For nearly a century, we’ve been an advocate for every student’s promise. Forman is a safe, welcoming, and diverse community where those who learn differently thrive.
Forman’s original mission—to be a practical nerve center researching the best teaching approaches for students who learn differently—still drives us. From their first day, all students enter a Cognition and Learning class tailored to their needs and progress through a curricular track designed to help them thrive.
Our Cognition and Learning Department run ongoing professional development too—so all teachers can offer best-in-class instruction and support.
Metacognitive strategies: The empowered brain
This class is intended to cultivate self-awareness in learning and provide students with an introduction to the knowledge, skills, and strategies needed to navigate the academic realm of adolescence and beyond. Topics explored include: the goal setting process, metacognition, personal introspection, study strategies, organizational skills, listening and notetaking, and time management.
The course is designed to give students the necessary tools to understand themselves as learners and feel empowered to navigate their own learning, organization, and reflection. Students understand that learning simply does not “happen,” but is rather an “active” process. Additionally, understanding and reflecting on concepts of learning independence, dependence, and interdependence will be discussed.
Reading principles, reading skills, and understanding
The Cognition and Learning Department's reading courses are designed to help students develop reading and word attack skills using an individualized, multi-sensory, phonetic, and sequential approach. The course is taught in a small-group setting with a reading specialist. Additionally, students delve into assistive technology options and resources throughout their time in this course.
To ensure teaching is individualized, Forman's reading specialists are trained in a variety of programs to meet each student's needs. These programs include: Orton-Gillingham, Wilson, and Lindamood-Bell.
Executive Function coaching
Executive Function coaching is an action-oriented partnership between the student and coach that serves as a collaborative learning “lab”—plus a catalyst for sustained cognitive changes and performance enhancement.
Here, students develop an understanding of self, their strengths, and EF difficulties. Working 1:1 with a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, they'll learn to understand themselves, their strengths, and EF challenges. Students set short and long term goals, create action steps, anticipate roadblocks, and design approaches to manage performance-related challenges—with current coursework as a reference.
Coaching provides non-judgmental structure, support, and accountability.
This experiential education program—running for two weeks every February and March—plunges the entire Forman community into immersive learning adventures. Winterim’s options are ever-changing (there are almost 30 available): think environmental documentary-making in Patagonia, cultural immersion in Spain, an expedition tracing the US Civil Rights Trail, classes in op-ed journalism, and college tours of America’s Northeast.
Passionate about problem solving? See a market gap that needs filling? Inside Forman’s Promethean Lab—the HQ for our voluntary talent development program—any student with big ideas has a platform to bring them to life.
Neurodivergent teens are often creative: original thinkers, experimental, inventive problem-solvers. Our Promethean Program is an opportunity to let their ideas run wild in a serious lab environment. Brimming with the latest design tech—from 3D printers to milling machines, welders to architecture and animation software—the space is a hotbed of innovation and peer-to-peer collaboration.
The Promethean Program is student-led, with timelines adapted to each project. Students track their progress on individual websites—which double as college portfolio pieces. Faculty advisors offer guidance and structure for every idea, whether filmmaking, game design, music production, or aeronautical science.
Founded in 1992, Forman’s Rainforest Project is (an optional) part of the science curriculum. Students take a seven-month tropical ecology class, before a life-changing expedition to Costa Rica. They develop research skills, unearth new information on endangered species—Forman holds multiple US patents—and find alternative, sustainable wage-making enterprises for locals, like propagating orchids in test tubes.
Future restaurateurs and budding chefs can hone their skills near-daily on campus at the Lion’s Den Bistro, located in the Malcolm G. Chace Student Center. Under the guidance of a professional chef, they prepare dishes with fresh, organic ingredients sourced from 14 local farms, bakeries, butchers, and restaurants, and serve them up to our community. The program is available as an alternative to a sport.
A gap semester program for the planet-minded. During Ingenuity Year, students aged 17-21 engage with communities in coastal Maine facing climate change, embark on a student-led expedition, train with an executive function coach, and more. It’s the ideal place to harness real-world skills, build confidence, and gain a competitive edge for the workforce.