HillSprings Academy

HillSprings Academy empowers students with learning differences to become confident, independent learners. Please join us in sponsoring a student to attend one of four academic programs. Your one-time or monthly donation helps welcome a child into a nurturing environment.

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Tutor Program

Class

Education 

Beneficiaries

Children (4-12 years)

Description

Homeschool and After-school tutoring classes meet twice a week to supplement a student's reading, writing, and math programs elsewhere.

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Evidence of Program's Success

We help fill the holes students have in reading, writing and math where other intervention programs have not been successful.

"RAP" Reading Achievement Program

Class

Education 

Beneficiaries

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Description

RAP is an afterschool reading program held two days a week for 1.5 hour sessions for one semester. The thirty hours of instruction have a 3:1 student teacher ratio. Specifically created as a tutoring model for students who are experiencing reading difficulties, this program focuses on phonological awareness, word attack, sight words, fluency, comprehension and spelling.

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Evidence of Program's Success

The applied behavioral analysis form of instruction has been described as systematic techniques for academic remediation. This teaching model has evolved since 1977 as a result of the combined effort of The Hill Center's certified learning disabilities specialists. In replicating this methodology, HillSprings strives to assist each individal in realizing his potential by developing strengths, remediating weaknesses, and experiencing success.

Community Outreach

Class

Education 

Beneficiaries

General Public

Description

In an effort to increase awareness of learning differences, we provide information, referrals and outreach events. We have brought in nationally known experts such as Dr. Mel Levine (pediatrician and author), Jonathon Mooney (advocate and author), Sarah Ward (executive functioning) and an ADHD workshop for parents and teachers - " A Sense of Community". During the 2018-2019 school year HillSprings Academy will host a once a month speaker series at the Gill Center downtown Colorado Springs.

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Evidence of Program's Success

HillSprings is proud of our success in increasing awareness and understanding of learning differences in the Pikes Peak region. Although our school can only serve a small number of students, we are committed to lift the entire region to a higher level of expertise and capability. Through our teacher training and community outreach we are realizing that goal.

Academic Year Program

Class

Education 

Beneficiaries

Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Female Children (5 - 14 years)
Male Children (5 - 14 years)

Description

HillSprings core program is a half-day school for K-8 students with learning differences such as a specific learning disability, including dyslexia, Aspergers (high functioning autism), dysgraphia, dyscalculia, and ADD - attention deficit disorder or ADHD - attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The half day program is offered in the morning and provides small group intensive, research-based instruction in reading, writing and math with a student to teacher ratio no larger than 4 to 1. Students spend the the other half of their day in their base schools, allowing them to benefit from a larger school environment and extracurricular activities. Several of our families have chosen to home-school their children and Colorado Springs has a large home-school group to support their efforts.
HillSprings uses multisensory instruction in a highly structured environment to present a curriculum based on individual objectives. Enrollment is generally short term and averages two to three years. When students master appropriate essential skills, they are able to return to their base schools on a full-time basis. Along with the academic skills development, HillSprings emphasizes teaching compensatory strategies through a study skills curriculum, an integral part of each class. In addition, we directly teach students the attributes they need to be successful - perseverance, self-advocacy and goal setting.

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Evidence of Program's Success

Students are pretested in the fall and posttested in the spring using The Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Achievement. We have collected this data since 2004 and results show that an average student gains more than 1 and up to 2 years growth in reading, writing and math in the 8 months of intensive instruction.

Summer Program

Class

Education 

Beneficiaries

Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Female Children (5 - 14 years)
Male Children (5 - 14 years)

Description

The 5-week summer program is designed for students in grades 1-8. Daily instruction is provided in reading, writing and math and reflects our school year academic program. We offer this program for students in the community giving them the opportunity to improve specific skills and prevent the regression that occurs over the summer months.

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Evidence of Program's Success

The positive feedback that we get from the parents is the unique evidence that this short term 5 week intervention worked for their child.

Professional Development

Class

Education 

Beneficiaries

Description

We offer workshops to train area classroom teachers, special education teachers and literacy specialists to implement an adapted version of the highly successful, research based approach to teaching reading (HillRAP), writing (HillWrite) and math (HillMath) developed by The Hill Center. This approach is a comprehensive system of individualized, multisensory instruction specifically created as a tutoring model for students who are experiencing academic difficulties. It can help teachers to use best practices as they implement the new, state mandated Response to Intervention (RtI) model for addressing learning deficits in the public schools.

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Evidence of Program's Success

In 2008 HillSprings achieved a significant milestone when one of our own instructors completed the five-year certification process to become a Hill Center trainer. Now local educators interested in gaining the rigorous expertise that fosters academic success in students significantly at-risk for failure can receive the training in Colorado Springs, obviating the need to travel to The Hill Center in Durham, North Carolina, or for us to incur the expense of bringing in a trainer from THC.

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