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Schools with Academic Support

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Replies to: Schools with Academic Support

  • chemmchimneychemmchimney Registered User Posts: 649 Member
    Our partial list last year for an arty outdoorsy girl with mild LDs who needs some support but is also a strong student created with help from our consultant. These schools are all “mixed” - not solely LD - and offer at least some support, most offer a menu of options from daily to bi-weekly. Many here but not all lean towards casual and/or progressive :

    Suffield
    Dublin
    Millbrook
    Berkshire
    White Mountain
    Darrow
    New Hampton
    Proctor
    Cheshire
    George
    Williston North Hampton
    Storm King
    Oakwood Friends
    Mercersberg
    NMH (best for support “light” imho but no extra fee and one of my fav schools)

    Of the ones we toured, Dublin impressed us and daughter chose tiny underdog Darrow where she is having a good experience. I toured Proctor and Berkshire with my older daughter as well who did have an LD but did not need support beyond subject tutoring, and has since graduated from NMH. There is a wide range of acceptance rates at the above schools too so a little something for everyone. Happy hunting!
  • dramakid2dramakid2 Registered User Posts: 111 Junior Member
    Thank you, these posts are all very helpful! Darrow was a school that caught my attention, I am glad to see @chemmchimney has a daughter there who is doing well. Millbrook also looks like a possibility, and it looks like Millbrook is practically on the way up to Darrow. I have searched for info on Millbrook on this site, but I don't think I found any posts of kids or parents of kids who went there.
  • chemmchimneychemmchimney Registered User Posts: 649 Member
    @dramakid2 I have a friend whose son is graduating from Millbrook this year - he transferred there from Proctor and has been very happy from what I understand.
  • vwlizardvwlizard Registered User Posts: 205 Junior Member
    @chemnchimney - do you know why he was unhappy with Proctor?
  • vwlizardvwlizard Registered User Posts: 205 Junior Member
    The Director of Academic Support at Millbrook was more than happy to spend some time with me on the phone talking about their program. She was also willing to look at my son's neuropsych to determine if Millbrook might be a good fit.
  • Golfgr8Golfgr8 Registered User Posts: 497 Member
    My friend’s child received wonderful support while at Suffield. Very personalized and the school worked to provide support based on the Neuropsych recommendations.
  • chemmchimneychemmchimney Registered User Posts: 649 Member
    @vwlizard tbh, I don’t think it was a good fir from the start - mom loved it more than son who was a preppier non sporty/non outdoorsy type who played tennis and joined band at Millbrook. Proctor has a lot of snowboarder/rock climber types that didn’t jive with this boy, but he did have a decent time for the year he was there.
  • gardenstategalgardenstategal Registered User Posts: 3,812 Senior Member
    One thing I've mentioned to a couple of parents who feel that their kids need support is to consider how structured the environment is. There are schools that require kids to attend study halls, complete with faculty monitors, in periods in which they don't have classes. Others let kids figure out how to use their time on their own, realizing that most will recognize the value of using those bits and pieces of time during the day to avoid being overwhelmed at night. Some schools have evening study hours when kids have to be somewhere, again with supervision, lights out rules, etc. But many do not do this or they relax it over the years. This is a really easy (and normal) question to ask of any school you're considering.

    Many schools feel that what they teach is "independence", and if that means "we have tons of resources, but you need to make the effort to access them", you really need to consider whether your kid will show up for that. (Frankly, that is what I wanted for my kid -- I wanted him to learn to make his own choices and experience the consequences of them, but I also was pretty sure that he wasn't going to get totally sucked down the drain in the process -- maybe just a little rattled!) IME, if a kid really starts to slip, they'll step in, but most of you know your kids best so can figure out what they need from the outset, and few need to get really behind and overwhelmed at the outset.

