Trident Academy Adds New Grade

Trident Academy is adding a sixth grade class in The School for Asperger’s/HFA beginning in 2015-16.

This addition follows the plan that was announced with the creation of the School in 2013. A seventh grade class will be added in 2016-17 and an eighth grade class will be added in 2017-18.

Read 4 Reasons to Choose Trident Academy for Middle School.

“It’s never too late for a child with ASD to enter a specialized program,” says Nicole McLain, Trident Academy program director. “Middle school is an awkward time for all students, it can be worse if students are not in an appropriate setting or getting the help they need.”

The introduction of new students into the School is a focus for Ms. McLain and her staff. They become familiar with the new student’s personality and behaviors, then blend students who are appropriate peer models.

“Middle School is a key time for children in terms of personality and self esteem. The sense of self worth they develop now will impact their entire life, which is why they need to feel confident and respected. At Trident Academy, we build that confidence while developing their independent living and academic skills.”

A specialized school offers a lot of benefits. Small class sizes and trained staff make experiential learning and frequent field trips possible. Plus, unlike traditional schools, most students receive some type of learning accommodation – from graphic organizers to shortened assignments. Finally, emphasis is placed on progress – Ms. McLain calls the evaluations an intensified 504 plan.

Read more about the 12 core competencies in the School for Asperger’s/HFA.

“Our goal is to transition students to a traditional school, but we want them to transition when they are ready,” Ms. McLain notes. “Every student is progressing at a different rate and rushing progression isn’t appropriate. By adding sixth grade, we can offer students an extra year with us if they need it.”

For more information about the new sixth grade or about admission to Trident Academy, contact Niki Leiva at or 843.884.7046.

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