PHILOSOPHY

What We Know

FACT # 1 - Average cost to incarcerate a juvenile in the USA is about 6X the cost to educate him.   

FACT # 2 - Schools have frequently used suspension and expulsion to punish those students with the greatest academic, social, economic and emotional needs

FACT # 3 - Male minorities and low achievers are vastly overrepresented in those suspended and expelled with many resigned to dropping out.

FACT # 4 - A male adolescent seeks recognition, and if he cannot get it in a positive way, he will get it in a negative way.

FACT # 5 - Youth crave structure and without it, they will yield to the pressure of those around them.

FACT # 6 - Between the ages of 9 and 15 the male brain is inundated with testosterone, and two lesser none hormones: vasopressin and cortisol that significantly change the focus and behavior of the adolescent.

FACT # 7- It takes extraordinarily intense sensations to activate the reward center of the adolescent male brain which influence effective use of instructional and motivational strategies.

What We Value

Education is a right, not just a privilege for all students, therefore, those from families of lesser means have an equal opportunity to participate in the Academy. Each youth deserves 'a chance' to succeed, and for some, that means 'more than one,' however, rewarding poor performance is ultimately detrimental to fostering success. Academy students may well have been previously stuck in a cycle of failure but can climb the ladder of success here when we shine the light on the path. While we do not proselytize, at GateWay, we do believe that education is the ladder, God's Word is the light, and the Academy provides access to both.

What We Do

The Academy offers a combination of education, character building, and mentoring in a structured boarding school environment to guide our youth on their pathway to success. As a consequence of attention to the individual and varied needs of our students, we build natural structure into the day and week which in turn, promotes personal growth, participation in new experiences, and maturity in leadership and responsibility.

Our philosophy is evident in the academic program, and reinforced through the boarding school family-like experience as well as student activities that enhance self-esteem, promote service to others, and healthy competition.

GateWay teachers have a passion for the subjects they teach, a strong command of the material, and provide the creativity and nurturing that can excite the students about learning. Three strategies consistently employed include: productive group work, teaching to multiple learning styles and providing adult examples, especially of the life skill behaviors, that we expect the youth to develop. To further support our students, the Academy employs the use of individualized learning plans, clearly understanding that "one size does not fit all."

With the facts about adolescents in mind, clear rules for the residence and the school are established, posted and consistently applied as hallmarks of the GateWay program. Our teachers are firm but fair, and they will not allow students to prevent each other from learning but at the same time, they provide numerous opportunities for each young man to shine. Teachers will not proceed with instruction until building block material is mastered and we use feedback data to drive modifications in instructional methods and materials rather than stigmatizing or categorizing our students. Remediation and correction are done privately and do not sacrifice instructional time while positive reinforcement is done publicly and in peer groups whenever possible.

Our students will be fully functioning, productive members of their family, community and society, when provided with a protected, nurturing and instructive environment in which to learn. We provide that here at the GateWay Boarding Academy.

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