The Academic Component

All instruction at The Anderson School is linked to the Pennsylvania Core State Academic Standards. Essential concepts, skill-building, and assessments are the cornerstones of the academic program. All courses reflect the Pennsylvania Common Core Standards and assessments. Our differentiated approach to instruction provides opportunities for scaffolding, enrichment, positive supports and cooperative learning. If students have a skill deficit, specially designed instruction will be implemented by the teachers who are all certified in special education.

General Education at the Anderson School

The goal of The Anderson School is to help middle school/and or senior high students realize meaningful success in the general education curriculum, develop self-advocacy strategies for emotional growth, and refine social skills that reflect respect and responsibility.  Each student also participates in a social skills class, which offers reinforcement opportunities for appropriate behavior and further instruction. Students make progress toward graduation requirements in their home school districts.

Special Education at the Anderson School

The Anderson School’s Special Education program operates for students in grades 7-12 whose primary needs are in the area of emotional support. Other supportive services such as learning support are also provided as needed. Students who attend this program demonstrate behavioral characteristics and social issues that impede their educational progress.  The Individualized Education Program (IEP) team develops a positive behavior support plan for each student. The positive behavior support plan, based on a functional behavior assessment, incorporates methods that utilize positive reinforcement and other positive techniques to shape student behavior.  Students make progress toward graduation requirements in their home school districts. The staff of The Anderson School provides group counseling for each student during a social skills period with extra individual support from the school counselor and social worker.

The Core Curriculum at the Anderson School includes English, Mathematics, Health, Physical Education, Science, Social Studies, Personal Development, and Electives. For more information on each subject, please select the tabs above. 

Graduation requirements are determined by the sending school district of each student. The Anderson School maintains a cumulative record of credits earned each year and reports progress towards graduation plans to the school districts.

Students are informed of their progress daily by their homeroom teacher. Interim notices are provided midway through each quarter and report cards are issued at the end of each quarter. For classes where a percentage grade is issued, grades are based on Classwork (30%), Projects (which also includes test and quizzes 60%), and Class Participation (10%).

Assignments must be completed by the day the marking period ends with one exception. Fourth quarter assignments must be completed by one school day prior to the last day of the marking period. Seniors must complete all work by their last school day for the credit to count towards graduation. See all marking period dates HERE.

English courses at each grade level include instruction in reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Curricular texts include novels, short stories, poetry, nonfiction texts, and drama. Units of study are developed using a thematic approach, with focus given to needs presented by students as related to PSSA Reading and Writing/Keystone Assessments. Students develop research papers, presentations, and essays in each of the three PSSA suggested modes of writing: narrative, informational, and persuasive. Students earn one credit and a percentage grade for this course.

Courses at the middle school level emphasize Pre-Algebra math skills and courses at the high school level include Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra 2, and Personal Finance. Students earn one credit and a percentage grade for this course.

This course prepares students for demands of daily living and healthy lifestyles. Topics may include personality, values clarification, decision making, career choices, stress, mental illness, drugs, nutrition, disease, sexuality, and consumer education. Information and values are considered equally important for this instruction. Students earn .4 of a credit, receive a percentage grade and attend Health 2 out of 5 days per week.

The Physical Education course encourages the development and maintenance of physical fitness, lifetime sports interests and improvement of self-esteem. Students are provided problem solving and team building activities. Students are offered a variety of activities including yoga, basketball, volleyball, floor hockey, and weight lifting. Alternate, noncompetitive activities such as stress reduction, strength training and flexibility are also offered to students to fulfill physical education requirements. PE is taught 3 days out of 5 per week by a certified physical education teacher. Students earn a “P” or Pass or “F” or fail for physical education and earn .6 of a credit per year for PE. Explorations students may also earn .8 credit (.2 per quarter) by participating consistently in physical exercise planned by PHP staff.

