At BSA, we adapt our teaching methods to meet students’ needs and learning styles. Faculty and students blaze their trail together, moving forward in tandem through hard work, passion and commitment to learning. We don’t expect students to perform in a pre-determined manner. Rather, we pay attention to students’ interests and preferences and build on their strengths. We’ve found that a strength-based model gives students the confidence to take risks, try new tasks and accomplish challenging goals.
The BSA Model
BSA is a transition school. Everything we do is designed to prepare our students for productivity and independence. By focusing on life-long planning for students, we ensure that students continue to learn and grow toward independent adulthood. The BSA Model incorporates selected practices from evidence-based models, such as Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), Developmental Individual Difference Relationship-based principles (DIR) and Structured Teaching from TEACCH as the foundation for individualized programs.
The BSA Model supports students with sensory, cognitive and behavioral differences while building skills for long-term success. Every lesson – whether in academics, sports or even lunch – includes objectives related to social interaction, communication, executive functioning, self-regulation of behavior, information processing, academics and everyday living skills.
BSA offers two curriculum paths: a college and career readiness Diploma Pathway, aligned with Florida Department of Education standards, as well as a Skills and Achievement Pathway. There is opportunity for movement between these pathways, allowing students to receive intensive support where needed. Both pathways provide career exploration and community internship opportunities. The Diploma Path curriculum leads to a high school diploma; the Skills and Achievement Program concludes with a BSA Commencement Credential.
Educational tasks are differentiated and scaffolded to enable students to enter activities at their level. Goals are accomplished through real-life activities and experiences related to students’ interests and needs. Assistive technology supports students by providing varied avenues for information presentation, acquisition, task completion and expression of knowledge.
Academics vary depending on the program in which the student is enrolled. All programs include academic learning in language arts, math, science and social studies.
Adapted physical education (PE) is included in the curriculum for all students and focuses on physical fitness, sports and motor skills. PE offers activities that are fun and cognitively stimulating while teaching students to take turns, participate in group games, and improve their stamina, endurance, balance, strength, and coordination. PE can increase physical independence and promote a healthy lifestyle.
In addition to core academic classes, our students choose from a variety of extracurricular classes and clubs. Students benefit from daily living skills classes, music education and therapy, art education and therapy, and more.
Extraordinary personal attention is available with a 3:1 student-to-staff ratio, with six students per class. In other words, at a minimum, every classroom of six students has a master-level teacher and an assistant teacher or teaching assistant. Often the ratio is higher when clinicians and content specialists are in classrooms. Our faculty is highly qualified with criteria that exceeds state requirements.