Our Academy 
Description of Services

Downing Clark Academy is a residential Private School approved by the Georgia Department of Education – Special Education Programs for Students with Disabilities. Downing Clark Academy complies with all Federal and State requirements of the individualized educational program (IEP) developed for students placed in the program by a local school system. Downing Clark Academy is a 12-month school program for young girls ages 6-17 who suffer from serious emotional, behavioral, and mental challenges.

The Academy utilizes the state’s approved “Georgia Performance Standards (GPS)” guide designed to ensure a basic quality education for each regular education youth in the instructional areas of Reading, English, Mathematics, Social Studies, Science, Fine Arts, Foreign Language, health and Physical Education. The education curriculum at the Academy is based on each student’s individual needs and goals for transition. The school program is subdivided into the following three components to best meet the academic, social, and transition needs of each student:
  1. High School Diploma Track: A curriculum based on the quality core curriculum for grades 9-12. Students receive academic instruction commensurate with state and county guidelines; including elective courses.
  2. General Equivalency Diploma (GED) Track: Along with courses designed to meet academic and functional needs, students receive preparation and practice for taking the GED test. Specific study skills and course guidelines are used.
  3. Functional Learning Track: Students are provided with content area course work that has been modified and adapted to meet specific remedial and prevocational skill needs. Students are afforded the opportunity to work on academic skills at their current level of functioning while gaining skills necessary for transition.
Downing Clark Academy does not discriminate in the enrollment of students on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or disability except as is related to the appropriateness of the program for a student with a particular disability.

Ancillary/Therapy Services are provided for students with disabilities who need them to improve and maximize their level of functioning. Within 14 days of enrollment, the School Psychologist (or designee) will conduct a psycho-educational evaluation. The School Psychologist (or designee) will write a psycho-educational report that combines information obtained through record review, current assessment results, teacher interviews, and clinical findings. A Functional Behavioral Assessment is performed on each student in order to identify the purpose or function of specific, problematic behaviors and to assist teachers and the multi-disciplinary team in selecting positive, appropriate and effective interventions. The students’ teachers and IEP teams will analyze the information collected and develop a plan for behavior improvement.

Upon enrollment, the special education student’s educational records will be reviewed
and attempts to locate and obtain the most current IEP will be documented. This process of developing the IEP is integral to fulfill our legal obligation to provide an effective and appropriate education for all special education eligible students and to allow student to experience success both in the classroom and in the community.

To provide students with the opportunity to interact in the community and contribute positively to the community, the students’ primary teacher is responsible for identifying and securing community volunteer service experiences for her student caseload. Each primary teacher shall complete at least two community service projects within the course of on academic school year. The primary teacher involves the students in the planning, preparation, and delivery of the community service project to the greatest extent possible. Educational Field Trips are also provided to students at the Academy. An “educational field trip” is defined as an off-campus trip during school hours that involve specific educational goals based and related to the teacher’s class content area.

Teacher Certification:
 
The teaching personnel of the Downing Clark Academy shall comply with certification standards established by the Georgia Department of Education.
 
Pre-Vocational and Vocational Training:
 
Downing Clark Academy offers students the opportunity to explore the world of work through on-campus job training programs or work sites. Through these “real life” work settings such as cosmetology and commercial laundry each student experiences positive management skills, social skills, employable skills, and job/task specific skills, etc. these job training classes and work sites provide students with an opportunity for career exploration and entry-level job experiences. Downing Clark Academy’s vocational/job training component is critical to preparing students to return to conventional society successfully. In many cases students must be prepared to access employment and live independently upon graduating or transferring from the Downing Clark Academy. All career and technology activities are instructional in nature and do not benefit the Academy nor take the place of an existing or needed employee.

At Downing Clark Academy, the highest quality education program
and services are delivered by dedicated staff in the utmost caring and compassionate way. Education services are designed to foster a brighter future for every student served. The faculty will inspire students in everything they do to maximize her potential – whatever that is. Downing Clark Academy faculty will carry on the philosophy of a positive treatment and academic experience “where HOPE is restored and lives are transformed”. We believe every human being has a value and a purpose in life!
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“There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.”  -Proverbs 23:18
 
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Downing Clark HOPE Center & Academy, Inc.  |  P. O. Box 2069  |  Adairsville, GA 30103  |  Phone: 770.595.9595