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Schools with Academic Support

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Replies to: Schools with Academic Support

  • chemmchimneychemmchimney 803 replies1 threads Member
    Several schools now have support for anxiety and learning differences as they often go together. These include Suffield, White Mountain, Dublin, Darrow, possibly Millbrook, Hoosac, VT Academy, Eaglebrook and several more... some schools have this support baked in and others have a therapist on campus or will at least arrange for transportation to therapy appointments. We worked with a consultant to be sure we had a good fit for our daughter withPTSD and mild learning differences. I would not have sent her prior to her getting her anxiety well controlled though.
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  • Golfgr8Golfgr8 1188 replies20 threads Senior Member
    Just to add to the schools mentioned above, our friends have been very happy with the support their student is receiving at Suffield...both for anxiety and ADD/ADHD. They are very positive about the academic experience and the interest of the faculty in transitioning to BS. Very supportive in assisting with outside appointments, as well as on campus support.
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  • GarandmanGarandman 219 replies9 threads Junior Member
    When it comes to emotional support, it’s likely all boarding schools have such resources, but how they are organized and deployed is highly variable.

    Taking Andover of several years ago, where we had a very poor experience, counselors were assigned to the health center and there was almost no communication with academic advisors, dorm parents, or coaches: their “Team approach” to support meant no one was responsible for the welfare of any particular student. The school claims to have reorganized their resources to be more supportive. However, Andover has five residential clusters so as before, the experience is liable to be highly variable.

    At Tabor Academy, counselors work under the auspices of the Dean’s Office. Each student has an advisor who is responsible for all facets of the student experience, and the advisory meets weekly so they are much more in tune with the student’s state of mind, short-term challenges, etc. Putting counselors in the Dean’s Office removes any stigma of visiting the health center and communication about how best to support a student amongst all parties (advisor, dorm parents, class dean, coaches, etc) is guaranteed to happen.

    While interviewing at schools we met a mom who was also making college visits with an older child. She said that on college tours, counseling centers are often a scheduled stop on the tour. If you GIS “Anxiety with High Function,” it sounds like daily life for a lot of high-achieving students at boarding schools. 11th grade girls seem to be the most often affected but it’s happening with all ages of boys and girls. It seems to be something a lot of kids are coping with.
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  • vwlizardvwlizard 319 replies33 threads Member
    We were really impressed with Brewster's team approach. Teams meet 4 times a week and everyone involved with the kid is there. I know it's a cornerstone of their program as we were even shown how they run the meetings. When they say "no kid falls through the cracks", I believe them. There also seemed to be a system to have (at least) weekly contact with parents.
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  • sgopal2sgopal2 3539 replies49 threads Senior Member
    Someone mentioned Pennington School. I have some familiarity and can share:

    Pennington is a sleepy little town about 15 mins away from Princeton. The school has about 500 total students (grades 6-12). The school has a learning center which provides services to students with high/average intellectual ability but with specific deficits: dyslexia, ADD, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, specific learning disabilities, etc.

    The learning center offers 1:1 daily tutoring (for an extra fee). Another level is called Academic Skills Tutorial (AST) which involves a smaller class size but dedicated LC teacher. Assignments and other school related texts are all delivered/received via iPad. There is a limit to the # of students who the LC can handle, but I think it is about 20-30 students per year. A full panel of neuropsych testing is needed when applying. The LC students are able to take any of the classes offered at Pennington, including AP level. The learning center director really is a strong advocate for the students. LC costs an extra $17-20K per year. AST costs an extra $5k per year. Also offers ESL.

    A large majority of the school is comprised of day students (from nearby NJ and Bucks County PA). I think about 75% of the students are day students. Many of the faculty live on campus, or nearby. The boarding students are from a wide variety of countries. The school offers a college-prep curriculum, and the learning center students take the same curriculum as non-LC students. As such, there is little to no stigma associated with the learning center.
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  • dramakid2dramakid2 245 replies3 threads Junior Member
    edited January 2019
    Is anyone familiar with Woodbury Forest and their academic support? I am considering all-boys for my 7th grader who will apply to schools for Fall 2020. He will have a neuropsych evaluation next week.
    edited January 2019
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  • chemmchimneychemmchimney 803 replies1 threads Member
    Yay @vwlizard!! Congrats! That’s great news.
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  • Golfgr8Golfgr8 1188 replies20 threads Senior Member
    Congrats @vwlizard ! :bz
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  • chemmchimneychemmchimney 803 replies1 threads Member
    edited January 2019
    Chimneykid2 has had some good news this week too - her art is going to be included at a local art festival and the scene she wrote is being performed there too! Her school’s first time exhibiting and performing as part of this mostly adult festival . Very fun!
    edited January 2019
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  • dramakid2dramakid2 245 replies3 threads Junior Member
    Congratulations @vwlizard , so happy for you and your son!

