Located in Pennsylvania’s Greater Delaware Valley, Center School is an independent, nonsectarian, co-educational day school with a special education focus. It serves more than 90 elementary and middle school students identified with language-based learning difficulties in the areas of reading and language development.
“When Center School was introduced to the All Kinds of Minds philosophy in 2003, it became evident that—given the program’s promotion of a greater understanding of student behavior, of student learning, and of learning differences in general—it was tailored to our mission,” explains Head of School Joseph Devlin. “Center School’s subsequent integration of All Kinds of Minds’ processes into our school culture allowed us to meet our professional development goal of helping teachers improve services to students and their families. We did this by using the approach to inform the faculty’s neurodevelopmental knowledge and to provide new methods for recognizing, understanding, and managing the school’s students who learn differently.”
More than 65 percent of the school’s faculty members have been trained in the use of the All Kinds of Minds neurodevelopmental framework and view the Attuning a Student process as integral to Center School’s diagnostic teaching methods, small group instruction, and cooperative team approach. Center School teacher and All Kinds of Minds national faculty member Joanne Roark remarks, “All of Center School’s academic programs have been enhanced and the learning experiences of all our students—and faculty—enriched through our commitment to and participation in All Kinds of Minds’ programs. These methods also fit perfectly with our goal of helping students learn how to become better organized and develop good work habits and strategies to become independent and confident learners.”
Center School’s faculty holds regularly scheduled “child study meetings,” providing educators with opportunities to share observations, look for patterns, and examine more carefully how students can use their strengths and affinities to leverage their weaknesses. Students have been learning about learning using All Kinds of Minds-related materials, including The Mind That’s Mine and All Kinds of Minds. The faculty has redesigned the student report card to better reflect each child’s strengths, needs, and successful strategies and accommodations. Parent discussion groups are held regularly, focusing on topics such as “Learning about Learning: How we can help our children learn?” In 2006, Center School hosted an All Kinds of Minds Fair for students and their families.