Nicholas walks into Merit Academy excited to get to class and see his friends. He says hi to everyone he passes and wants to know what they’re working on. Nicholas is ten years old and is in the Clydesdales classroom at Merit Academy. “[He] has really blossomed in his self-confidence,” said Pamela Montiel, Nicholas’ mom.
Merit Academy serves preschool-12th grade students with learning, social, emotional, conduct disorders and/or chromosomal conditions. Many of our students are able to attend Merit Academy’s private therapeutic school program through financial assistance from community grants and the Merit Academy Scholarship Fund. This is our third year participating in North Texas Giving Day and we plan to top last year’s total, just shy of $4,000, so we can assure that more students like Nicholas receive the individualized education that is necessary for these students to thrive.
The teachers at Merit Academy implement behavior modifications along with their academic plans and collaboration with therapists. Students learn appropriate replacement behaviors for various daily challenges and parents receive training.
“Nicholas’ behavior has also improved because I’ve changed,” said Pamela. “Merit Academy has taught me to not focus on the negative actions and praise the positive so that Nicholas learns to seek the positive attention.” This is a great example of how our Merit staff strives to collaborate with families to encourage our students to reach their full potential.
Teacher to student ratios range from 5:1 to 10:1 and is determined by the student’s developmental needs.
“The size allows for my son to get more individualized instruction time, which has led to his overall academic improvements this year,” said Pamela. Nicholas was in a classroom with a 5:1 student-teacher ratio. “The size of the entire school provides each student that sense of belonging and creates the tight-knit community feel. It’s also created a sense of security in myself to know that the moment my son steps into the school, everyone knows him and vice versa.”
Our vision is to build a school that is a resource to students, their families, and the community for learning, living independently, and growing; despite the challenges they were born with. Your donations to the Merit Academy Scholarship Fund will help us see our vision through and provide assistance to a student that deserves the therapy and education they need to thrive.