North County Academy (NCA) is a San Diego County Office of Education school that contracts with the San Diego Center for Children for its therapeutic services. The purpose of this partnership is to offer a school designed to meet the academic and therapeutic needs of students with mental health concerns
The school serves students with Individual Education Plans from kindergarten through 12th grade. The middle school program, grades 6 through 8, and high school program, grades 9 through 12, are located on the Magnolia Avenue campus. The elementary program, Kindergarten through 5th grade, is on the Buena Vista Elementary Campus.
The prevailing goal of the school is to help students acquire the skills needed to re-integrate into a more comprehensive and less restrictive setting. NCA's success is largely due to a team of professionals that care about students and strive to create a positive environment.
The program has a four prong focus:
- Academics — NCA provides instruction and core curriculum that ensures that students remain on track with learning and credits. Our 11 California licensed special and general education teachers strive to provide engaging, rigorous, and relevant instruction to all students.
- Therapy — NCA's 10 licensed therapists are on site all day every school day and collaborate frequently with teachers and other staff members. All students who attend NCA will receive Individual and group therapy. Family therapy is highly recommended and is available to any student whose parent(s) are interested in participating. Therapists are also available to support students in crisis as events arise during the school day. NCA's therapists are trained to implement an array of research-based therapeutic approaches and are skilled at assessing which approach is most appropriate based on the student's goals and needs. All NCA staff are trauma-informed and are trained to work with students experiencing emotional distress.
- Environmental Supports — NCA is on a separate campus with many trained staff members. This enables the school to implement environmental supports a comprehensive campus may struggle to provide. A few examples of the environmental supports provided at NCA are; small class sizes, individualized adult attention to address student's emotional needs, and 100 percent student supervision.
- Positive Behavior Supports — NCA's staff members are trained in the theory and practice of
Applied Behavior Analysis and the Principles of Behavior. Positive incentives, privileges, research-based behavioral interventions, and a caring authoritative approach are regularly implemented by staff members with the intent of shaping positive student behaviors.