Sandhills Elementary School serves approximately 500 third- and fourth-grade public school students in the rural communities of Gaston and Swansea, South Carolina.
Recognizing a need to better understand students’ learning difficulties, in 2008 Sandhills Elementary began a partnership with All Kinds of Minds to explore learners’ neurodevelopmental diversity. Sandhills Elementary Principal Lisa Evans says, “Every student must be engaged in learning that is purposeful and rigorous in a safe, respectful, and nurturing learning community that values individual student needs—and have equal access to high quality educators and programs. The All Kinds of Minds approach to learning allows us to live this basic tenet that serves as the cornerstone of our school philosophy.”
With 80 percent of its educators trained through All Kinds of Minds programs, the Sandhills Elementary staff use their knowledge of how the eight neurodevelopmental constructs affect student learning to facilitate conversations about learning with parents, colleagues, and students.
Sandhills Assistant Principal Gina Stevenson comments, “Through an understanding of our students’ multi-faceted learning profiles, we can differentiate instruction to meet individual needs.” Using the Management Resources Binder, as well as other resources provided by All Kinds of Minds, teachers access a variety of instructional techniques to help improve areas of individual student weakness. In addition, Sandhills Elementary teachers use demystification strategies to foster student awareness of strengths and affinities, as well as specific learning breakdowns.
Teachers also use resources from All Kinds of Minds’ website in planning “learning about learning” lessons to encourage students become advocates for their own learning affinities, weaknesses and needs.
Sandhills Elementary takes pride in having a professional learning community where student results drive instruction, timely interventions and accelerations are based on data and student needs, and collaboration is organized toward targeted goals that result in improved student performance. Sandhills educators view their work with All Kinds of Minds as an important element of this community.