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What is the Day School? Back to Blog Articles

  • Posted on Feb 16, 2012

The Woodward Academy Day School is an alternative educational option for schools in central Iowa who have students in grades 6 to 12 who are experiencing behavioral difficulties in the public school setting.  Day School serves approximately 50 students from 20 different school districts and continues to take referrals throughout the year.

The main difference between the Day School and Woodward Academy (the residential portion), is that the Day School students go home each day and return in the morning for school.  It is meant to be a short-term solution for students who are having behavioral problems and need a more structured environment in which to learn.

Opening in 2003, the Day School has served nearly 400 different students and has established itself as an asset to many surrounding school districts as a school who can adequately serve the most “difficult” students.   It is like an alternative school for students but still adheres to the Woodward Academy behavioral philosophy.

Read more after the break.


An important thing to remember is that at Woodward Academy, working with student behaviors is the number one priority.  In fact, all of the students at the Day School have experienced some form of behavioral trouble in the past.  Most DS students arrive at Woodward Academy through their Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and as a result of a team decision.  The goal is that they will spend some time at the Day School (a semester for example) and then based on their behaviors, return to their home school.

Some of the main behavioral issues that are addressed at the Day School are students being defiant and their lack of productivity on classroom tasks.  When these behaviors arise, they are confronted accordingly and students are expected to change.  When they do, everyone moves on… when they do not, a progressive series of consequences can be put into place.  This concept may sound simple, and in many ways it is.  But not all schools can implement it successfully.

Woodward Academy has established an environment where the classrooms feel “normal.”  Students understand the expectations set forth for them and the consequences for challenging those expectations.  As a result, students follow the norms of the classroom and often do not attempt to disrupt them in a negative way.  Here, at Woodward Academy, they will be students and are expected to act accordingly.

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