GLA’s belief is that each student's intellectual, emotional and social development are interrelated. This individual path to development is best nurtured in small classes with a focus on community, taught by encouraging adults who see the best in each student. Many students at Great Lakes have struggled socially, emotionally, or academically in traditional schools that considered them “at risk.” The fixed structure and expectations of these schools creates stress and frustration for many students and allows opportunities for them to be targeted by peers.
GLA’s staff believes the factors that created “at risk” labels in other schools are actually individual differences that can benefit the students. We hope that our students not only learn to cope with their differences, but also capitalize on them. At GLA, we are able to create an environment that helps students learn all of the things they must learn before they can advance academically: how to make friends, how to manage emotions, how to respect themselves and others, how to organize their time and maintain focus, the list goes on and on. By learning these skills alongside academic content, our students gain confidence with every new success. Our students take both the life skills and academic knowledge with them as they move on to the collegiate world, careers, or even when they return to the traditional school environment.
By providing a program of learning that is designed to address each student's individual needs, GLA offers its students every opportunity to achieve both academic and social success.
We have found success with students from many backgrounds, who come to us with many different diagnoses. Our staff and community environment can help students address concerns like
- ADD / ADHD
- Learning differences like Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, and/or Processing Disorders
- Asperger’s Syndrome and High Functioning Autism
- Oppositional Defiance Disorder
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Sensory Integration Disorder
- Anxiety Disorders and Depression
- Extreme shyness or fear, isolation from peers
- Low self-confidence
We find success with many different kinds of students; however, we are not equipped to help students with limited intellectual functioning (IQ under 75), severe autism, or a history of violence.