As more families and education professionals come to know about The YMCA Academy, I am increasingly asked the question: “How did The Academy come to be?” This is a question that I have answered in several ways – most recently in an interview with the amazing Sara Winter from Squag — a curated, online experience for kids on the autism spectrum! (read it here).
Every bit of what we do at The Academy is absolutely intentional. From the constructivist-based pedagogy, to the experiential opportunities we provide, to the use of a variety of assistive technologies, to the sizes of the classrooms and the physical layout of the school, everything is done with an unswerving eye toward better serving a wide variety of learning styles and challenges.
At the same time, there is something serendipitous about the coming together of such an amazing staff – who share an unending passion and energy for serving our students! And it’s the mixture of intentionality and serendipity that underlies an aspect of the learning culture we wish to create here. We are intentional in how we serve students who learn differently – teach a person how to learn, and they’re immediately hungry to learn more. That allows students to be open to surprises, to the serendipitous, as founding teacher of The Academy, Peter Skillin, puts it in his blog, “so that beneficial communications and connections are more likely to occur.”
In short, we intentionally enable our students to experience the delightful coincidences in life!
Don Adams, Head of School