Trauma Healing Based Learning


Community life is continued through daily learning at Adora. From our learning spaces to our integrated projects designed for trauma survivors, teens find success one moment at a time.

Plan of Study

Learning is not traditional at Adora.  Learners each receive an Individual Learning Plan (ILP).  The plan itself looks identical to the plan of other learners.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Staff and learners work together to design projects allowing learners to demonstrate learning in creative and interesting ways.

Learners are not grouped by age.  We do not talk about grade levels.  We meet each learner where they are and work to help them grow.

Learning Feedback

For learning feedback, we use the terms Beginning, Developing, or Accomplished–along with verbal feedback or a paragraph praising accomplishment and encouraging improvement.  When a learner earns an “Accomplished,” they have the privilege of checking that expectation off of their ILP.

Some learners sit at “Beginning” or even “No Learning Demonstrated” for at least a trimester. It takes time for them to realize that responsibility for learning is their own. We will not settle for poorly done work or just pass learners along.

When a learner does begin to find out what they are actually able to accomplish, there is no stopping them.  Sometimes we even have to work to keep up with them!

Learning Environment

Learning Spaces are unique in appearance. Each Learning Space is a place where teachers share their own passions and hobbies. No two rooms are alike. Tables, couches, art, books, and area rugs are common items. Our goal is to provide a safe place where learners become willing to take risks, learn new material, and find success they never thought possible.

As learners fight their own negative self-talk and often unsuccessful learning histories, they begin to see that success is possible.  Each small success drives them to work harder.  They develop more and more ability to learn.


As projects are completed, and at the end of each term, teens make a Presentation of Learning (POL).  They share with everyone at Adora what they have learned, the connections between projects, and what they still need to learn.  At first the presentations can be a struggle.  But, with individual help from adult guides and lots of practice, their presentation skills grow immensely.