Our Education Model

Since 1980, Serendipity has been an accredited, nonprofit private school. We are registered with the Oregon and Washington State Departments of Education and approved as an alternative placement for students with disabilities.

Serendipity has adopted the 5 Dimensions of Teaching and Learning (5D), which is a research-based education and education leadership model developed at University of Washington. This model guides all educational efforts. The 5D Model is supported through our weekly Professional Learning Community and is integrated into our teacher evaluation process.

The 5 Dimensions of Teaching and Learning as implemented at Serendipity


  • Differentiated instruction, accommodations, and modifications to teach students the Common Core State Standards, National Center & State Collaborative Alternative Achievement Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, SHAPE National PE Standards, Assessment of Lagging Skills & Unsolved Problems, and to address their IEP objectives.
  • Predictable instructional routine in the form of a quarterly syllabus for all courses at Serendipity based on the standards, specially designed instruction, and evidence based instruction recommended in What Works Clearinghouse Practice Guides, National Reading Panel, and National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Student Engagement:

  • Culturally relevant and differentiated instruction based on student interest.
  • Using collaborative problem solving when possible and contextual roadmaps, explicitly teaching a growth mindset.
  • Regular ceremonies to celebrate student academic and behavioral growth to increase student engagement in their learning.

Curriculum & Pedagogy:

  • Multi-tiered curricula aligned to state and national standards to target multiple ability levels of Reading, Writing, Math, Science (Physical, Earth & Space, Life), Social Studies (U.S History, World History, Street Law, and Government), Health, and Therapeutic Recreation.
  • Standard diplomas in addition to modified & extended diplomas, and alternative certificates as determined through an IEP team decision.
  • Variety of evidence-based Social Emotional Learning curricula to target emotion regulation skills, social skills, health skills, functional life skills, problem solving skills, functional classroom skills, and communication skills.
  • Evidence-based instruction, such as praise, pre-correction, opportunities to respond, concrete-representational-abstract, syllabic instruction, explicit instruction, identifying similarities and differences, mnemonics, and summarizing.
  • Web-based instruction in language arts, math, and career readiness, as a way to reinforce teacher led instruction.

Assessments for Learning:

  • Developmentally appropriate, individualized, and continuous academic assessment using a school-wide curriculum based assessment program. This allows us to target our instruction on student’s specific skills deficit areas and monitor their progress.
  • A school-wide performance tracking software system allows daily monitoring of behavioral progress on IEP goals and Behavior Support Plan goals, as well as documenting other incidents.

Classroom Environment & Culture:

  • All classrooms facilitate a restorative morning circle each morning and a closing circle at the end of the day, using the restorative practice model of Resolutions NW.
  • Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports promote a positive school environment and help us modify the environment and context of our school to promote student learning in all areas, including the transportation protocols, garden & farm, dining room, hallways, and classrooms.
  • Special celebrations including dances, field day, harvest festival, family events, the Talent Show, and Graduation and Awards ceremonies bring joy and connection to our school culture.