Art & Innovation at The Sonder Academy
by The Sonder Academy
Walking into The Sonder Academy, families are struck by three exciting elements. First is the peaceful and calm space. Despite the student population growing this 2018-19 school year, the staff and children of The Sonder Academy enjoy a tranquil environment. This may not be expected for a private school filled with students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Several important factors help to achieve this. Students have many fun activities at school including; yoga classes, music classes, computer lab, and a beautiful outdoor playground. The size of the facility, over 20,000 square feet, allows ample space for kids to be kids, while still keeping class sizes very small. Most of the classrooms have eight students or less per room. The staff has remained very consistent since the school opened in August 2017, with very little staff turnover. The teams are strong, and they know their students well!
The second element parents comment on, upon touring the school, is the artwork! The halls of The Sonder Academy are filled with amazing student-created masterpieces. Under the masterful teaching of Ms. Ann Harmon, the artwork is breathtaking. From sculpture to recycled environmental art, the students at Sonder Academy are expressing themselves in creative and wonderful ways. Walking down the halls of Sonder Academy, feels like a gallery walk. Art class is a daily joy for students and staff.
The Sonder Academy has a diverse and creative staff that always makes our families smile. This is seen in every room. Class groupings are not defined by age or functionality. The groups are placed upon educational assessment into Content Standard groups for maximum educational benefit. Each class has chosen their own name and their classrooms are themed on those names. Examples include: Jurassic Jedis, Wonderland, Bugs, Oceans, Rockets and Avengers. The entire preschool space, seven separate rooms, is decorated with a different Pixar movie in each room!
The third element is Sonder’s mindful innovation of technology throughout the building. The school’s mission is to seek innovative solutions for children and families impacted by Autism Spectrum Disorder by implementing educational, therapeutic, and family support programs. Those innovations include being the first location to deploy LIGHTING SCIENCE’s CLEANSE™, an LED light fixture that sanitizes air to reduce pathogens responsible for illness. This amazing system, which is in place throughout the school, decreases the levels of bacteria, viruses, and fungi in highly-populated spaces. At Sonder, students are breathing air of the highest possible quality all day long! Data suggests a huge impact on both student and staff absences with this system.
When was the last time you heard someone talk about how much they loved their fluorescent lighting? Never? But people feel energized when they are outside, that’s why TSA installed Lighting Science’s GoodDay® lighting, developed in collaboration with NASA to support the circadian rhythms of astronauts on the International Space Station. The sun is always shining in Sonder!
At the end of the day, The Sonder Academy is a school which strives to give students the best possible childhood experience. In fact, the definition of the word “Sonder” is the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own. Our children deserve a vibrant and fun school. It is our pleasure to provide it for them!
If you would like to schedule a tour of The Sonder Academy call: (321) 241-1170.