As students transition from online to in person classroom learning, Gateway Academy faculty is ready to assist many autistic students who are re-learning socialization skills lost when the pandemic forced schools closed.
Gateway Academy, descrubed as the “Valley’s top school serving twice-exceptional students (academically capable and diagnosed with a level 1 Autism Spectrum Disorder),” spent the summer preparing to welcome back its students with an emphasis on restoring critical and needed socialization skills, according to a press release, noting faculty returned on July 6.
When schools were ordered closed because of COVID last year, the release said Gateway was prepared as it had recently invested in remote learning technology and a new curriculum with an online component.
And while those innovations were critical in addressing academic progress, they could not replace an in person environment needed to attain and advance socialization skills that often elude autistic students.
“While mandatory school closures and on screen learning were needed to slow the spread of COVID, the unfortunate side effect for autistic students was the loss of some important socialization skills. We are eager to serve new students and welcome back our current students so they can recover, regain skills, and thrive,” said O. Robin Sweet, Gateway Academy’s executive director/CEO, in a prepared stateament.
Gateway helps students overcome challenges using various strategies including:
“COVID challenged us all. Prolonged isolation can often exacerbate the challenges faced by students with autism. It’s tragic but not permanent. We are eager and ready to get these students back on track,” said Gateway Director of Education Chris Perea in a prepared statement.
“Our school has twin missions, giving students the academic skills to achieve their collegiate and career goals, and giving them the social skills to lead fulfilling and complete lives. We refuse to let the effects of the pandemic stand in the way of either.”
Gateway Academy, established in 2005, offers a private education for students, in sixth through 12th grade, with a diagnosis of a Level 1 Autism Spectrum Disorder. The school operates a year-round program July through May of each year, and enrollments are accepted throughout the year.
For more information about call 480-998-1071; or see Academy gatewayacademy.us.