The steps to the MAP are repeatable, measurable and backed by decades of international research on how to teach students with academic delays. The process, developed by Rosanne Manus, M.A., continues to be subjected to rigorous, in-house testing at Manus Academy.

The steps of the MAP are easy to follow. At Manus Academy, we can usually develop effective instructional plans for students, including those with significant and multiple learning barriers, within a week or two after beginning instruction. We can also make those hundreds of instant and small adjustments during lessons to further improve a student’s responses. There’s no time wasted trying to figure out how to help a child learn well.

The MAP consists of teacher-training programs and, for each academic skill covered by the MAP, student practice packs, homework packs and teachers’ guides with answer keys. Here are the steps of the MAP and brief descriptions of them:

– After completing Step 1 (administrating a placement test or, if desired, a standardized achievement test), teachers note the level of skill at which the student can perform fluently and that level at which the student’s performance begins to break down. The beginning of the skill break down is where teachers start instruction, which they note on the goals and objectives checklist that covers the skill they are teaching.*Goals and objectives*

– The Manus curricula for the various reading, writing and math skills consist of a series of teacher’s guides with answer keys, student practice packs and homework packs. The pieces of each curriculum incorporate research-based strategies, including the sequence for direct instruction. The practice and homework exercises are directly aligned with the goals and objectives so all interactions between the teachers, the students and the curriculum lead to skill achievement. The instruction is explicit, systematic, multi-sensory, cumulative and based on skill mastery and generalization.*Curriculum*

– Learning barriers cause students to learn inefficiently and fall behind their peers. To learn efficiently, they first need a customized instructional plan that enables them to benefit from practice. Then they need intensive practice.*Intensity*

Assuming that all other elements in the instructional plan are correct, the more correct practice exercises a student completes, the faster he or she will learn skills; therefore, teachers set high yet reasonable goals for the number of practice exercises the student is to complete each day and month.

Students with mild delays or students at grade level, who simply need to maintain the same rate of progress in a given skill, usually benefit from light to moderate practice in the targeted skills. Students with severe skill delays usually need extensive practice each day.

For instance, a student with severe delays in word recognition, reading fluency and spelling will need upwards of 12,000 or more exercises per month in word recognition and reading fluency and 1,200 or more exercises in spelling. They will likely also need intensive practice in the skills that support reading and spelling instruction, such as grammar, usage, phrasing, vocabulary, reading comprehension and written expression.

A student with significant delays in math will typically need upwards of 2,000 or more exercises per month in math facts, 400 to 600 exercises in computation, 30 to 50 word problems and additional applied math practice in such activities as those found in shop class, arts, crafts and cooking.

*Accommodations*

In developing a customized instructional plan, teachers select accommodations that significantly improve a student’s ability to learn by minimizing the otherwise impairing effects of his or her learning barriers. Many accommodations are built into the Manus Curriculums teaching approach and practice exercises; however, teachers sometimes need to add more accommodations, particularly for students whose barriers prevent them from attending to instruction.

If teachers are satisfied with the student’s progress, they assume the plan is working and continue to follow it. If the student’s progress is not satisfactory, teachers return to Steps 2 and 3 to examine those factors that hinder success and adjust one or more elements of the instructional plan.

As teachers monitor the student’s skill achievement over time, they also note and report to parents, the student and other interested parties, those factors that facilitate the student’s learning, those barriers that continue to hinder his or her learning and the degree to which they interfere. This information is important as it eventually gives teachers and all future instructors insight into those conditions under which the student learns best.

Note:

Our Student Population

Our Assessments and Results

Our Key Elements of Success

I came to the Manus Academy at a time of desperation. My son was stressed to the extent that it was affecting all areas in his life . . . more

6203 Carmel Road, Charlotte, NC 28226 • (704) 542-6471

including his physical health. He was suffering from migraines and unable to absorb anything that was being taught at his school.

My son has high functioning autism and has been in an “inclusion” environment for most of his schooling. He lost his teacher’s assistant in the fourth grade and it has been going downhill ever since. Once he entered middle school, the bottom fell out. He was being bullied constantly, attacked in the restroom, left outside in the cold by the school. His classes were over 30 children per class. It was impossible to get the attention that he needed to even begin to comprehend what was being taught because of all the other distractions on a daily basis at this school.

I realized that we needed to get him help. We did our research and looked into several schools before going to the Manus Academy. We visited Manus and went on a tour of the school. As we went from class to class, I realized how many of these children were like my son. I was immediately drawn in by the intimate environment and the student-teacher ratio.

When speaking to the Head of School and learning about the Manus approach, I thought this could be the place that could bring my boy back. My son had lost all confidence in himself. I needed a school that would meet my son where h**e was **academically and work with him to get him up to grade level in areas where he was lacking.** **

Since my son has been at Manus Academy, here are some areas in his life that have improved:

He can now do his homework by himself. Because Manus works so intensively with my child during the school day, by the time he gets home, he has a full understanding of the homework assignment.

His confidence has soared!

His social skills have improved.

His communication and organizational skills have improved immensely!