Grades 9 - 12
While designing and creating the high school component of SEA Academy, a lot of thought and consideration was given to how we could make it the most meaningful for our students and their families. It would have been easy to create a curriculum with requirements similar to public school, but we wanted to use these 4-6 critical years to make ensure our students develop the skills necessary to not only attend college (if they want), but to be successful in all areas of their lives (personal, vocational, etc.). This is not an easy task! Our team at OASIS NC ended up creating multiple different high school programs in order to meet the unique needs of young adults with autism:
- Core Curriculum: For students on/above grade level.
- Adapted Core Curriculum: For students 1-2 grade levels behind.
- Functional Studies: For students 3+ grade levels behind OR students that have completed their senior year and need an additional year or two before college/full time employment.
- Dual Enrollment: For students completing their high school requirements and also able to enroll in a class or two at Cape Fear Community College.
Each program provides enough credits to receive a diploma. However, this is NOT a university-ready diploma. Students wishing to attend a university will need to attend two years of Community College before applying to a university.
In addition to a high school diploma, it is our goal is to provide all of our students with the necessary skills they need to live independently, find and maintain employment, and develop healthy relationships. Across settings and situations, our staff promotes opportunities for our students to self-advocate, show initiative, and develop flexibility in their thinking. Through it all, we encourage kindness and cooperation and teach them the value of a sense of humor.
The Core Curriculum is organized into courses that correlate to North Carolina state standards. Students who complete the Core Curriculum will earn a total of 32 credits and a high school diploma. Within the required coursework, students will be exposed to a comprehensive program which will prepare them for their next great adventure in life.
High School at SEA Academy dedicates a block of time each day to direct instruction in social and life skills. Over the course of the 4-6 years, students take classes in Community Prep, Social & Relationships, Technology, Finance and Social Media, Health and Wellness, and Career Prep. Each area is divided into targeted skills our students will need for success as an independent adult.
There is a daily emphasis on writing/keyboarding/editing, reading comprehension using short stories, novels, manuals, drama, poetry, and speeches, and interpersonal communication skills for both classroom and workplace setting.
Teachers focus on targeted vocabulary lessons to build students’ understandings of content-specific words as well as their understanding of nuances of meaning, idioms, and other types of figurative language
Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry are the three math classes required for the Core Curriculum. High school math classes are typically paced based on the students’ individual needs.
Science coursework emphasizes the understanding that science is integral in taking care of the planet and making healthy decisions for ourselves based on research. Students participate in investigations and experiments in the areas of physics, chemistry, biology, and earth science.
In Social Studies, students are learning within many different disciplines: History, economics, geography, law, sociology, and civics. Instruction is centered around the concept of global interconnectedness, participation in debates, and shared inquiry.
Our Adapted Core Curriculum is designed to provide students who need more time to learn goals typically presented in middle school. We continue to provide academic lessons similar to our students who are participating in the Core Curriculum but adjust for length of assignments, level of reading in the content areas, slowing down the pace, and other accommodations a student might need. Typically students complete high school coursework in academics presented at a comprehension level equivalent to 6th through 8th grades. They complete 32 high school credits to earn a diploma which prepares them for employment or for community college.
Coursework for the Adapted Core Curriculum is composed of four years of both Language Arts and Math, History and Civics, Biology and one other science, and our daily Social Skills block. In this course, which is required each semester throughout high school, students learn the skills needed for adult independence, such as Finance, Community Prep, Career Prep, Social & Relationships, and more!
Our team at SEA Academy has designed the Essentials Curriculum to provide a life skills education for students who need functional academics, pragmatic communication support, daily living skills, recreation and leisure skills for future adult life. Academic skills include two years of Language Arts with a focus on reading and comprehending for everyday activities and two years of Math with a focus on personal budgeting and banking. Other coursework includes Career Prep, Community Prep, Health & Wellness, Independent Living, Social & Relationships, and Technology/Social Media. Within the framework of the Essentials Curriculum, students are challenged to self-advocate, communicate, and problem solve. Students earn 32 credits and a high school diploma which has prepared them for employment or community college programming.
This is a big transition time in anyone’s life, but it can be particularly challenging to those with ASD. Fortunately, the amount of options and resources available in our community continues to grow.
SEA Academy diploma -> ACT/SAT OR Placement Test -> Community College Program
ABE Essentials Program: A two year program at Cape Fear Community College designed to offer pathways for success, Career Preparation and College transition. Students will participate in career discovery and choose a career pathway, while continuing to work on their academic skills. Students achieving between the levels of 2nd and 12th grade are eligible.
SEA Academy diploma -> ACT/SAT OR Placement Test -> Community College -> University
SEA Academy diploma -> GED -> University
- Independent Living