Individualized Academics

Plumfield Academy’s calm and focused environment is our foundation for enhanced learning.

Plumfield’s curriculum is aligned with California Common Core standards. Our small class sizes of 3 to 6 students support the level of individualized attention, differentiated instruction, and social skills practice we believe is required for students to grow into confident learners and to develop positive social skills. With high academic standards and a strong focus on achievement through effort, Plumfield’s team supports our students through incremental steps as they work toward academic, social, and behavioral goals.

Music, athletics, jobs and varied electives allow students a wide range of opportunities for new experiences and success.  Offering a wide range of learning opportunities builds confidence and encourages students to attempt activities that they may experience as difficult or frustrating.

Academic Supports

Plumfield Academy incorporates instructional and behavioral supports for students to achieve success within our academic setting, including:

  • Small class size of 3 to 6 students
  • Classroom environments designed to reduce noise and volume levels while keeping visual distractions limited
  • Hourly/daily rewards for academic and behavioral effort, including shopping in our school store and earning special privileges 
  • Consistent, clear academic and behavioral expectations
  • School wide lexicon – All staff use the same language to address behavior and provide support
  • Supports for transitions built into the campus and classroom routine
  • Structured and highly supervised social skills curriculum during lunch and recess 
  • Individualized selection of academic materials
  • Individualized Instructional, Social, Behavioral, and Therapeutic Supports

Social Skills Development

We know that children who become socially isolated are at greater risk of failing at school, with friends and in the community.

Plumfield Academy utilizes a social skills behavioral program in which emphasis is placed on effective communication, social skills development and problem solving, the foundations of successful relationships both at home and at school. Our students learn and practice positive social skills throughout the day, until new ways of communicating and relating become habit. Once they have demonstrated the use of these positive skills, they are provided more opportunities to exercise these skills in less structured situations on campus. As students progress through the program, they are increasingly expected to work as a team, practice cooperative decision making, and use appropriate problem solving. When students have demonstrated an ability to use and translate these skills independently, they are often able to transition into a resource classroom or a general education classroom with individualized school supports.

Music Program

Plumfield Academy’s award winning Drumming Program offers new and challenging experiences for our students.

With an emphasis on percussion, students learn drumming skills and techniques, and build a foundation of reading music. Students develop performance skills, and work toward participating in various public performances. 

Plumfield Academy’s Drumming Program targets many different areas of skill in an exciting way for our students. We know that while our boys are challenging themselves by learning to play percussion music, they are also improving in areas of motor strength and control, social skills, emotional expression, and cognition. As drumming is a group activity, it facilitates social skills development such as patience and an awareness of others. On a physical level, drumming helps students develop fine and gross motor skills and upper body strength, areas our students often struggle with. Drumming also improves cognitive development by building a better ability to focus, impulse control and decision making skills.

The Plumfield Beat Boys have performed in many parades and have won numerous awards.  All students have the opportunity to audition for the Beat Boys and our Plumfield Drum Ensemble which have performed at various schools and venues throughout Sonoma County. The confidence our students gain in the music program translates to many other aspects of their lives. Through practice, discipline and performance experiences, Plumfield Academy students build competence, confidence, and other important life skills. 

Physical Education Program

Many of our students feel a lack of confidence in participating in group sports or activities, often furthering a negative self image. Students frequently report a history of feeling  targeted and teased by other students, and in order to protect themselves they often stop participating. This pattern of withdrawal further isolates them from peers and group activities. Plumfield places a strong emphasis on our students being physically active and developing a sense of physical competency. Our strong emphasis on physical development includes daily physical education classes, intramural basketball teams, baseball, soccer and a wide variety of other outdoor sports and activities.

With an emphasis on sportsmanship and participation, students learn the fundamentals of general fitness, health and nutrition. With a high level of supervision and Plumfield’s zero tolerance for bullying or teasing, students experience a safe place to learn and practice physical skills. Sequenced instruction with a skill-building approach to motor skill development, movement, and form provides a foundation for learning and practicing the elements of sports, games, and recreational activities.  As many of our students have had negative experiences at recess and during PE, all Plumfield activities are based on students learning how to have fun while being active. In order to reduce competitiveness and increase the fun boys have while learning, sports are often played without keeping score.

Physical Activities Include: 

  • Basketball, Soccer and Baseball
  • General Fitness, Stretching, Exercise, and Running 
  • Balance, Movement, and Dancing
  • Health and Nutrition 
  • Creative games that promote having fun while building cooperation skills include games like Super Shielders, Quidditch, and British Bull Dog.

Electives

Most Plumfield students come to our program with history of negative school experiences.  Many have not developed specific interests outside of video games and other online activities. At Plumfield Academy, we understand the importance of developing varied and enriched interests which build a sense of competence and confidence in our students. Enrichment electives provide opportunities for learning, and avenues to discover meaningful interests and develop new skills. Individual and group activities are planned, structured and supervised to be developmentally and socially appropriate, so that participation is fun and successful for each student.  Some recent electives boys have participated in include:

  • Theater, Rock Band, and Choir 
  • Wide World of Sports and Sports Camp
  • Around the World Geography 
  • Maker Events and Activities
  • Computer Club and Journalism

All Plumfield’s elective are designed to excite, engage and expose our students to new ideas and new experiences, and to build cooperative and collaborative relationships.

Extended School Year

Plumfield understands the importance of students maintaining the gains they have made during the regular school year, and their resistance to coming to summer school when other children are not. In order to facilitate and encourage attendance in our Summer Program, we incorporate our academic expectations in new and fun ways. Our eight-acre campus sets the stage for outdoor education. Academics and hands-on learning are integrated into our activity-based curriculum to keep students engaged in learning and self-discovery. 

Some of the 2019 Summer Program activities included:

  • Building a trail along our 8 acre creek, while identifying and cataloging the flora and fauna found along this riparian habitat.
  • Building an aerodynamic pine-wood to compete in the end of the summer car races.
  • Building a pirate ship in preparation for participation in a pirate-themed game. Working in partnerships with an emphasis on cooperation, making team decisions, problem solving, following written directions, reading maps and a compass, with the ultimate goal of surviving the voyage as a team.