Curriculum Philosophy

At Oakwood, we focus on meeting a child where he/she is, filling in foundational skills that may be missing, remediating areas of need, and helping each child recognize and believe in his/her unique potential.

To accomplish this, we use proven, traditional, research-based teaching methods as well as newer methods and technologies based on brain research.  Our student to teacher ratio is 6 to 1 for most of our classes, allowing for maximum individual attention.

When a child enters Oakwood, he/she receives a Strategy Notebook.  This binder serves as a portfolio of strategies that the child adds to as he/she learns about himself/herself as a learner.  This notebook empowers the student with tangible evidence of learning and ways to help himself/herself.

Our curriculum is child-centered – our focus is on learning the material, not just covering it.

We start students at their instructional level and move at a challenging, but manageable, pace.  Small instructional groups for reading and math allow us to place children in the appropriate level.  This makes remediation of deficit skills possible while we provide instruction at a different level for areas of strength. 

We focus on developing the whole child – our social/affective lessons focus on understanding the brain and how we learn as well as how we want to act with each other in our school community.  We reinforce that we all have learning needs and challenges, as well as areas in which we excel.  Recognizing and appreciating these differences in each other is important to our learning community.

Academic Team

Our Academic Team is led by Dr. Susan Autry who has dedicated herself to special education for the last 29 years both as a classroom teacher and an administrator.  Dr. Autry graduated from the University of Missouri in 1979 with dual Bachelor’s degrees in Elementary Education and Special Education (Behavior Disorders).  In 1983 she received her Master’s degree in Reading (with an additional endorsement in Learning Disabilities) from the University of Virginia. She completed her Doctorate (Ed. D.) in Administration and Supervision from the University of Virginia in 2010.  At Oakwood, she is joined by Erin Morgan (Math/Science Specialist) and Bev Weaver (Reading/Writing Specialist) to create an experienced and talented Academic Team.  Committed to expanding on the inherent potential of every student with learning disabilities, this team works tirelessly with teachers, parents, and professionals to promote and provide a comprehensive academic program.