The Greenwood School provides intelligent boys with learning differences a unique and powerful program proven to help them build successful futures. For over thirty years, our boarding school’s focus has been empowering boys to maximize their academic, social and creative potentials.
The Greenwood School offers students a singular experience. With our industry leading 2:1 student: teacher ratio, small environment (50 students), family culture, personalized programming, and integrated educational therapies (Occupational Therapy, Social Pragmatics, Speech and Language, Life Skills) Greenwood effectively works with high potential students who struggle with complex learning challenges, ADHD, and/or executive dysfunction. Our new dormitory and woodshop (completed in January, 2011), and our current capital investment in innovative Assistive Technologies, add to the strength of our middle and high school programs.
Greenwood’s small size not only offers students intensive learning opportunities, but also opportunities for leadership; opportunities for successes to be noticed and celebrated, and opportunities for developing confidence, independence, and self-advocacy skills before transitioning to a more traditional high school or to college. Strong enrichment programs—specifically in outdoor adventure and the arts—ensure our students discover their passions and develop their strengths. By blending capabilities for remediation and other educational therapies into the broader curriculum, we are uniquely positioned to help students prepare for the next step in their education.
Language and mathematics are learned skills that are acquired easily by some students, and with varying degrees of difficulty by others. Genetic, neurological, and psychological factors may all contribute to a boy’s readiness and ability to master the basics in the environment of a mainstream classroom.
Since the ability to read is so essential in our society, many remedial schools focus their programs almost entirely on remedial language skills. In so doing, many special programs fail to explore the dimensions of each student’s unique talents. We agree that competent language skills are a requisite part of every education, and for that reason we provide individualized remedial language training as the core of Greenwood’s curriculum.
A true education provides students with more than skills. Consider this:
- If reading level is used to determine the content of academic classes, then the bright language-disabled student is intellectually deprived.
- If a student believes his scholastic progress is dependent on his weakest skill, then his search for knowledge is discouraged.
- If he is convinced that all facets of his learning require clinical instruction and support, then he is robbed of the joy of exploring his creative independence.
We believe the ability to reason, critique, debate, and create, to enjoy a fund of general knowledge, to set personal goals and to persevere in achieving them, are essential components of personal and academic success. Through a unique curriculum, strong in creative as well as functional studies, our students are intellectually challenged, creatively inspired, and factually informed.
Greenwood’s program is research-based and focuses on remediating academic weaknesses while developing each student’s unique talents. Students are grouped according to their abilities. They are involved in a stimulating curriculum guided by understanding, compassionate teachers and soon discover they can learn. As their confidence develops and motivation returns, the process of failure and frustration is reversed.
The Greenwood School strives to reawaken the enthusiasm for learning inherent in all children. We offer a well-rounded academic program that includes:
- Individualized remedial language training
- History and Social Studies
- Art, Music, and Drama
- Remedial Speech
- Greenwood’s Village Program
- Social Pragmatics
- Computer Technology
The Greenwood Tutorial: Individualized Remedial Language Training
Greenwood’s remedial language program offers students training in both beginning and advanced skills. This daily hour-long class is tailored to the particular needs of each student and includes work in:
- Reading: decoding, fluency, and comprehension
- Word Study: roots and affixes
- Handwriting and Keyboarding
- Organizational skills
- Reasoning and Analysis
At Greenwood, we have found that a two-student language tutorial is preferable to one-on-one tutorials for the majority of our students. Students are paired according to both type and degree of learning problem. The two-student language tutorial addresses individual needs, while providing an academic setting that is closer to the group atmosphere each will be expected to reenter in a mainstream school. It is an ideal setting for developing attention span. Since nearly all students are attentive when receiving one-to-one instruction, attention disorders are more realistically addressed when another student is present.
Tutors regularly test students to monitor their progress and to determine how well the student’s individualized program is working. Tutors also keep detailed, regularly updated records of each student’s mastery of specific skills, and write comprehensive, highly detailed reports three times a year.
Writing: The Application of Skills
When required to express himself in writing, a student who has difficulty in acquiring language skills is generally at his greatest disadvantage. To promote success in this area, we devote a full academic period each day to development of organized composition skills.
In writing classes, students practice:
- Sentence and paragraph construction
- Creative and expository writing
- Organization of thoughts in a logical sequence
- Response to literature
All Greenwood students receive laptops equipped with assistive technologies. With their computers students learn to:
- Restructure their written work
In addition, prior to graduation, students receive practical instruction in developing and completing research and term papers. Graduating students also give an oral presentation of their research project to the Greenwood community.
Mathematics: The Study of Patterns in Quantity and Space
Mathematics requires the ability to:
- Recognize patterns
- Extend patterns
- Create patterns
- Apply knowledge of patterns to novel situations- to generalize applications.
At The Greenwood School, mathematics is taught in small class settings where students are grouped according to ability. Math is taught using a multi-sensory, hands-on approach. Manipulatives and games help illustrate concepts; and hands-on exploration, where students get a physical representation of an idea, increases understanding and retention. Instruction is individualized to a great extent so that students have the freedom to progress at their own pace. Mathematical concepts are integrated across the curriculum. There is an emphasis on both mastering mathematical fundamentals and applying the language of mathematics to describe, explore and understand the world.
Reading and comprehension skills are a prerequisite for courses that depend on textbooks to inform and instruct students. The need for reading and comprehension skills causes many learning-disabled students to fall behind in subjects that require extensive reading. Nevertheless, content-based inquiry is an area in which many LD students excel. In science at Greenwood, students arrive each day with many questions, curious about the world around them and eager to channel this curiosity into an understanding of the scientific process.
The Greenwood science curriculum balances:
- Computer-enhanced instruction
- Experiential activities
- Earth Science
Our science curriculum encourages individual study. Greenwood’s 100 acre campus is a natural site for students to learn about habitats and conservation. In addition, the science facilities promote and supervise Greenwood’s ongoing recycling and environmental projects.
History and Social Studies
History and social studies courses generally require a great deal of textbook reading. At Greenwood, however, a four year curriculum incorporating lectures, discussions, computer-assisted learning, individual and group projects, multisensory instruction, and hands-on activities provides students with a wealth of historic and geographic information.
- American and World history are augmented with geography and cultural studies, civics and current events.
- Use of textbooks, internet and library research, and report writing is stressed. Knowledge acquired in class is complemented by well-planned field trips to historical sites.
- One of the highlights of the year is our annual Gettysburg Address speech contest.
- The social studies faculty assist with the social and political aspects of our yearlong Village Program.
All academic subjects contain a language component. Because all Greenwood teachers are required to complete remedial language training, they are able to offer students a consistent approach to language learning skills in every class throughout the school day.