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A public charter school, Pepin Academies serves 425 students identified with severe learning disabilities. Encompassing four small schools (elementary, intermediate and high schools, as well as a post-secondary transitional school focused on developing work skills), Pepin Academies seeks to employ innovative instructional design to develop the gifts of a diverse population who frequently arrive at their doors already discouraged.
Pepin Academies has broadly embraced the All Kinds of Minds approach, and 80-100 percent of the educators in each individual school, along with most school administrators, have participated in All Kinds of Minds professional development programs. “Having this training has united our faculty even further in our mission and belief in students as learners with endless potential,” says Geri Henry, Speech Language Pathologist. “I also now have a specific language to back up and support our school philosophy.”
The All Kinds of Minds neurodevelopmental framework is foundational to all educational strategies that educators employ at Pepin Academies. When developing lesson plans, educators consider and specify the neurodevelopmental implications of what they will be asking students to do. In addition, teachers and diagnostic staff collaborate to develop an extensive learning profile and management plan for each student, which they use to identify and build on student strengths, rather than just focusing on identified disabilities.
Administrators at Pepin Academies credit this focus for allowing them to foster success among diverse and complex learners. With a dropout rate of less than one percent and a promotion rate of 100 percent, Pepin Academies has been asked by educators at other charter schools to provide them with guidance or ideas on ways to more effectively serve exceptional children.