Academy for Precision Learning
Founded in 2007, APL is an inclusive K-12 school serving students across the autism spectrum along with their typically developing peers in an inclusive, academically challenging and socially vibrant environment.
A TRANSFORMATIVE IMPACT
The mission of APL is to transform childrens’ lives through small daily moments that, taken together, create an unrivaled educational experience that is rigorous and demanding, yet joyful and rewarding. APL’s large team of staff are there to welcome students every morning and see them off each afternoon because we know the power even one “good day” at school can have. At APL, students can be themselves, however that may manifest, and be accepted and loved by their peers and teachers. At the same time, we give students a safe and warm foundation from which to spring out and challenge themselves, to test and stretch their limits, to exceed expectations.
APL'S DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION STATEMENT
"Diversity - The art of thinking independently together” - Malcolm Forbes
The Academy for Precision Learning is an educational community of diverse staff and families. We believe in fostering an environment where critical thinking is our greatest asset to engaging children, where all ideas are welcome, and where staff and students feel empowered to discuss Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI).
APL sees itself as an ally in the community. We are committed to engaging students, staff, and families in DEI work. We encourage everyone to educate themselves, be present in uncomfortable conversations, and be courageous around the work of DEI.
With our students, we use curriculum that celebrates the voices of those who are often marginalized, and challenges students to see themselves as agents of change.
With our staff, we make space for DEI work in three key ways. First, our DEI committee plans professional development. Second, we facilitate affinity groups led by staff. Third, we have active speakers from the community for staff events. In 2021, we are partnering with speaker and author, Ayana King of Maximum Communications, to hold a four-part workshop series around Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for all staff.
With our families, we invite participation in classrooms to share experiences and learn alongside students. Not only do we listen to families when they have feedback and potential ideas for the DEI work we are doing at school, we also invite families to the table to share and discuss their experiences with students, staff, and leadership throughout the year.
We strive to have our community members take part in the hard work and conversations and use what they have learned out into the world to make a positive change.
Academy for Precision Learning is a part of the Northwest Association of Independent Schools
A UNIQUE MODEL
Every “small moment” is achieved through intensive and exhaustive planning and preparation by our professional staff. All children are welcomed as equal participants in the classroom and encouraged as members of their peer group. Then, teachers engage students in lessons that are either created from scratch or adapted from a curriculum to be both accessible and meaningful. Finally, teachers measure progress in an individualized manner so that every student’s performance is given worthwhile context in their overall progress as a learner. In this way, students with autism, ADHD, anxiety, learning disabilities, students who are highly achieving, and students with no diagnosis at all can participate together in their home classroom. This is how we define and enact inclusion in our school – not after the fact, but instead by creating it from the ground up, as classrooms and lessons are being developed in the first place.
*Some students with autism may require additional services from our embedded ABA clinic in order to best succeed in their classroom – find out more here
We place a high priority on parent involvement, not only in their child’s educational experience, but also in the school community as a whole. Parents participate in frequent meetings with their classroom team, and are also invited to participate in individualized onsite parent training. When their child reaches ninth grade in our program, they become integral team members in their child’s student centered planning process, detailing goals for their high school and postsecondary experiences and measurable steps to get there. For the first time in many parents’ lives, they are enmeshed in an environment where people understand them, their children and the extraordinary challenges they face on a day to day basis. One of the most salient experiences for parents is meeting other families from the school and developing relationships that range from facilitating playdates for their children to participating in parent council events and other school community volunteer activities together.
BEYOND OUR WALLS
The APL Community doesn’t exist only within the University Heights Community Center building rooms assigned to us. We partner with other UHCC tenants, including Broadway Bound Children’s Theatre and Defensive Driving. Our urban location allows walkability to several concentric partners, including local organizations like the YMCA and the University of Washington as well as businesses like Full Tilt, Safeway, and Starbucks. Student life at APL is rich and varied, including school dances, overnight camps, science fairs, Experiential Learning Week (ELW), and frequent field trips. When students graduate, they may stay relatively close by and attend local transition programs or colleges, but we’ve also had graduates who travel far and wide to attend their post-APL “best fit” program or university out of state. The common thread that unites all our students and families, however, is APL’s legacy of an effortful and purposeful inclusive community – and that doesn’t stop after grade twelve.
Limited spots remain available in APL’s K-12 classrooms for the upcoming school year.
If you are interested in attending and have questions, please contact us to begin the admissions process at firstname.lastname@example.org