Founded in 1982, The Quaker School at Horsham, Pennsylvania, is an independent, coeducational school serving students with learning differences in grades P-8. The school’s average 4:1 student-to-teacher ratio facilitates the development of trusting relationships and supports learning in this Friends-affiliated school with a student population of 68.
Quaker School Head Ruth Joray explains, “Beginning in 2002, the Quaker School at Horsham sought collaboration with All Kinds of Minds to further its mission as a school of caring adults teaching to accommodate the needs of its students— teaching to all students’ individual strengths while supporting their challenges. The language and flavor All Kinds of Minds is infused throughout our school’s culture, granting validity and honor to our very diverse population.”
With more than half of its faculty members graduates of All Kinds of Minds courses, the Quaker School at Horsham integrates All Kinds of Minds processes and tools into its school and classroom curricula in diverse ways throughout each day, using the neurodevelopmental constructs to describe and foster understanding of each student’s learning profile. Teaching teams meet to analyze and focus on students’ strengths and needs. This positive view of students’ needs provides the basis of how to best support them in their educational and emotional development.
The Mind That’s Mine, Jarvis Clutch and All Kinds of Minds are all familiar reading in The Quaker School, as students are guided to explore what makes each of them unique and valued. This lends itself to respectful behavior and tolerance of differences among students and encourages them to understand and speak openly about their diversity of strengths and challenges in formal settings and in casual conversations.
In keeping with All Kinds of Minds’ philosophy of strengthening student strengths by recognizing individual affinities and interests, The Quaker School developed its Affinity Program—a student-centered guided independent study focused upon exploration of personal interests. By providing time and teacher guidance for children to pursue their affinities, The Quaker School supports students’ inherent curiosity and desire to learn, and offers them the opportunity to teach others through the sharing of their discoveries.
The Quaker School at Horsham has plans to increase parent awareness of the All Kinds of Minds approach in the coming year through Learning about Learning workshops and coordination of an All Kinds of Minds Fair, which will be held for all parents and other invited guests to share more information with students’ families about the benefits the All Kinds of Minds approach offers schools and students.