Make the Right Choice for You
Your high school age child has a learning difference—whether it's dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, attention deficit disorders, or issues with executive functioning. How do you decide the best choice for his or her education?
As you look at secondary schools, here are some considerations that may help you and your child make this important decision.
Ask yourself these questions
At Forman, faculty training is a regular and ongoing part of our work. Our Professional Development Institute brings experts in the fields of education, neuroscience, and instructional design to campus to work directly with our teachers. In addition to being content experts, our department chairs are certified Professional Developers by the Center for Research on Learning at the University of Kansas. Our Learning Specialists are trained in a variety of methods including the Strategic Instruction Model, ADHD and executive function coaching, and multi-sensory structured reading programs such as Orton Gillingham and Lindamood-Bell.
Forman School embeds learning support into the whole student program: in academics, athletics, arts, and campus life. Students are not separated from their peers or labeled; they are accepted and assisted as unique and different learners in all aspects of life on campus. Small classroom sizes and one-on-one teachers allow students to identify their learning styles and do work at an individual pace, with no supplementary fees for these services.
It's important to look for an experience that is broad, challenging, and parallels that of a traditional college prep school. At Forman, your son or daughter can expand and grow through well-rounded experiences athletics, the arts, community service, leadership opportunities, and strong personal relationships with teachers and students.
Technology offers important tools for students with learning differences and new products are released all the time. Consider how a school integrates technology into the classroom. For example, Forman uses iPads with software applications that convert speech to text and support note taking and organization such as Dragon Dictation. Forman has established a well thought out foundation of technology use, tailored to the individual student's needs. Appropriate assistive technology makes the process of learning easier and more enjoyable, thus increasing academic confidence and enthusiasm.
Beyond the traditional academic preparation, students with learning differences need guidance to master the complex process of identifying and applying to colleges. Forman’s Office of College Counseling, along with the entire faculty, teach proper strategies, tools, self-awareness, and advocacy skills which are all critical for success. From the beginning of a student’s journey at Forman, he or she learns this advocacy, from getting extra time on standardized tests, to increasing essay preparation competence, to time management and personal confidence during interviews. At Forman, students learn to be comfortable living in a dorm away from home, preparing them in advance for this important step in college.
One of the keys to the successful Forman experience is the extent to which a student with a learning difference becomes confident and articulate in expressing his or her requirements. Forman graduates leave with high self-esteem and strong self-advocacy skills, making them more successful as they carry these tools over to college.
The values of citizenship, responsibility, integrity, perseverance, and mutual respect are paramount to the experience and growth of a Forman student. Beyond the daily reinforcement of these principles, Forman names a Citizen of the Week each week, recognizing a student for his or her contribution to the community. Additionally, community service is a vital requirement for all students as they gain a larger understanding of themselves as global citizens.
This is an element of Forman life that is brought up again and again by faculty, students, and alumni: the “Forman family” is a tight-knit community, where everyone has a place. Students are known and understood by their teachers and feel safe and respected in a community that genuinely cares about them. One of the quickest ways to learn this for yourself is by talking with students and hearing their firsthand accounts of this special place.
A safe and welcoming campus life is of paramount importance in a student’s experience in secondary school. Forman understands that adolescents are learning who they are and who they want to be during this formative time. A small, close-knit community with faculty who serve in the classrooms, on the playing fields, and in the dorms ensures that all students are 'known' and protected as they mature in to responsible, college-ready young adults. Forman’s setting in bucolic Litchfield provides a rural, safe, and beautiful environment for young adults to grow.