Soaring Eagle Academy relocated to a single tenant, 25,240 square foot spacious building, at 800 Parkview Blvd in Lombard, Illinois, in January 2016. Set on picturesque property with fenced-in outdoor play areas for elementary and high school age students, The Academy is a calm and nurturing environment that has been carefully designed by SEA’s expert staff and HORN Design architects to support our students’ individual sensory motor, auditory and visual processing needs and SEA’s cutting edge, one-of-a-kind teaching model. It is an optimal learning environment, which respects student’s individual sensitivities and interests.
Pod Community Design is utilized, offering students similar in age (Early Learning, Primary, Intermediate and High School Transition) their own safe and nurturing social and educational environments to explore and learn in. Led to by color-coded hallways, each pod community includes a classroom, instructional rooms, sensory and treatment rooms for related services of speech language therapy, occupational therapy and social work/counseling. Collaborative teams, including the classroom special education teacher, 1:1 teacher assistants, DIR® specialist, speech-language pathologist, occupational therapist, social worker/counselor, curriculum and program assistants, and DIR® expert clinicians, support students within their pods.
Classrooms with individual student work areas and adjoining instructional rooms utilize SMART Board technology, offer multi-sensory, experiential learning and social environments for students. Students explore classroom and pod areas encouraging symbolic play, building/creating, listening, dramatic play, sensory motor integration and self-calming/regulation. Academic curriculum content areas of literacy, math, science, social studies, art, music and physical education are available for student-guided learning and semi-structured, teacher-directed learning. Students are actively engaged in interactive and meaningful learning according to their age, interests and level of development.
Sensory Motor Gym is available to students throughout the school day, equipped with suspended equipment and other multi-sensory materials to promote sensory and motor modulation and integration. Activities that develop and support tactile (how we process the sense of touch), vestibular (how we process movement of the body under gravity), proprioceptive (how we process information from our muscles and joints), motor planning (how we plan, sequence and execute a novel action) and visual-spatial processing (how we understand and process what we see) are critical for student learning, interaction and daily living skills. P.E. and sports groups meet in the sensory motor gym.
Floortime/Sensory Rooms are available to students and staff for individual, dyad and small group interactions to develop and support regulation, mutual engagement, language and communication, problem solving, symbolic play, abstract and critical thinking, motor planning, peer interactions and expression of ideas.
Friendship/Peer Groups are part of the Social Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum for developing friendships and peer interactions through activities of common interest. Staff supports the students’ individual regulatory needs while facilitating peer interactions. Groups are ever changing according to student interests, currently including karate, cooking, story time, bubbles, sensory, dance, drama, sports, board games and girls/boys groups are supported within multiple rooms throughout the site.
Mock Apartment serves as a dynamic hands-on environment, offering high school transition students opportunity to practice natural and meaningful experiences of daily living that include cooking, cleaning, washing clothes and making a bed, all preparing them for adulthood.
School Store is operated by intermediate and high school students, offering meaningful employment skills, which build on vocational and academic experiences for transitioning to the future. Students place orders and stock shelves, handle checkout utilizing a custom app, bag items, organize the store and interact with customers. Students, staff and visitors are able to shop and purchase store items offering practice for life skills of money management, problem solving, communication and social interaction.
Student Lunchroom is a place for students to come together socially, offering opportunities for socializing, playing games, reading and eating with friends. It also serves as an auditorium for school plays, parent nights, and staff and professional trainings.
Technology Center is equipped with multiple computers for students to engage in academic research, word processing, printing, online math practice and keyboarding programs. Interested students participate in computer club, developing mods for gaming, web page and site development. High school students participate in creating a school yearbook and newspaper, gathering research and photos to develop pages and articles.
Art and Music Rooms allow students to explore and express creativity through the fine arts while promoting curriculum concepts and peer relationships.
Video Viewing Room offers parents, district representatives and visitors from the community a non-intrusive opportunity to observe students and SEA’s unique programming practices via cameras outfitted in classrooms and the sensory motor gym, with support/supervision from SEA staff.
Wireless Communication Systems are utilized throughout the site, allowing SEA staff to communicate readily for support of student regulation, safety and programming.