported by the use of dramatic interpretation, socratic discussion, and comprehension assessment. Reading fluency is also reinforced through the use of daily fluency practice using high interest accessible materials.
(Students will be placed at the discretion of the IDS Principal)
Individualized Math Instruction: placement at the student’s current level of achievement.
Math is taught in centers to challenge the students at their individualized math level while supporting their skill deficit areas. Students receive individualized lessons, rotate through math fluency and real life money skill stations, and have time to work independently.
The learning of appropriate social skills by students with developmental and learning disabilities provides the basis for their independence in educational, community, church, domestic and vocational settings. Success in life depends not only upon our skills and abilities but upon how well we relate to our peers, teachers, families, and to the community a large. Instruction will be focused on specific areas such as appropriate peer conversation, developing and maintaining healthy relationships, managing emotions, leisure skills, and problem solving.
World History and Geography
This course is designed to help students see the relevance of world history in their lives with stories of the world’s people, from the beginning of time to the modern day. Students will explore major historical, cultural, and geographical features of the world. The timeline of history will culminate with instruction in American History and Government. At the same time, students will continue to develop their skills in critical thinking, reading, writing, socratic discussion and INB note taking and organization. Historical events will be discussed through a Christian world view.