Whole Child Education

The Secrets of Success

True Teaching is Individualized

Joy in the Classroom

The Inner Life

The Starfish Thrower

“This year has been a complete and total turn around from the past. My son is learning, growing, and flourishing, all because of Atlantic Inclusive Academy. Their staff is the best. They make every effort to work with my child. He feels loved and worthwhile. All of the children are happy and smiling. They love their teachers and they love being at school!”

Mother of Male Student, age 10

The keyword in our approach to learning is "INCLUSIVE" because the Academy is for ALL students, those with average intelligence and those with gifted learning potentials, as well those students who may be challenged by developmental, physical, or cognitive issues. Atlantic Inclusive Academy is a completely different kind of school for students grades 1 - 12. Students make their own decisions about how to use their time, and are free to pursue their own interests within the school's supportive environment. In addition, the school is governed democratically.

Students can learn just about anything they want to learn. The possibilities are endless. After setting and meeting their daily goals, individual students are free to discover and pursue whatever really interests them. Some students write novels, produce plays, or study programming. Others spend their time reading or creating art. In short, every student's experience is unique. Yet there are certain things that most students learn in common:

Self-knowledge. Students learn about themselves, for example, what they like to do, and how they can best organize their time to do it. This learning requires freedom and time, resources the school provides in abundance.

Social and communications skills. Students develop these skills by spending countless hours practicing them. Social skills are enhanced by the way the school's philosophy of respect for individuals permeates interpersonal relationships.

Entrepreneurial skills. Every day, students decide what they want to do and how to make it happen. Some work to organize their friends in activities; others look for opportunities to earn a dime, or five dollars. The entrepreneurial culture helps students develop the confidence to pursue their interests and dreams.

Creativity. Students are constantly creating, not only works of art, but also field trips, games designed to include participants with a wide range of ages, classes, rules for getting along with each other, and mental models of how the world works.

We Teach the Whole Child
At Atlantic Inclusive Academy (The Academy), we feel that children should benefit from the storehouse of wisdom that humanity has gathered throughout the ages concerning the best way to achieve a happy, fulfilled life. We feel it is a God-given duty to teach children these essential life skills, beginning at a young age. We teach the whole child-mind, body, and spirit.

For over twenty-five years, we have observed that children who are taught how to have a happy life are far more likely to achieve academic success as well. At Atlantic Inclusive Academy, children learn the art of being balanced, mature, effective, happy, and harmonious human beings. At Atlantic Inclusive Academy, we study not only the great things that people have achieved, but also the human qualities that enabled them to attain those achievements. And we recognize the importance of the Fourth R in education – Relationships.

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The Secrets of Success
Before we can be happy and inwardly secure, we must know a great deal about the world around us. We need to learn how to interact appropriately with the people and circumstances in our lives, because life seldom molds itself to our personal wishes. We must be ready to adjust to realities that lie outside our own. We must learn practical skills, and we must master academic knowledge. Teaching the whole child helps children prepare for maturity on all levels emotional, mental, and spiritual.

Success in our school is gauged not only by results, but also by the quality of each child's attitudes, effort, and interactions with others. In our program, the children learn to deal with whatever life may bring them. We teach our children how to use the tools to make life choices that will lead to lasting happiness.

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True Teaching is Individualized
Grown-ups often hide their differences behind a veneer of social conformity, but children seldom wear such masks. Thus each child reveals a broader array of individual traits than adults generally do. Rather than force the child to conform to strictly standardized learning methods, we feel that it makes more sense to discover the child's essential strengths and encourage them. We strive to discover each child’s learning style. Children develop self-confidence and enthusiasm for learning when their individual strengths and learning styles are continually and consistently encouraged.

Classes are kept small so that Teachers can work closely with each child. The Teachers are trained to assess the child's physical, cognitive, spiritual, and emotional development, and to guide the child accordingly. They relate to the children much as their parents do, from the perspective of the child's ever-changing needs. We respect and encourage individuality.

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Joy in the Classroom
We feel that we have been given a responsibility as adults to help make the early years a joyful experience for children, while laying a foundation for a happy adulthood. In The Academy’s classrooms, the atmosphere is happy, relaxed, and family-like, while at the same time there is order, appropriate discipline and structure, and a clear sense that the Teacher is in charge. Atlantic Inclusive Academy Teachers win the children's respect by skillfully awakening their enthusiasm and energy for the tasks at hand. The children learn that they are expected to behave with consideration and respect, and that they can approach the Teacher for appropriate individual guidance.

Creating a positive learning environment doesn't automatically transform children into angels. At Atlantic Inclusive Academy, you'll find the same issues, interactions, and challenging transitions that you would expect to see in any classroom. What's different is that the children learn effective, enlightened ways to deal with these situations as they arise.

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The Inner Life
At Atlantic Inclusive Academy, children's natural spirituality is acknowledged and encouraged. The classroom may also be decorated with objects that the children consider personally sacred and spiritually meaningful.

At Atlantic Inclusive Academy, spirituality isn't defined as a particular dogma or religious creed. Thus, it isn't "religious instruction" in the traditional sense; rather, the focus is on the child's own, direct experience of universal spiritual truths. The key is self-realization-the individual perception of the unifying reality behind all spiritual paths.

Every morning and occasionally throughout the day, we set aside time for singing, quiet meditation, affirmations, prayer, or other uplifting activities. Through these forms of worship, the children experience for themselves what it feels like to be in harmony with a higher level of consciousness.

When it's appropriate, discussions are held and questions are answered concerning spiritual truths. The children discover that expansive feelings, thoughts, and actions increase their sense of well-being, whereas the opposite choices take that happiness away. "Right and wrong" thus become first-hand experiences of the consequences of personal behaviors, rather than a fixed set of abstract rules. The children become deeply interested in changing their behavior when they realize that doing so is an effective way to increase their inner sense of joy. At Atlantic Inclusive Academy, children talk about God, angels, saints, and the spiritual side of life as readily and naturally as other children talk about sports or TV.


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The Starfish Thrower

There was a young man
walking down a deserted beach
just before dawn.
In the distance he saw a frail old man.

As he approached the old man,
he saw him picking up starfish from the beach.
The young man watched the old man gently toss them
back into the sea, one by one.

The young man gazed in wonder at this site until he finally
asked the old man, "Why do you spend so much time and energy
doing that? The waves will just wash them back up onto the beach again.”

The old man explained that starfish will die
if left on the sand in the morning sun.

"But there must be thousands of beaches and millions of starfish!"
the young man exclaimed.
"How can you make any difference this way?"

The old man looked at the tiny starfish in his hand
and as he tossed it lovingly back
into the safety of the sea,
he turned to the young man and said softly,
"It made a difference to that one."

Adapted from ”The Star Thrower" (1978)
by Loren C. Eiseley

Atlantic Inclusive Academy

Educating God’s Children, One Child at a Time
Teaching All Learning Styles, Serving All Children 1-12
A Private, Not-for-Profit, 501(c)(3) School



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