Curriculum and Community
Our outstanding staff utilize the Unique Learning System to deliver a high quality curriculum that is aligned with our NH Department of Education standards. This system, as well as working closely with families and school districts, allows our teachers to focus on specific abilities of each learner to ensure we are meeting their needs while pursuing their interests.
At Cedarcrest School, we utilize the Unique Learning System as the core of our curriculum. The Unique Learning System provides standards-based interactive tools designed to meet the instructional levels and individual needs of each student and to go beyond the basic structure of general special education program outlines. Rigorous standards-based materials with text-to-speech options enable students to interact with differentiated, thematic units of study. A variety of activities to reinforce concepts, as well as multiple opportunities to demonstrate knowledge are offered. Included books, lessons, and activities are accessible on a variety of platforms, such as tablets, whiteboards, and smartboards. A scaffold approach, which breaks learning into smaller chunks that build on themselves as the student progresses, is used to better develop skills and make new levels of achievement possible.
In addition to the Unique Learning System, teachers develop curriculum activities that support daily living and life skills, appropriate to each class’s age range and strengths. High school students participate in vocational education through a variety of situational assessments, developing portfolios for post-secondary purposes.
Outings into the community are highly important and beneficial to students. First, they allow students to be active members of their local community. Second, they provide opportunities for students to interact with their peers, which is both fun and builds metacognitive awareness and social skills. Third, outings support curriculum in a variety of ways. Many offer students a means to generalize important skills, such as choice-making, that are being worked on in the classroom, and then apply them across settings. Others provide students practice with life- or daily-living skills, such as grocery shopping.
Many outings enhance units being learned in the classroom. For instance, visiting the Montshire Museum of Science’s “Exploring Motion” exhibit strengthens Unique Learning System’s physical science unit, “Fast and Slow, Objects Go.” High school students participate in outings that support their vocational curriculum, such as dropping off food donations to the Community Kitchen. Lastly, some outings simply allow students to engage with a different environment or connect with nature.