The Science curriculum recognizes the importance of science literacy in our students’ futures. Due to the advances in science the curriculum focuses on providing students daily with the skills needed to investigate, inquire, review, and critically analyze the implications science plays in society. The curriculum invites students to learn by hands-on lessons and labs with an emphasis on technology and safety. Middle School science curriculum utilizes an integrated approach teaching Life, Earth Space, and Physical Science, while the high school focuses on Earth and Space Science, Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Students can earn one credit and a percentage grade for these courses.

The Social Studies curriculum encompasses three core components; learning through past events, developing problem-solving skills, and gaining exposure to current events. The curriculum includes instruction in societal, economic, and cultural understanding of the United States and the World. Courses at the Anderson School included World History, American History (I and II), and Civics/Government. The focus for our middle school class is on Geography. College and career readiness activities are built into the social studies grades. Students can earn one credit and a percentage grade for these courses.

Students at Anderson are enrolled in a Personal Development class at the end of each day. This class provides students with a chance to reflect on their social-emotional, behavioral, and academic progress for the day with their case manager. They also learn social skills, have group counseling, and participate in restorative circles during this time. Full-time students at Anderson earn .8 of a credit each year for this class. Students enrolled in Explorations are enrolled in this class to receive credit for their therapy time and will receive 2 credits per year or .5 per quarter. Personal Development is Pass or Fail.

Students enrolled at Anderson full time have the opportunity for a daily elective class for 30 minutes per day. There will be four electives to choose from each semester. Elective topics could include, but are not limited to: Art and Design, Family and Consumer Science, Digital Arts, Humanities and Sports Science. Students will receive .8 of a credit for electives each year and the course is Pass/Fail.

All seniors have the opportunity to be enrolled in Senior Seminar as an additional elective both semesters which will be one full credit.


The Anderson School is structured so that every student can complete academic benchmarks as part of the general education curriculum.  Student grades are based on Classwork (30%), Projects (which also includes test and quizzes 60%), and Class Participation (10%).  Physical Education and Personal Development are pass/fail courses.

Report cards and Interims (mid-marking period reports) will be issued to students quarterly.  Students, parents, therapists, and staff can check progress on grades in Powerschool using the confidential login provided to them upon enrollment or the beginning of the school year.

Grading scale:
90 – 100 A-, A, A+
80 – 89 B-, B, B+
70 – 79 C-, C, C+
60 – 69 D-, D, D+
59 and Below F

Executive functioning skills (organizing and planning) are an important part of success in school. Students receive a planner from the school. To be prepared for school, students are strongly encouraged to have the following supplies at all times: Binder with folders for each subject, pencils or pen, school planner. Students are not required to have a backpack. Staff will provide direct instruction in the use of these materials integrated into the curriculum.


Homework can be a valuable learning tool for practice, extension or review of skills learned in class. If homework is assigned, students are expected to complete it. It will be a part of the course grade as it is assigned. If a student is transitioning back to public school or to college, homework will be used as a preparatory transition tool between the Anderson School and the next step. Homework grades will be entered in the “Class Participation” segment of the gradebook.

Makeup Work Guidelines

Students are given the opportunity to make up missed work and tests after any absence. It is the responsibility of the student to contact the teacher for make-up work and to complete the work.

Case managers can help the student organize the make-up work, so it is manageable if needed. A student will be given a reasonable amount of time for completing make-up work. A reasonable amount of time is defined as three days after a single day’s absence and five days after two or more days absent.

Local Assessments

The Renaissance STAR Math and Renaissance STAR Reading are diagnostic mathematics and reading tests that measure individual student skills in the core concepts of math and reading and help educators pinpoint areas where students need instruction. Both assessments are given at least 2 times per year to gather data on academic strengths and needs. They are also given when a student begins at the Anderson School. This data is included and reported to families and the LEA on the IEP in present educational levels of the IEP and can be used for progress monitoring.

PSSA/Keystone Exams

The Anderson School administers the PSSA and Keystone Exams as mandated throughout the school year.

This is a standards-based, criterion-referenced assessment used to measure a student’s attainment of the academic standards.