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Gateway’s academic vision is to inspire and engage. We seek to spark our youths’ attention, awaken critical thinking, and make learning come alive. 

Unique Learning Styles

At Gateway, we recognize that every student learns differently and needs integrated support to achieve their potential. Our teachers incorporate visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning strategies into the curriculum to improve students’ executive functioning skills and enhance their learning. It starts with a thorough assessment of their individual capabilities and limitations. Where do they shine? What blocks their confidence and esteem? 

Gateway youth are generally bright but may have difficulty expressing how much they know in a typical learning environment.

Some of our youth enjoyed and performed well in previous schools until anxiety or other emotional difficulties impeded their success. For these adolescents, our program focuses on integrating academic, social, emotional, and therapeutic goals that improve learning in all areas of life. 

Other youth arrive having struggled academically, perhaps due to a learning difference, social issues, or the distraction of an emotional problem. For these teens, our academic team creates a challenging but manageable program based on building skills to improve confidence, self-advocacy, organization, and executive functioning. 

"At Gateway, many of our youth are surprised to discover they actually enjoy school when their learning style is supported and valued, when they are taught how their brain learns best, and when social and emotional learning (SEL) skill building is an integral part of their learning. We know from the research, that an education that promotes SEL has a positive impact on a wide range of outcomes, not only academic performance, but also healthy relationships, mental wellness, and more.”

—M. Michelle Gourley, M.F.T., L.C.S.W, J.D., Founder and Director of Clinical Integration

Our Mission Statement

Gateway Academy creates learning experiences inside and outside the classroom to enhance each student’s therapeutic success. We provide an encouraging and challenging academic environment where our adolescents develop into confident communicators who think critically and become independent, life-long learners.  

Inspiring A Love For Learning

Something amazing happens when academic success and independence are carefully nurtured. Self-defeating beliefs and behaviors begin to melt. And our youth discover what it means to be a student:  a natural explorer, curious about the world – and capable. Then, learning becomes its own reward. That’s the sweet spot.   

Accredited, Rigorous, and Supportive Courses

Gateway offers a teacher-directed college preparatory curriculum, accredited by Cognia. All credits earned are fully transferrable and students are eligible to graduate high school from Gateway. Our youth learn in therapeutically supported classrooms that follow the core curriculum for each subject. Gateway teachers are specialists, certified in their individual subject areas.  

Our smaller classroom setting provides an intimate therapeutically enhanced learning environment where each individual can receive the personal attention and support they need. By the time our youth leave Gateway, they have the confidence and the passion to pursue learning independently for life.

Gateway teachers are champions for success, seizing every opportunity to build on academic wins, while challenging our teens to reach deeper to achieve their full potential.

Teaching The Way The Brain Learns Best

We start by priming the brain before school in our morning fitness and yoga classes so that students arrive to class ready to learn. While in school, we re-prime the brain by utilizing movement to reinforce learning at least every 15-20 minutes, teaching a concept and then reviewing it with a learning activity that involves movement. This allows the concept to move more easily from short-term to long-term memory and enables the teachers to better assess learning. Using Dr. John Ratey’s “Sparks” brain-based research to create optimal learning experiences in our classrooms, our youth demonstrate their intelligence in a way that is unlike what they might reveal in traditional classrooms.  Click here to learn more.

Therapeutically Enhanced Learning

  • Learning Strategies: This class is specifically designed to improve student learning, provide focused study time, and enhance the core curriculum for every Gateway youth. Through the study of input, process, and output, our adolescents explore the way their brains work and how they can utilize their unique learning styles to access their education. When young people truly understand their strengths, self-confidence improves, which can augment success in other subjects.

  • Art Integration: Research suggests a strong link between art education and improved literacy, math and critical thinking skills, as well as fewer disciplinary problems. All Gateway youth take part in a class that integrates art across the curriculum. The class focuses on enhancing core content through artistic integration. For example, youth use the current subject-matter from English, math, science, and history to create a visual representation of the content, while augmenting cognitive development through creative expression.

  • Learning to Breathe - A Mindfulness Curriculum for Adolescents to Cultivate Emotional Regulation, Attention, and Performance: This class integrates themes of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn, M.D. into a program that is shorter, accessible to youth, and compatible with school curricula. This class is taken by every youth at Gateway as it is designed to be taught by educators and mental health providers alike to improve emotional regulation, executive functioning, and stress reduction through the power of mindfulness.

Through participation in these three classes, our youth improve their motivation and academic achievement through the use of visual, auditory, and kinesthetic modalities; develop skills in creativity, problem-solving, critical thinking, communication, self-direction, initiative, and collaboration; and utilize mindfulness techniques to improve attention skills, self-regulation, compassion for self and others, and resilience.

College Preparatory Curriculum

Our complete college preparatory curriculum – including honors level courses – allows adolescents to build a strong transcript for college admission. In addition, college counseling is part of the school process at Gateway and includes:

  • Helping youth choose appropriate courses in light of high school graduation requirements and college admissions criteria

  • Providing comprehensive SAT and ACT preparation including a two-day workshop every fall term, intense summer prep courses, and assistance registering for and taking these standardized tests

  • Educating our teens about different types of post-secondary educational opportunities and assisting them to find a good fit

  • Assisting youth with the college search, application, and the admission process, including help writing their college essay

  • Preparing seniors to navigate a college campus by providing Concurrent Enrollment (CE) opportunities at a local community college

Individualized Education Program

Gateway accommodates previously developed IEP's in order to continue the individualized goals and recommendations for youth with special learning needs. We participate in ongoing goal evaluations with the home district to ensure that the IEP is being followed and that it continues to be a valid document if a student returns to a public school. We have a certified special education teacher that oversees the IEP and works with our therapists and the core content teachers to make the necessary accommodations and modifications required.