Horizon Academy's top accomplishments
from 2015-2016 included:
Horizon Academy's top goals for 2016-2017 are:
Vicki Asher, Head of School:
It is with a growth mindset, that I examine not only Horizon Academy’s strengths, but also the challenges we face. Success comes in many shapes and sizes: a student learning to read her first word; another making his first friend; a high school student applying for his first job while another student learns to manage the phones and office as part of a work-study program to develop transferable, vocational skills. Success and growth occurs among our staff as well as we take on new teaching initiatives to better meet the needs of our students while challenging how we once approached a teaching task.
In addition to the daily successes of our students and staff, Horizon Academy is experiencing growth in enrollment. Our reputation is sound because of the culture we have established as a safe and positive learning environment where our students can succeed. This growth is perpetuated by growing community support due in large part to a strong and supportive Board of Directors and a solid development team, charged with communicating our mission beyond our current reach so that we might meet the needs of more students who struggle with learning differences in a traditional school setting.
Despite our success and our growth, it is still a challenge as we continue to wrestle with the cost of educating a student with a learning disability. How can we reach more children using our approach? How can we work with the public school system to convince them to partner with us so that more students can feel the success as one our student so eloquently expressed, “I feel smart for the first time!”
We want to give children diagnosed with learning disabilities in the Kansas City area an opportunity for the best education they can receive without the interference of a high tuition. We award more than $350,000 in scholarships each school year. Approximately 40% of our students receive an average scholarship of $10,000. The ultimate goal is to be able to provide consistent scholarship opportunities each year to maintain a student body of 80 to 90 students.
Horizon Academy’s vision is to create a community of life-long learners. In its 18th year, Horizon Academy has helped more than 750 students gain strategies in reading, writing, math, and social skills. The third edition of “The State of Learning Disabilities” published by the National Center for Learning Disabilities found that only 68% of students with learning disabilities graduated with a high school diploma, and only 15% of students with learning disabilities took an active leadership role in transition meetings. Alternatively, 100% of seniors at Horizon Academy graduated with a high school diploma and 100% took an active role in their transition planning meetings with surveyed parents and students giving Horizon Academy an average satisfaction score of 9.2 over the last 15 years. Our goal is to continue to empower students to become self-advocates for their educational needs and to continue to collect data from transitioned students who are now entering the workforce.
In the past we have had a student's artwork selected as the
cover for the Journal of Learning Disabilities. In addition, program
success has been viewed by the self esteem demonstrated by students at the annual talent show, regular garage band performances, and the holiday program.
There are quite a few short term achievements that will result from this program. All teachers at Horizon Academy were trained in the Orton-Gillingham Approach, allowing for shared understanding. Many of our students currently being tutored with Orton-Gillingham methods are already seeing an improvement in their handwriting and reading levels. This gives these students a boost in self-esteem and better classroom attitudes toward reading and writing. Finally, Horizon Academy has seen more community recognition as others learn of our Orton-Gillingham training.
Of the 1 in 5 children diagnosed with learning disabilities, 80% have a primary deficit in the area of reading. Two-thirds of secondary students with learning disabilities are three grade levels behind in reading. One of the ultimate changes that will result from the Orton-Gillingham Approach are that students at Horizon Academy with a language-based learning disability will learn to read because of the prescriptive, diagnostic, and structured aspects of the Orton-Gillingham Approach. Along with finally learning to read, students will have better perceptions of themselves and better self-esteem. By training our staff in the Orton-Gillingham Approach, someday we hope to develop a center for training future tutors and teachers in the Orton-Gillingham Approach. This center could also serve as a community resource for other families who cannot fully afford our full-day program. Finally, enrollment will increase at Horizon Academy because we will be an Orton-Gillingham accredited school.
We assess our students’ reading abilities using a standardized test, the Wide Range Achievement Test, twice a year and three times a year with the Accelerated STAR Reading tests. The Gallistel-Ellis test is also used to determine reading levels of a student. In addition, teachers using the Orton-Gillingham Approach are constantly monitoring and assessing daily progress of students. Our teachers being trained in the Orton-Gillingham approach also receive evaluations from a certified Orton-Gillingham trainer.
We have two examples of students with successful results from the Orton-Gillingham approach. A third grade student did not know all of his letters or sounds before attending Horizon Academy. Now, after a few months of teaching with the Orton-Gillingham Approach, he’s reading closed-syllable words and he’s blending sounds to put words together. An eighth grade student went from a third grade reading level to almost a fifth grade reading level in just a few short months!
University of Kansas: Center for Research on Learning; Bishop Miege High School; Junior Master Gardners; St. Agnes Childcare; The Learning Disabilities Association of Kansas; The Learning Disabilities Association of Missouri-Kansas City Affiliate; Council of Exceptional Children-Division of Learning Disabilities; Kansas International Dyslexic Association of Kansas and Northern Missouri; ADHDkc; University of Missouri-Kansas City; The Academy of Orton-Gillingham
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
Greater Kansas City Community Foundation
1055 Broadway Blvd., Suite 130, Kansas City, Missouri 64105
816.842.0944 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact | Privacy/Terms and Conditions