Monday, October 5, 2009

Windward School

I had the chance to visit the Windward School in White Plains, New York last week and spend some time with Maureen A. Sweeny, the Director of Admissions.

Windward is located on two campuses -- The Lower School for grades 1-4 and the upper school for grades 5-9. The settings are impressive, with spacious facilities, and attractive grounds. Windward limits its student body to very specific students, those with language based learning disabilities (such as dyslexia) who are of average to superior intelligence, and who do not have behavioral issues that would interfere with their instruction. The Windward program is not designed to be a long-term educational setting. Students stay at Windward for an average of 2-5 years, at which point most students have had gained the skills necessary to succeed in a mainstream school. Windward works with families to find the right next school setting for their students.

The instructional program used at Windward is based on the Orton-Gillingham multisensory reading method and there is a strong emphasis on developing effective research based techniques for teaching and on training Windward faculty in the most effective ways to help these students. Windward has a Teacher Training Institute to share this knowledge with other professionals. Students are taught in small groups geared to their reading skills and learning needs and a visit to several classes showed them to be enthusiastic and engaged in the learning process.

Ms. Sweeney told me that Windward was working to create a more diverse student body and is committed to helping families who are unable to obtain funding for tuition from their public school system (by means of a "Carter" proceeding). Families interested in Windward should begin by arranging to visit the appropriate campus.

No comments:

Post a Comment