Aligned to the Common Core and Massachusetts Frameworks, Dearborn Academy’s High School curriculum is designed to ensure our students receive a high-quality, rigorous education that supports their individual learning styles and experiences. Math, English, History, Science, Health/PE and Spanish comprise our core classes for all students.
Our core classes are characterized by a highly structured, student-centered, supportive, standards-based curriculum design to promote lifelong learning and skill development for college and career after Dearborn Academy. We look at each student individually and meet students where they are – adapting the curriculum to their strengths and areas of skill development. Our small class size and high staff-to-student ratio allow for regular teacher-student collaboration, academic and social-emotional support, and opportunities for close observation of skill development.
While many students come to Dearborn with gaps in their learning, we help all students prepare to pass the required MCAS exams and graduate with a plan for the future.
At Dearborn Academy students become confident, engaged and skilled readers.
Reading is the foundation of learning. It provides access to information across all content areas, while inspiring student exploration and curiosity. The Dearborn Academy English Department carefully crafts instruction to increase student engagement in reading and writing according to each individual students’ needs and experiences. Dearborn teachers support each student in gaining the necessary skills to approach reading and writing with confidence and purpose.
The Dearborn Academy English Curriculum adheres to both the Massachusetts State Standards and the Common Core Standards and demonstrates a highly structured, strengths-based, student-centered and multi-modal approach with executive functions and lifelong literacy at the forefront. Students are exposed to a diverse range of learning modalities including whole group lessons, small group instruction, rich discussions, skills-based reading and writing tasks, group collaboration and structured individual assignments.
Assignments and lessons are broken down to meet the student’s individual needs. Materials are presented both in print and computer form, and our small class size allows for frequent teacher-student collaboration and individualized instruction. In addition, the English Department works collaboratively with content area teachers and our Learning Center to create consistency and continued reading and writing skill development across all content areas.
All students at Dearborn have the opportunity to participate in Honors English through individualized projects that demonstrate mastery of their personal skill goals, extending beyond the baseline curriculum. Honors projects are developed collaboratively between the student and the English teacher, and are broken down according to each student’s individual interests and needs.
When English Is Not the First Language
Dearborn Academy welcomes English Language Learners (ELLs). If a student enters Dearborn Academy as an ELL, our team will work with the student’s sending school district to implement the necessary program modifications and support services. Our ELLs are provided with the same opportunity to access both the curriculum and our school’s services and activities as all other students. Our school is committed to providing resources to support our ELLs and their families (including having all communications with families translated if necessary) and to addressing each student’s individual needs.
For language-based, nonverbal learning disabilities including dyslexia, our Learning Center specialists provide one-on-one, small group and classroom support to improve decoding, encoding, comprehension, fluency and executive function skills. With the support of our Learning Center team, English classes at Dearborn are infused with language-based and sensory-informed learning that challenges each student at the appropriate level to ensure all of our students have the tools to meet grade-level or above expectations. Dearborn is one of the few schools in the state that offers intensive support for both language-based learning disabilities and social-emotional challenges.
At Dearborn we believe in providing a comprehensive, challenging, multi-modal approach to mathematics.
We understand that when a student arrives at our school, their math journey is unique. For this reason, Dearborn Academy’s Mathematics Department offers the integrated pathway for mathematical instruction, aligning to the Common Core Standards and Massachusetts Frameworks. Upon admission, students are assessed on their current content knowledge, past courses and for possible skill gaps to determine which class will best meet their needs and accelerate their success. Students may also access advanced math classes by taking a college-level math course at a local community college.
Math at Dearborn is designed to reflect student strengths and learning needs. Classes are highly structured with a consistent routine and frequent teacher-student collaboration to promote student autonomy and mastery of mathematical concepts. Integrated into the curriculum are additional supports for executive function and problem solving skill practice that allow students to approach mathematical challenges more flexibly and critically. At Dearborn, students are met with a math program that meets and develops their needs with the purpose of providing them with the necessary skills to reach their personal mathematical goals.
All students at Dearborn have the opportunity to participate in an honors math option by completing supplemental coursework and participating in extended assessments. Honors students work collaboratively with their mathematics teacher to individualize their programming and support students in managing the additional class work.
At Dearborn, we understand that math can be accessed in a variety of ways: from hands-on kinesthetic learning to visual and exploratory math and to traditional step-by-step approaches. Some students excel in math – others need to work a lot harder to be successful. Our goal is for every student to graduate feeling confident in math and capable of applying their knowledge within an entry-level college math class and/or within both employment and real world financial situations.
When students need special assistance or one-on-one support, our Learning Center specialists are available to help students learn and practice a variety of methods to approach foundational math skills, challenging classroom concepts, test-taking and assignments.
Science and History
At Dearborn students become dynamic, curious learners through scientific inquiry and real world application.
The Dearborn Academy science curriculum is developed holistically from the Massachusetts Frameworks and Next Generation Science Standards to engage our diverse learners. Science class at Dearborn is centered around rich discussion of topics that are fueled through data, observations, reading, and writing. Students are encouraged to think critically about how science impacts society and their daily lives. The curriculum provides students with opportunities to explore hands-on science experiments and projects. This approach helps to build students’ understanding of content, while increasing their confidence and passion for science in a creative way.
The Science Department offerings include Physics, Chemistry and Biology, in addition to science and engineering electives such as horticulture. With the goal of creating curious, life-long inquisitors, our teachers create science curricula that provide real world connections for students, while also preparing them for the MCAS.
At Dearborn students make connections to the past through relevant, inspiring curriculum and rich discussions.
The Dearborn History Curriculum is derived from the Massachusetts Frameworks and is designed to teach students the facts, while supporting them in developing evidence-based critical thinking and problem solving skills. Through history, students learn about citizenship and what it means to be a member of a community. Students are challenged to demonstrate their knowledge through multiple means of expression from debate to expository writing. The History Department offers classes in U.S. and World History, as well as Civics. These classes are tailored to the individual needs of the students in the classroom.
Academic Support in Science & History
At Dearborn we understand that our students arrive with a diversity of learning strengths and needs. Our science curriculum is designed to ensure access and engagement for all students by offering a variety of access points. Our core academic teachers work collaboratively with the Learning Center teachers in order to embed all necessary supports into the curriculum. In addition, all high school students participate in an Academic Strategies class that provides direct instruction for students in executive function and academic skills, and supports students in applying them to their coursework.