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DELAWARE VALLEY FRIENDS SCHOOL EXPANDS TO INCLUDE A LOWER SCHOOL PROGRAM
Paoli, Pennsylvania - Tuesday, December 7, 2016
DVFS Head of School Kirk Smothers and Clerk of the Board of Trustees Curt Grogan announced that the school is expanding to include a lower school program with the addition of grades 3 and 4 to its program. With its creation of a lower school program, DVFS becomes the only Friends school in the Philadelphia area dedicated solely to the education of students who learn differently from elementary through high school.
Reaching more students - earlier
The decision to expand this successful program to include a lower school component is a response to research that supports the importance of early intervention in the long-term success of students with learning differences. According to the National Center for Learning Disabilities, approximately 1 in 20 school-aged children are identified with a learning disability (dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia) or an associate deficit or disorder (ADHD, executive functioning deficit, auditory or visual processing deficits, or nonverbal learning disability). As many as 15% of their peers struggle with such conditions but go undiagnosed. Years of educational research has led to a consensus among experts that the earlier a student’s needs can be identified and addressed, the better off they will be in terms of their childhood development and in building skills for future academic success which continues into adult life. This is true whether a student’s challenges apply to reading, math, executive function or other difficulties.
Deeper and broader fulfillment of mission
The expansion into elementary school will enable the school to fulfill its mission to prepare students with learning differences for future work and study at a deeper and broader level.
According to Jason Seggern, DVFS Middle School Director, who will also oversee the new Lower School division, “I have seen first hand the incredible impact our program has on students and families in the middle and upper school. I am thrilled that we will be able to share our educational expertise with a new set of students and families in the lower school. I can't wait to see the new set of success stories that will be created by opening our doors to the students in grades 3 and 4.”
“We believe in the power of educating students who learn differently under the guidance of Quaker principles and practice. Our students, who are often judged and misunderstood because of their academic difficulties in mainstream schools, are embraced as people of infinite inherent worth and able to meet their full potential because of the environment and programs of Delaware Valley Friends School” adds Head of School Kirk Smothers.
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