Cottonwood Day School
Distance
Special Education Program

We recognize that some students have challenges learning in certain educational environments. It is important for you to be free to pursue your child’s education in that wholesome and loving environment, your home.

Overview & Scope

Cottonwood Day School (CDS) is a private, non-profit school. We are a Montana registered school for students with disabilities. We recognize that some students have challenges learning in certain educational environments. It is important for you to be free to pursue your child’s education in that wholesome and loving environment, your home. We are here to help you as you begin or continue your child’s home-based distance education. It is our mission to assist you in your child’s education at home. With courses specifically designed for reaching students with special needs, we are able to assess, adapt, and individualize course material for each student. We are different than other online schools because we believe it’s important that your child receive instruction live from a teacher rather than through watching recorded videos. This enables the teacher to develop a relationship with your child and adapt curriculum as needed in real time as often as the student requires it. The CDS online program plans to launch in the 2021-2022 school year. We will begin to accept applications to this program in September of 2020 for the 2021-2022 school year. Application forms can be found on our website.

Online Distance Special Education Classes for Students in Grades 1-8

At Cottonwood Day School, we nurture a child’s natural love of learning with caring teachers and stimulating curriculum. Each class is generally grouped by age as well as academic performance level with no more than 8 students per class. Each class is lead by a teacher and supported by a Teaching Assistant. Remote learning students will work virtually with an on site teacher providing real time instruction. They will be able to participate with their peers on site in both direct instruction, specialized 1:1 support, and class discussions/projects.

An important component of their online education process is to allow them to engage in their learning directly. Students in grades 1-8 receive instruction in language arts, math, science, and social studies, social skills and executive functioning. The Cottonwood Day School team goes to great lengths to encourage a student’s exploration and foster a positive learning experience. Our course list includes the study of the following subjects, detailed descriptions of these curriculum’s can be found in our program description on our website:

  • English: Reading Comprehension and Writing
  • Math
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Foundational Reading: Orton-Gillingham
  • Grammar/Mechanics
  • Executive Functioning
  • Social Skills
  • English: Reading Comprehension and Writing
  • Math
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Foundational Reading: Orton-Gillingham
  • Grammar/Mechanics
  • Executive Functioning
  • Social Skills

How Does Online
Distance
Elementary School Work?

Cottonwood Day School​​ recognizes a child’s need to touch, talk, listen, and move while learning. The combination of our teacher guidance and support from the parent as the “academic coach/facilitator” at home set children up for an experience that nurtures their innate love of learning. It’s vital to our online education program that we support and aid in developing your child’s thirst for knowledge and inspires self confidence that drives their progress.

Role of Parents
When Children Participate in a Distance Education School


The parent(s) play(s) an important role in supporting and guiding their child’s education.  We help to prepare parents as “facilitators” for the school year by providing a weekly outline of the course work for each subject area.  Weekly lesson plans posted on our Learning Management Software (LMS), Edsby, coupled with supporting literature books, science experiments, math manipulatives, and geographical exploration, allow students to move through their lessons and grasp concepts through a hands-on approach to learning as independently as possible.

Cottonwood Day School has incorporated specific technology and software programs to help engage our remote students in inclusive ways.  Students and parents will have access to all of their classes and assignments via Edsby.  Students will login to Edsby each morning and find their first class of the day via their posted schedule.  All zoom class meeting links, lesson materials, and assignments are posted on the individual class pages. Parents will need to be present for the first several days to help their child navigate Edsby. The goal is to encourage them to do this independently as their comfort level increases. Teachers will forward parents of remote learners any necessary materials that may need to be printed out for the classes each week.  Some assignments will be completed via Websites.  It is highly recommended that parents have a quiet “learning space” at home with a laptop and some kind of organizational system at home where materials required for classes are organized in labeled folders and easily accessible to their child during their lessons.

We know that parents appreciate finding the support of teachers that understand how to support and teach a child that has learning challenges. Cottonwood Day School helps identify appropriate teaching methods and high quality curriculum, along with materials and resources.  We also keep detailed, permanent records.  Parents can be confident knowing you have a team of experienced educators who are skilled in teaching and academic management.  We are here to help you stay on track and give advice and counsel throughout your child’s educational journey. Cottonwood Day School provides a complete service of guiding your child’s education, administrative accountability, and academic management assistance to families throughout the U.S. Our school will be applying for a National Special Education Accreditation in September of 2020 with The National Commission for the Accreditation of Special Education Services, http://www.ncases.org/accredited-programs.html.

Cottonwood Day School Program Information

Cottonwood Day School invests in student-centered learning to give each student a personalized approach to their education. This supports and encourages their personal and academic development. Your child’s academic learning plan is carefully drafted to support their individual strengths and needs as a student. Throughout the program, we make sure students get the support and information they require to learn and grow so that they may meet their greatest potential.

Why Choose
Cottonwood Day School’s
Distance
Education Program?

Cottonwood Day School’s educational professionals are experienced at offering exceptional academic and personal support to young students with learning challenges in grades 1-8.Students with disabilities need a unique and tailored learning plan to help them build self-esteem and progress academically. Despite the perceived disconnection of online education, our teachers provide ample support and nurturing for each student’s personal and academic development with our multi-sensory curriculum specifically created to increase student engagement and improve student performance.

Example of a Typical Day for a Distance Learning Student enrolled at CDS

Students will be enrolled in a class with both onsite and other remote learners. It is recommended that the students gather and organize the materials they will need for the following day the night before. Students will login into Edsby each morning prior to their first class. Remote learners will then proceed through all of their classes each day. The schedule is the same each day Monday through Thursday, except for Wednesday afternoon when we have a music class. They will begin their day by logging into their student account on Edsby and clicking on their first class of the day. They will then click on the Zoom Classroom link for that class and “join” the class. The student will use Edsby throughout the day as his/her classes progress, All assignments will be posted on each class’s page. Parents will be able to view the assignments for their child when they log into their “parent” Edsby page. Students will participate in each class in real time along with the other students in their class. Students can communicate any questions or needs via the Edsby website. Teachers may set up separate 1:1 zoom classes with students to review material or conduct assessments.

How to Apply to the CDS Distance Education Program

Admissions information and application paperwork can be found on our website under the “Admissions” tab. Detailed information about the online program can be found under the “Programs and Services” tab.

Please contact Amy Wood at ​[email protected] with any questions.