In both the middle and upper school, students follow a balanced curriculum encompassing English, Social Studies, Science, Mathematics, World Languages and Art.

In addition, all students take Language Arts, a skills-focused class in which they gain strength in reading and writing. Areas given specific attention include decoding, reading comprehension, fluency, morphology, linguistics, vocabulary development, and study and note-taking skills. In the upper grades, skill work emphasizes preparation for college applications, standardized testing, and for tasks expected in college.

It is critical that the school’s emphasis on skills development extends beyond Language Arts and is an integral component in each class across the curriculum.
Teachers in every subject area focus not only on content instruction, but also on teaching academic skills. They employ the technique of direct instruction to break these skills into discrete sub-skills and to explain explicitly  how students should approach each. They carefully model the tasks and techniques they ask their students to emulate. They employ multisensory instructional approaches to reach students with varied learning styles and receptive abilities (Orton-Gillingham methodology is crucial to Language Arts).

The focus onskills across the curriculum stands out among our school’s defining strengths and makes for a completely different learning experience than students receive when skills-building is addressed only in Language Arts classes or tutoring sessions.


“Some of the best minds on learning differences are at Delaware Valley Friends, experts versed in dyslexia, dysgraphia, sensory integration. This is the Harvard of schools of its kinds.  This is the very best.”

David, parent of DVFS graduate