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Alternate Curriculum Education


A photo of April McArthur

April McArthur

Alternate Curriculum

Education

Principal

amcarthur@csdr-cde.ca.gov

(951) 824-8195 VP

A photo of Michelle Barry-Suzuki

Michelle Barry-Suzuki

Alternate Curriculum

Education

Assistant Principal

msuzuki@csdr-cde.ca.gov

(951) 248-7700 x2310

News

Welcome to the 2022-2023 school year!

Welcome to the 2022- 2023 school year. We are looking forward to a great year of learning! We hope everyone had a restful and relaxing summer vacation. We would like to take this opportunity to introduce ourselves.

Hello! My name is April McArthur and I am the new ACE principal. As you know, Shelly Rempe retired last spring. I wish her all the best in her retirement. Before coming to CSDR, I worked at Washington School for the Deaf for 21 years in many capacities, including Teacher of the Deaf, Bilingual Director and most recently, Elementary Principal. While I will miss being a Terrier, I am excited for this new chapter as a Riverside Cub! I look forward to meeting you and working with our students, staff and families.

I am Michelle Barry-Suzuki and have had the privilege of working in the ACE Department for more than 20 years. I am excited to share the news that I have officially been appointed Assistant Principal for the ACE Department. I am looking forward to working with students, staff and families in my new capacity.

We know that the start of the new school year is full of many exciting activities. Please be on the lookout for important information about upcoming events, including our Back-to-School afternoon on Monday, August 15th from 2pm to 5pm. We look forward to seeing you there!


The ACE Department serves students from first grade through High School 22 years old who are deaf with additional challenges to learning. The classrooms for the ACE Department students are located in each of CSDR’s school areas: Elementary School, Middle School, and High School.

The ACE Program offers an alternate curriculum program which aligns with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and is based on the Common Core Connectors (CCC). In addition, the Department is transitioning to the use of the Next Generation Science Standards Core Context Connectors for Alternate Assessment. ACE programming is designed to develop students’ independent application of concepts learned. This is accomplished through many experience based activities at CSDR and in the community. Providing both concept development and an application of skills in the real world develops the students’ ability to synthesize all parts of any activity, further developing their independence.

Instructional Strategies

The ACE classrooms use a multi-modal approach to learning. Application of concepts in a variety of situations enhances student’s abilities to use information in many ways. Opportunities to make purchases in the community support not only math concepts but written language and social skills as well. Using technology allows students to organize thoughts and make presentations to others. They can access visual information quickly to view concepts “in action.”

Helping ACE students become good citizens is promoted. Elementary ACE students often have classroom “jobs.” Middle School ACE classes develop more work skills through their involvement in the on-campus recycling program and fundraising activities. High School ACE classes’ access to the community and the work world continues to expand. Work experience opportunities become available through the Work Ability Program.

When appropriate, some ACE students spend part of their day in ACE classes and part in CSDR Elementary, Middle School or High School department classes.

Athletics

Students are involved in a variety of activities sponsored by cottages. In addition, some are involved in team sports supported by the Athletic Department. All sports, including cheerleading, are open to ACE students trying out for the team.

Activities

There are some activities that are an on-going part of the ACE Department. These events are designed to be fun as well as develop skills and concepts. Examples of these would include:

  • Arts and Crafts
  • Fundraisers
  • Hungry Cubs lunch service
  • Community Outings
  • Variety Show performances

The Alternate Curriculum Education School offers an alternate curriculum program which follows the California Alternate Performance Assessment standards (CAPA). Alternate Curriculum Education programming is designed to develop students’ independent application of concepts. This is accomplished through many hands-on activities at CSDR and in the community. Providing both skill development and an application of skills in the real world develops the students’ ability to synthesize all parts of an activity, further developing their independence.

While traditional textbooks are typically not used in the Alternate Curriculum Education classroom, concepts such as addition and subtraction or other mathematics skills are embraced as students learn to make purchases in the community or complete other projects. Reading can be found in the form of directions for completing activities or in the books they have written about their own experiences in school. In Middle School Alternate Curriculum Education, the students begin to learn work skills by collecting for the recycling program. When in High School Alternate Curriculum Education, a variety of work opportunities on- and off-campus are experienced through the Work Ability program.