What makes walbridge different?
- All of our students get individualized learning plans that reflect their unique strengths and challenges.
- We use flexible learning groups because everyone is stronger in some subjects than in others.
- As a small school with fewer than twelve students in each class, Walbridge is a safe and supportive place to learn and grow.
- We serve students from elementary through high school and tailor curriculum to each student’s abilities and needs, not just their age.
- Our teachers have specialized formal education and experience working with students who have learning challenges.
As a private, non-profit educational institution, we are freed from much of the red tape imposed on public schools so we can let our students’ needs guide what we do.
Who goes to Walbridge?
There is no typical Walbridge student. Each student learns differently, so we have designed our educational program to support the learning strengths and meet the challenges of each child. Many children in our school have learning challenges (such as ADD, Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Dyscalculia, Dyspraxia, or NLD/NVLD). Others were bullied or did not learn well in large classes or feel at home in crowded hallways milling with hundreds of students. Yet these students have all found a home and an effective learning environment in our school.
Does Walbridge work?
Although our students come to us struggling to thrive in their schools, some of our former students have gone on to become professors, pharmacists, medical professionals, business owners, managers or teachers. Others find success by becoming independent adults, as each student starts with a different set of skills and challenges. Most importantly, Walbridge is a school where students reclaim the self-esteem and self-confidence that they often lost in their prior schooling.
- We have small multi-aged class sizes of 10:1
- We develop student learning plans (SLP’s), with goals that target specific areas.
- We provide a safe and secure learning environment.
- We work hard to keep students engaged in their learning.
- We recognize that students participate and pay attention in different ways
- We try to make certain that there are no “cracks” for students to fall through.
- We continuously observe, monitor, and evaluate students’ work.
- We work hard to address learning needs on an immediate and regular basis.
- We use the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS) as one measure of academic progress for our students.
- We treat all people with dignity, care, and concern.
- We take the time to understand the individual child and that child’s needs.
- We demonstrate empathy and respect in all situations.
- We commit to the success of our students.
- We recognize the wholeness of every child.
- We recognize the ability of an individual to change.
- We use a comprehensive teaching approach that builds on each child’s strengths.
- We empower our students by educating their mind, heart, body, and human spirit.
- We assign students to learning groups based on their academic levels and socially compatible peers (not just on their chronological age). The assigned learning groups are flexible, are often different for each subject (as many of us are stronger in some areas than in others), and can change during the school year to meet individual student needs.
- We have a dedicated teaching staff that can identify the strengths and needs of our students. While labels and diagnoses may provide a helpful guide, we work with the complexities of the entire child and the labels and diagnoses diminish in importance as we get to know the individual student’s specific strengths and challenges.
- We use Orton Gillingham, based instruction such as, Wilson, and Project Road. We also incorporate online opportunities.
- We use math games, manipulatives, and online programs such as Math Blaster and Timez Attack, for students to reinforce concepts and practice skills.
- We provide a friendly and welcoming learning environment, with recognition and appreciation for all.
- We recognize accomplishments and address concerns as an entire school community, in order to maintain an environment that supports learning and mutual respect.
- We recognize the multifaceted strengths and talents of every child.
- We strive to communicate with parents consistently and effectively.
- We strive to keep our promises and are accountable for our actions.