Darlington will offer a program specifically designed to support students with dyslexia beginning this fall and will host an Understanding Dyslexia event on April 12.

The Accelerated Learning Program for Dyslexia will focus on students from the second through the fifth grades and provide necessary remediation with experienced learning specialists, while allowing students with dyslexia enrolled in the program to receive the full Darlington experience, according to a press release.

“Ours is a more integrated approach than current options for parents, which often involve withdrawing students from school and temporarily enrolling them in dyslexia-only schools,” said Darlington’s Head of School Brent Bell. “Our program will provide enrolled students with a traditional school experience, while offering them the level of support they need to be successful. This is a mission-appropriate approach for Darlington.”

The program will allow students to participate in classes along with other students and be pulled out into small, ability-based groups for intensive reading remediation during English and Spanish.

“Students with dyslexia are creative, talented, eager to learn, and typically add much to the learning environments in which they are enrolled,” said Scott Greene, director of Darlington’s Teaching and Learning Center. “They are generally students of above-average intelligence whose brains process the components of reading differently than other students. There is no cure, though remediation programs such as ours can successfully be used to teach these students to read. These students are resilient and are able to be very successful in their fields of choice. They are often very talented artists, athletes and creative thinkers who tend to see the world differently.”

Greene will head up the program and will use the evidence-based Orton-Gillingham method of reading instruction to teach phonetic awareness, decoding and encoding.

In an effort to ensure that students enrolled in the Accelerated Learning Program for Dyslexia are successful in all of their academic classes, the Orton-Gillingham Classroom Educator training will be provided to all teachers, teaching assistants, and administrators who work with students in pre-K through fifth grade this summer. Next summer, all teachers in grades 6-8 will also be trained.

Darlington has partnered with the Schenck School in Atlanta, Gracepoint School in Kennesaw and The Key School in Asheville, North Carolina, to support training and ongoing professional development.

In addition, Darlington School will host an Understanding Dyslexia event in partnership with the International Dyslexia Association of Georgia on April 12 at 6:30 p.m. in Thatcher Hall. The free event will feature a presentation by Brenda Fitzgerald, a curriculum specialist whose area of expertise is reading and any disability that interferes with that process. Click here to register for the event.