I have been looking into schools that specialize in dyslexia tutoring or are actively embracing learning differences among their students. I’ve found quite a few that are truly inspiring to read about. In this post I am going to talk about Highlander Charter School in Providence, RI. Highlander is a charter school for grades K-8. The slogan that appears on the website gives you a clear idea about its vision: Learning as diverse as our students.
Here is a brief description of the school from their Homepage:
At Highlander Charter School, students get individual attention, build lasting bonds, and use customized plans to learn in the ways that are most effective for them.
Highlander is an urban charter school with 272 students in grades K-8 located in the heart of Providence. It offers all the benefits of a private school – small classes, diverse populations, individual attention from teachers – in a public school setting.
With only 18 students in each class, the diversity of each student at Highlander is celebrated. Each student works with teachers specially trained to help students, even those with learning differences, master reading and math. Together, students and teachers develop individualized learning plans that help students acquire the skills they need while learning about things that really interest them.
Through close involvement with the community and parents volunteering their time, Highlander Charter School is a place where kids come early, stay late, and build the educational foundation they need to succeed.
There is a Special Education Department to meet the needs of students with learning differences. They have a school psychologist, a behavior specialist, a speech language pathologist, and an occupational therapist on staff. Many students also have individual and small-group tutoring sessions based on a multisensory approach to reading instruction with certified Orton Gillingham Reading Specialists.
As should be expected, I am also very interested in finding information about those schools that use assistive technology and are beginning to include iPads in the classroom. At Highlander there is a Computer/Media Lab that teaches students to use computers, printers, digital cameras and projectors. They have 19 Apple iMac computers in the Lab.
And here is a link to an article from last October appearing in the New England Post about an Assessment App that they developed at Highlander.