    This, btw, isn't just for kids with LDs. A friend's D, who was an excellent student, felt really overwhelmed at an acronym school where she had to decide between socializing and studying -- it was really stressful for her -- she said she always felt that whatever she was doing, she should be doing the other thing. She transferred out after freshman year...
  • dramakid2dramakid2 Registered User Posts: 111 Junior Member
    Excellent points @gardenstategal !
  • vwlizardvwlizard Registered User Posts: 205 Junior Member
    I think it's also important to ask how often teachers meet as a team. Kids are much less likely to fall through the cracks if everyone is taking note. I was quite impressed with one school we looked at. I heard them talk about kids not falling through the cracks and thought yada, yada, yada....they all say that. Then they walked us through how they do their 4x weekly team meetings and it was apparent that it would be virtually impossible for any kid (academic support or not) to fall through the cracks there. In contrast, we visited a school specifically for kids with learning differences and I asked one of the teachers how they communicate with each other in terms of skills kids were working on and expectations. She told me they have e-mail and always see everyone on campus so they had plenty of opportunities to discuss students. There seemed to be no consistent format to relay information. In the majority of schools, we found that there were varying levels of communication, but it was the Academic Support Center that was coordinating it all and it was sent out via e-mail.
  • CaliMexCaliMex Registered User Posts: 846 Member
    Which school had regular team meetings?
  • vwlizardvwlizard Registered User Posts: 205 Junior Member
    Brewster. I was very impressed. During an open house they had us actually sit through how they set the agenda, how the discussion took place and how they tracked follow up. When they give that much attention to something at an open house and it is so structured, you know that it's something they value. Brewster was on the top of my son's list and the first school we visited. I warned him that everything looks good in a brochure and that I wasn't too sure about this school, but it really won me over.
  • CTMom21CTMom21 Registered User Posts: 241 Junior Member
    It's a very good point that @gardenstategal makes about structure. My older DS (now a freshmen) has ADHD and after struggling for many years (undiagnosed and unmedicated) finally got things together in middle school, with a lot of teacher oversight and executive functioning tutoring. His heavy sports load also forced him to learn time management. We were hopeful that the structure of BS itself would go a long way toward helping him focus and stay on track with his work, and it has. He wasn't recommended for any formal Learning Center help, but between the pretty rigid schedule (including supervised study hall first term for freshmen) and teachers being very hands-on and readily available, he has done as well as he did when he was at home. Particularly in the fall when he played a varsity sport, he was extremely busy, but his time was also very compartmentalized, and it wasn't like he was deprived of study time due to sports, because everyone is doing some kind of activity. Being a bit less busy and structured over the winter, his grades have slipped a little. I think the kids really learn to appreciate the structure.

    My younger DS does have diagnosed LDs and he would need more tutoring and academic support, but I think that the structure wherever he goes will be a very helpful piece for him as well.
  • GarandmanGarandman Registered User Posts: 137 Junior Member
    edited February 27
    Brewster Academy is in Wolfeboro, NH, a small but year-round active community on the shore of Lake Winnipesaukee, a 71 square mile lake. Terrific views. As mentioned, staff meets daily to talk about students. Not aware of any other school that does so. 350 students.

    We asked what percentage of kids were in the learning program, and were given the answer 40-50%. One of our tour guides was dsylexic, by his own admission, and felt good about his progress. (Sir Richard Brandon, famous dsylexic). Very small 9th grade class. Basketball is their “thing” and have strong Lacrosse. They do not have a rink on campus and the hockey teams play at a rink nearby. A new dorm is nearing completion.

    Proctor Academy (360 students) is in the small town of Andover, NH. The school develops a learning profile for every student, whether in one of their support programs or not, and monitors progress. They requested an updated NeuroPsych battery (our kid last took one in 4th grade) along with grades and test scores. They emphasize experiential learning, something that is now a buzzword (only) at many other schools. They have a 3,000 acre campus, including their own ski area, so it obviously attracts lots of sporty, outdoorsy types. Lots of new facilities and a dynamic Head of School. They have a relatively large number of relatively small dorms, probably a Good Thing. They have a metal shop and wood shop, which helps support STEM learning. As an aside, it was the only school that made mention of environment, diet and exercise as tools to facilitate effective learning, instead of just passing out prescribed medication. Not sure what percentage of kids are in extended support programs.

    Cushing Academy (400 students) is in Wilbraham, MA, about 1-1/2 hours west of Boston. There is a commuter rail connection nearby. Very high percentage (90%) of boarding students. The school has several different levels of learning support and friends there are pleased. It is a very “sporty” school with excellent athletic facilities. We noted a very high percentage of international students for this size/type of school, but don’t know what significance that holds for different learners. One concern is that the Trustees fired the Head of School in December 2016 after three years on the job. There were some changes made to the class schedule and other programs (for example, eliminating Football) that were poorly thought out, poorly communicated, or both. The school announced a successor in October: https://www.cushing.org/page/about/head-of-school-search . New HOS often bring new energy, new programs, and new giving, so that might well be a positive.


  • CaliMexCaliMex Registered User Posts: 846 Member
    This is turning into such a thorough and useful thread...
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