By Guest Blogger Tim Montgomery, Head of School at The Piedmont School
The student I am about to describe to you…was you as a child. Or maybe it is your child, or your nephew or your niece. Maybe it is your neighbor or co-worker’s child that you have heard them discuss as you lent an empathetic ear. Maybe it is a child at your church or at your child’s school or at the summer swim club, but trust me, you know this child. At The Piedmont School we work with what I believe is the most underserved population of students in our society. The profile of our students is an average to above average intellect with either an ADHD diagnosis or another diagnosed learning difference, usually in a language based area such as reading or writing. Some students are with us due to a weakness in math skills while others may be dealing with an auditory processing disorder that makes learning in a traditional classroom setting extremely difficult. The final piece of the equation is that behavioral or emotional problems cannot be a primary part of the diagnosis. So as I always say, The Piedmont School is a place for bright kids who simply learn in a way that makes a traditional classroom setting not a place where they can reach their potential.
Our students come to us from both the public and private school sectors. They primarily come to us from very fine schools, but schools where the primary focus is not providing for the needs of our population. Because of this our students quite often come to us not only struggling in the classroom, but struggling socially as well. Their self esteem is not where it should be because they feel their struggles must mean something is wrong with them when nothing could be further from the truth. Our students are bright, creative, talented, artistic, athletic, inquisitive, motivated, determined, all of the characteristics any school would hope to find in their students, they just learn differently.
In other environments students are periodically pulled out of class to get extra assistance in reading, writing, or math which can usually help to a certain degree, but it pales in comparison to what a student receives at The Piedmont School. These pull out sessions often further the self esteem concerns as students are picked on and even bullied because they have to leave class for extra assistance. At The Piedmont School our classrooms and curriculum are designed to meet the academic and social needs of these bright young students and there is no pull out or extra sessions required. Students who have had to suffer through tutoring in their afternoons and evenings find the need for these sessions melting away.
At The Piedmont School we are very much into strategic learning. Not only do our students learn the content in the subject area, but they learn strategies that fit their specific learning style. These are strategies they use while they are with us, and serve as additional tools for their academic toolboxes if and when they transition away from us. Though we remain a transitional school for some, the great majority of our families are seeing us as a destination school that meets all of their child’s academic and social needs. With our expanding extracurricular offerings including a full athletic program, art, drama, music, and an array of after school clubs, there is really no reason to consider going anywhere else!
From our highly successful Kinder Academy at The Piedmont School that has been serving Triad kindergarten students for several years to our exciting new cutting edge 9th grade online/blended program we are piloting for 2014-2015 which will lead into our expanding, much anticipated high school program, we continue to grow upon and expand on the rich 32 year history of one of our regions absolute treasures…The Piedmont School. The amazing growth of our school in recent years and the exciting vision for our future resonates in the simple truths learned from reading our mission statement. The Piedmont School strives daily to be the educational oasis that quenches the thirst of students who learn differently. Check us out online or you can enjoy our lighter side on YouTube by clicking HERE. Have a great summer!
Sponsored by The Piedmont School