Catlin Gabel School is a nationally recognized progressive coeducational, independent day school, enrolling more than 700 P-12 students in Portland, OR. With a 7:1 student-to-teacher ratio, the school is able to focus on each student’s innate capacities, encourage exploration, and welcome questions.
Catlin Gabel Head of School Dr. Lark Palma says, “Our goal is to provide each student with a challenging curriculum and an inspired learning environment. The All Kinds of Minds philosophies have given our staff a key set of tools and processes that support our goal. It enables us to provide insightful and dedicated teaching that values each student’s effort, imagination, and positive contributions to the community.”
Since 2005, when a few faculty members took a Schools Attuned to All Kinds of Minds course, more than 74 percent of the faculty has participated in All Kinds of Minds programs, and the school’s administration has committed resources to train all teachers. Hannah Whitehead, Catlin Gabel Beginning School Head, notes, “We now analyze Middle School student work through a neurodevelopmental lens and have created forms for discussing puzzling students. When necessary, we refer students to our learning specialists, who—combining an using All Kinds of Minds’ approach with other testing—create student learning profiles, including recommended interventions and accommodations.”
Catlin Gabel’s teachers now include “learning about learning” lessons in their classroom curricula. A sixth grade teacher noted that she had to modify the All Kinds of Minds lesson she had prepared because her students were already very knowledgeable about their own learning profiles from their Lower School work. Catlin’s Upper School curriculum review now includes subject analysis and multiple assessments. Participation in All Kinds of Minds’ “Building Alliances between School and Home” led Catlin teachers to rethink Beginning and Lower School reporting methods/criteria, and parent-faculty meetings now often include information about All Kinds of Minds.
Dr. Palma concludes, “Our students and families welcome the clarity of demystifying learning strengths and weaknesses, and appreciate the myriad strategies available to address issues impeding academic success. Integration of All Kinds of Minds practices at Catlin Gabel has also freed our learning specialists to focus on students who could benefit from a professional look to determine their learning obstacles.”