Rose Academy: A school of experiential learning

John Christensen The Chronicle-Express
Dr. Lorraine Williams, founder of Rose Academy.

Dundee resident Lorraine Williams PhD. is the administrator and founder of Rose Academy, a new, private school for special education.

Rose Academy will serve all districts within a 25-mile radius of the Geneva campus as an Approved NYS Special Education Provider for students classified with GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder), ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), Asperger's Syndrome, Emotional Disturbance, fear of failure, Perfectionism, Selective Mutism, and other special needs involving high levels of anxiety.

Williams writes: "Rose Academy enables students to learn in a natural environment that embraces abilities and conquers fears. Our school will encourage students to work with community resources, parents, faculty and staff support to practice real-world challenging situations through problem solving and decision making processes. The focus will be positive and learner-ability based to facilitate growth, self-reliance, confidence and independence. Differences will be celebrated and a greater awareness of citizenship of the world and the societal responsibilities and rights it beholds will be explored. We will provide experiential education in the real world for the real-world experience to approach life without fear."

Rose Academy will provide student-centered learning for grades 1-5 for a maximum of 32 students, and with an emphasis on first building relationships and trust between students, teachers, and staff. Williams named the school after her grandmother, who inspired William's with her devotion to a family friend, Caroline, who lived at the Rochester Psychiatric Center, but was included in all family functions and holidays. She was further motivated by members of her own family who are autistic or cope with anxiety issues.

Some key facts of Rose Academy:

• Experiential, inquiry-based learning

• NYS Common Core Standards

• Daily living skills in school and community

• Student, teacher & assistant ratio of 8:1:1

• Secured building at all times

• IEP updates and goals

• All faculty trained and NYSED certified

According to information provided by Williams, all faculty have experience and are trained in current theory and research concerning best practices for children with anxiety disorders, including methods of choice theory, experiential learning, the nurtured heart approach, functional behavioral assessment, behavior intervention plan, applied behavioral analysis, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech, meditation and therapeutic crisis intervention.

The curriculum will follow the Common Core and New York State Learning Standards for guidance. The subjects will include: Reading, Writing, Mathematics, Social Studies, Science, Music, Visual Arts, Health and Physical Education. Grading will be based on portfolio assessments to track achievement of educational outcomes and I.E.P. goal progress. Homework will be given at the discretion of each teacher. Reports will be shared with parents on a quarterly basis, and two parent-teacher conferences will be held each school year. Additional conferences will be held at the discretion of the parent and teacher.

Rose Academy is housed on the second floor of the former Border City Elementary School in Geneva. The building is owned by First Love Church of God's Revealed Truth. Students will be supervised by staff at all times. They will be escorted by staff to the bathroom, drinking fountain, gymnasium, cafeteria, and all other locations. A security guard will be on campus during school hours.

Williams asserts that discipline will be immediate, consistent, fair, and easily understood. "Small problems will be handled in the classroom to allow the student to learn how to best deal with their problems." Teachers will communicate with the student, parents/guardians, principal, and other teachers regarding student disciplinary problems in order to ensure improvement in student behavioral learning.

All students will wear the school uniform; a Rose Academy shirt and a pair of khaki, black, or navy slacks. Girls may wear a skirt with the school shirt. Two school shirts will be provided with access to purchase more. Casual dress will be allowed on Fridays.

If you are interested in your child attending Rose Academy, you must request placement at your child's CSE meeting at their school. Contact the school's principal for further information.Your student must be referred to Rose Academy by your home school district's Special Education Department. Tuition will be paid by the home school district.

Rose Academy

125 Border City Road

Geneva, NY 14456


Rose Academy