Growing Confident Advocates

We teach children to be advocates for their unique learning style and to be confident in their abilities. Our teachers give students the tools and strategies they need to become lifelong learners.

Normalizing difference

At Delaware Valley Friends School, students see that they are not the only one who learns like they do - they are not the only one struggling. In this environment, students are able to talk openly about their differences and, eventually, those differences become just a part of who they are not ALL of who they are. Students discover the freedom to be more than their learning difference (maybe for the first time ever). They start to redefine themselves by what they're capable of, what they enjoy, what they can accomplish - not by what they struggle with or what they can't do.

Metacognition & self-advocacy

Metacognition is an important facet of what students learn as part of a DVFS education. It means understanding your own learning style and being able to articulate what you need to be successful. It also includes understanding how your learning needs evolve and change over time, and how to help your learning abilities grow. Students at Delaware Valley Friends are explicitly taught what their learning differences are, and what that actually means in terms of how they learn. They explore how their brains process and retain information. What skills, strategies and tools will work best for them, based on their specific learning difference. How to use those tools in a variety of settings and subjects. And, how and when to ask for help or for accommodations that they deserve so that they can work and be challenged at the level of their potential - not at the level of their disability. Graduates report that the self-knowledge and self-advocacy skills that they learned at Delaware Valley Friends School are some of the most valuable life-long contributors to their success in college and well beyond.

Partners in learning

At Delaware Valley Friends, students are actively engaged to become partners in their learning. Students have a voice and a responsibility to be part of their own learning support team and to collaborate with their teachers to find the best approaches, tools and strategies tailored to their specific strengths and needs. These skills are approached in developmentally appropriate ways for middle and upper school students. As they move through high school, they are expected to demonstrate more and more independence and personal responsibility.

Student voices are encouraged, heard and respected throughout the school, not just in the classroom. Students are encouraged to take leadership roles in the community through Student Government, clubs, sports teams, and in classroom. They can also initiate new clubs, sports and even courses if they can find sufficient student interest and administrative support. American Sign Language, Ultimate Frisbee and "Steak Club" are three examples of student-led initiatives that have become part of our community over the years.



“ The faculty are seasoned here and they know the landmines. They provide an empowering environment for students to learn to make the right choices." - DV Parent

" It was key for our child to understand her differences so she could capitalize on her strengths and develop and cope with areas she was weak in." - DV Parent

“ Our son has really begun to advocate for himself because he truly understands his differences and is confident in discussing his strengths." - DV Parent

“ The focus on empowerment and self-advocacy is a key reason we chose DVFS. This is a school that identifies the strengths in each student and builds on them. That is how school should be!" - DV Parent

“ DVFS did an amazing job at helping our son advocate for himself, understand his challenges, accommodating for his disabilities, and helping him to learn." - DV Parent

" Thrilled with her understanding of her strengths & weaknesses. She's advocating for herself every day and isn't afraid to take on challenges." - DV Parent

Delaware Valley Friends School welcomes students in grades 5 - 12 with learning differences, particularly in reading (dyslexia), writing (dysgraphia), math (dyscalculia), memory (long-term and work­ing), processing speed, ADHD and executive functioning challenges.

Delaware Valley Friends School
19 E. Central Avenue, Paoli, Pennsylvania 19301
Phone: 610.640.4150
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