Tuesday, June 8, 2010

What an amazing school visit!

I had to tell you all about my visit this morning to an amazing state of the art school for children with ADHD and/or learning disabilities. It is called the Gateway School in New York City. There is a lower school that comprises about 42 children, which is ungraded. There is also a middle school, which is graded and content oriented.

The rooms were bright and clean with just enough materials to be stimulating but not too many to be overwhelming. There was enough time in the day for group work as well as individual work with both push ins and pull outs for speech therapy, occupatiopnal therapy, etc.

However, the most fabulous thing that I saw was the Hooray Wall where children and teachers write positive comments about the students...just amazing.

I talk in my book about parents who are used to being called by teachers to discuss their children's inappropriate behavior, so that after awhile they do not even want to answer the phone. The point that I discuss in my book is for teachers to call parents on a regular basis to discuss positive issues, such as when a child's behavior has improved, or when a child reached out to help another child, or when a child was organized and ready before a class begins.

Therefore, the Hooray Wall follows the idea of telling children who have had behavioral or organizational issues, among others, when they have improved. I loved this school as well as their individualized, positive philosophy. Wow!!!