Carroll School is a dynamic independent day school for elementary and middle school students in grades 1-9 who have been diagnosed with specific learning difficulties in reading and writing, such as dyslexia.
Give Each Child what he or she most needs
We believe dyslexia allows children to see the world differently. And we love that. In fact, we’ve created an entire curriculum, teaching mindset, and community to support each child’s unique perspective. The results are astounding. Click on the images to learn more.
Tutorial & Small Classes
A Complete School
Teachers & Tutors
Student ProfileCarroll School focuses. We focus on one type of learner. Every student at Carroll is a bright, motivated child with language-based learning difficulties (dyslexia) that make some aspects of traditional school extremely challenging. We created a community around this learning profile and rally around the belief that “children with dyslexia tend to look at the world differently, and that makes the world a better place.”
But we don’t stop there. We delve into this learner and discover 419 unique variations of this profile. Carroll teachers and tutors are trained and dedicated to providing what each student most needs. How?
- We identify each student’s cognitive and academic profile using careful assessments, classroom observations, and work samples.
- We create small class groupings of remarkably similar types of learners and design curriculum that delivers focused instruction for each child
- We monitor student progress daily and adjust our instruction based on a student’s performance.
The result: a positive learning environment where the curriculum is driven by moving forward as fast as each student can go and as slowly as necessary to ensure mastery
TutoriAL & Small Classes
Why does Carroll work for our students whereas other schools have not? It’s because we set-up our classrooms and tutoring to provide exactly what children with dyslexia need - small group and individualized instruction. Overall, the school’s student to teacher ratio is 3:1. However, teaching children to master the challenges of the written word most often occurs in our 1:1 tutorial.
By minimizing group sizes, our teachers and tutors are able to customize instruction so each student can master decoding, reading fluency, comprehension, written expression, and mathematics. Each child receives individualized, multisensory, systematic Orton-Gillingham instruction designed specifically to deliver what she or he most needs to become a strong reader. This approach is reinforced throughout each day as a child engages in language arts instruction, content learning, and project-based instruction.
Cognitive Intervention is one of the best examples of how our school commits to help children become skilled, self-directed, organized, strategic, and successful students. At Carroll we talk a lot about the role of the teacher. We believe firmly that our job is to create better learners, not simply to move them through a prescribed curriculum.
Cognitive Intervention gets to the underlying “causes” of a child’s specific language-based learning challenge. Through a detailed examination of a child’s cognitive skills, we are able to understand some of the weaker brain systems that make learning to read so difficult. In our student population, for example, many of our bright children have significantly inadequate processing speeds, executive function skills, or working memory networks.
Armed with that information, our teachers engage children in classroom activities to address the underlying causes of their challenges. In effect, we build better brain circuits that promote more effective and efficient learning.
Teachers & Tutors
Research affirms that the number one factor in student success is the skill, tenacity, and mindset of the teacher. We take that to heart (and task!).
Carroll teachers are uniquely trained to meet the needs of our type of learner - children with language-based learning difficulties. They have to be; they need to succeed where others haven’t. The more Carroll educators understand about dyslexia and how the human brain learns, the more a child achieves.
We provide the tools, support, and professional development opportunities that mobilize teachers and tutors to deliver to each student what he or she most needs. We hire faculty that share a mindset that all children have the ability to succeed and we train them to ensure each student is moving in a positive direction and receiving effective skills, strategies, and positive self-concept. As such, your child learns that obstacles provide opportunities to become stronger and are inspired to think differently.
We believe that academic growth and social-emotional learning go hand in hand.
Carroll is an environment that makes learning differently a completely normal and valued daily occurrence. This creates an ideal context for children to gain appreciation of their strengths and a safe place to work hard to improve areas of vulnerability. While we cannot enroll children whose primary school difficulty is based in emotional struggles, every bright child with a language-based learning difficulty is at risk for low self-concept, self-doubt, frustration, and anxiety. We take on these issues directly as a core component of our school.
Likewise, our program directly takes on the issues of learning differently as a social and emotional challenge. For example, every day begins and ends with small group work with a homeroom teacher (advisor) and specific curriculum addresses social and emotional well-being as part of our commitment to delivering what each child most needs.
Children with dyslexia often have prolific talents. Your child may be able to think in stories, reason in three dimensions, or see the big picture where others do not. He or she may also be highly creative, curious, or intuitive.
At Carroll School, we think of these as superpowers. We celebrate the dyslexic advantage and give your child the opportunity to embrace these strengths through engineering, drama, art, music, community service, outdoor adventures, and more.
In every classroom, tutoring space, and activity, we aim to show your child that dyslexia is a gift to share with the world.
A Complete School
Carroll is designed to provide a comprehensive independent school education that meets the unique needs of each of our students. Once a child enrolls at Carroll, she or he typically remains with us until high school. Our broad, flexible and customized program alongside a dynamic student culture makes Carroll the ideal setting to prepare children for high school and beyond.
Over the decades, Carroll has evolved from a program that offered a superb remedial program but limitations in other offerings to a complete school with strengths in many additional curricular and extracurricular areas. As such, we are preparing students for success after Carroll in a broad range of experiences.
In addition to addressing some significant gaps in reading, writing, and math, Carroll provides an enriched and broad program in content areas such as science and history, the arts, athletics and outdoor education, project-based learning, maker spaces and technology, leadership, and social justice activities.
Coming to Carroll expands a child’s opportunities in life. The high schools, colleges, and careers of our alumni speak to how Carroll helps open doors for children with language-based learning difficulties. Not only are students prepared academically but they leave Carroll with a unique view of the world and their abilities.
Consistently, alumni tell us that their early challenges in life have made them stronger, more confident, and resilient adults. They are proud of their differences and harness them to their advantage in their careers and relationships.
Teachers, students, alumni, parents ... they are the fabric of the Carroll School community. We celebrate their unique stories and perspectives each and every day. We are so lucky.
IF NOT FOR CARROLL
50th Birthday Video
Carroll School celebrates 50 years of educating remarkable students with dyslexia. Hear from four alumni about what Carroll meant to them: David Arrow '79, Meghan Foucher '95, Greg McMahon '00, Kerri Belguendouz '17
Carroll Alumnus, 1973
"I have had the unique opportunity to start a program for kids who are identified with language-based learning differences. And what has excited me about this opportunity is the chance to pay it forward - to do for other kids what was done for me."
Carroll Alumna, 2003
"Bounders gave me time during the day to decompress, be in my element, and to feel really smart." Hear how Carroll's outdoor education program, Bounders, inspired Michaela in school and life.
Follow Michaela's current project, Down to Earth Expeditions, as she seeks to instill environmental stewardship within students by creating connection to the natural world.
"If Not for Carroll" Song
Written & Composed by Adam Brooks and Patrick Pate
The Carroll School chorus sings an original song, written & composed by teachers Adam Brooks and Patrick Pate, live at the 50th Birthday Celebration on October 21, 2017.