Academic Program

Aseltine’s academic program is built on the belief that developing academic skill and knowledge requires students’ active involvement in the learning process.  Our staff do not ask students to merely memorize information; instead, they engage students in activities that foster imagination, critical thinking, and creative problem-solving, helping students become passionate learners and considerate young people.

At Aseltine, students work with staff in an active partnership to develop academic goals based on each student’s individual learning style, needs, and IEP (Individualized Education Plan) goals.  Staff engage with students in a shared decision-making process characterized by mutual respect and understanding. We consider all students to be capable, talented, and in control of themselves – even when it appears otherwise.

Teachers design curricula that employ multiple modalities (e.g. tactile, visual, and aural) to address diverse learning styles and create active learning experiences that keep students alert and engaged as they read; watch; listen; inquire; write; discuss; manipulate objects and data; complete group and individual projects, and go on field trips.  This diverse approach to academics teaches students to understand the material and how they learn and process information.  With their new knowledge and insight, students overcome their obstacles to learning; regain belief in their abilities; recognize the importance – and relevance – of school to their lives, and learn to become active, purposeful, and effective learners and problem-solvers – and then to apply what they learn here to their lives outside of school.  It gives students opportunities to achieve what they once thought impossible: success in school and in life.


Class Structure and Size:

Aseltine offers instruction in specific skills, as well as remediation in small groups or on an individualized basis.  Student coursework is based on California Common Core Standards.   Students are grouped in a variety of ways, depending on content area and each student’s need, level of academic skill, commitment to academics, and social skill development.  Classes generally have between 5 and 15 students – the average class has about 10 students– and has one teacher and two classroom aides.


Core courses include:

English-Language Arts



History-Social Science

Transition/Life Skills


Aseltine also offers additional courses to broaden students’ horizons and enhance their skill sets.  These courses include:




Computer Literacy

Intramural Sports Leagues

Physical Education

Community-based Instruction


All students participate in problem-solving events that test their knowledge of science and engineering principles as well as their ability to deal with challenge and work as part of a team.  They also have the opportunity to enjoy enriching and educational experiences in the “Students in the Community” after-school outreach program.


As appropriate, students benefit from special services: speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, counseling, and specialized literacy support services.  These services are provided in both individual and group sessions as prescribed by a student’s IEP or as requested.


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