    Exciting news @chemmchimney , your daughter must be very excited and proud!
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  • CTMom21CTMom21 501 replies2 threads Member
    Wow, @vwlizard — congrats! I didn’t realize Forman did their admissions early. How exciting to be done. I was wondering where your son ended up applying. We visited and felt that it wasn’t the right place for DS, but it seems like an awesome school. CTKid#1 has a friend who attends. I was just thinking how we were there last year this time — MLK Jr. day.
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  • vwlizardvwlizard 319 replies33 threads Member
    @CTMom21 - They have rolling admissions, so once all of your information is in, they will start the process.
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  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 6129 replies10 threads Senior Member
    Great news, @vwlizard and @chemmchimney !
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  • LeeLeeBLeeLeeB 13 replies6 threads Junior Member
    Vermont Academy has academic support. We just had a personal tour by an AO. He said they have a program for kids who learn differently. He took us to that study area (it was a gorgeous, cozy library like space). I think he said there are several tutors in there, and one staff (teacher?) In charge He also said that though designed for kids who learn differently (he gave an example of executive functioning), in reality, any kid who is struggling in any class is encouraged to use this resource. He said 90% of the school's students will by graduation have used this room (and those tutors) at least once. He gave the example of his own daughter never using it, until she was surprised to find herself really struggling in a higher level math class, so she dropped in, and got a lot of consistent help, and pulled through.

    I like that everyone can use this program too, tutors....I wish I could remember what it was called!), so no stigma. I also liked that he had the attitude that yes, there are kids who learn differently and need support, but guess what? Everyone struggles sometimes. I think kids who enter with identified learning disabilities (LD) are required to go there every so often, whereas for other students, it's a choice (but I'm not 100% sure on that).

    This tutoring room for academic support (LD) is located very near the gym, also pretty near dining hall, right get in center if campus. I think that is another plus.

    The AO man said that about 30% of the student population has some way they learn differently (LD). Vermont Academy seemed prepared for kids who need support. Having said that, our tour was not overly focused on LD kids, and if you visit, I don't think at all this school has a feel of being primarily for LD kids (it's not). It seems like a regular, cool boarding school (it is).

    Also, the mandatory study hall is more monitored for kids who need academic support. There are different locations of where one can study, and when you and your grades show you can go to a different location and still have productive studying, then you can, for example, study in your room. 9th graders spend the first several weeks in the more structured setting, until staff has gotten to know the kids better and see what works for each kid).

    There is of course the resource of studying after class hours with your teacher, made easy because the teachers live on campus. This is a resource most boarding schools offer.

    Also, the school is very aware if a kid's grade dips. They will work as a team to help the student more. Of that plan isn't working, they let the parent know, and it is possible to do a schedule change to a less rigorous class.

    I got a strong impression staff here know each kid as an individual very well, and can get them the support they need.
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  • vwlizardvwlizard 319 replies33 threads Member
    @LeeLeeB Is VA the first school with academic support you've looked at? If you liked their model Brewster, Kimball Union, New Hampton, Cushing, and Proctor would be similar.

    When we visited we were impressed with their arts programs and how enthusiastic the kids were. There were more kids that wanted to be tour guides than there were visitors. It seemed like most of the school wanted to jump in and help. I also liked that kids that were lost in their public schools really found a home there.

    And we still talk about the food. It was fantastic.
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  • Golfgr8Golfgr8 1188 replies20 threads Senior Member
    For girls, there is Purnell. For Co-Ed, did you look at Forman. Also there is Darrow. We know kids who have received support at Suffield and Cheshire - families happy with those schools.
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  • shakeitoffshakeitoff 17 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Is anyone familiar with Cheshire Academy's Roxbury Academic Support program? Any comments on it will be helpful. My DS got into Cheshire and Brewster with FA and while there are several comments about Brewster, there's barely any about Cheshire in CT. Thanks!
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  • shakeitoffshakeitoff 17 replies0 threads Junior Member
    bump
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  • CTMom21CTMom21 501 replies2 threads Member
    We looked at Cheshire for my son and although their learning center is heavily publicized and has a good reputation, I was surprised when they told us that only about 10% of students use it. That’s a low number for a program that seems like a centerpiece. I don’t know that it’s a negative; it just struck me as odd.
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