Steven came to us halfway through 5th grade, and when we met with him and his mother during our initial consultation, we learned he loved math and sports, but had started to dislike school since being put in the Blue Jay reading group, which, he said through tears, “is the one everyone knows is for the dumb kids.” We immediately sent Steven to undergo a reading and learning assessment, where he received the double diagnosis of dyslexia and ADHD, as well as data showing his significant strengths in math.
Though the family came to us after the application deadline, we were able to work with our contacts at a school specializing in language-based disorders, and Steven was accepted to start 6th grade in the fall. After two years of reading remediation, and advanced math courses, we then helped him on his next step: an 8th grade placement at an all-boys’ junior boarding school with excellent learning support and athletics. His soccer and tennis coach was also his English teacher and dormparent, and Steven continued to gain confidence in his reading due to “Mr. Northrup, who’s really cool,” and the fact his curriculum focused more on poetry and short stories than novels.
At the end of this 8th grade year Steven was taking Geometry with the 9th graders and he told us he “wanted to go to a regular prep school for 9th grade,” but we worked with his junior boarding school to have him stay an additional year – the culminating year for the school – and earn leadership positions in the dorm and on the soccer team. We then worked to place Steven at a traditional boarding school for 10th grade – but one we know would offer him excellent one-on-one extra help when needed.