At the Delaware Valley Friends School (DVFS), we believe that by applying proven, research-based methods and approaches, bright students with learning differences can become successful in college and beyond.
Research shows that the most effective programs for teaching students with learning differences include elements of remediation, compensation and accommodation.
- Remediation means that we address a fundamental academic skill deficit directly through skill building until those skills are within a functional range.
- To compensate means to use a strategy, technology or alternative skill to get through an academic task.
- To accommodate means to change the task or evaluation technique to a method or approach that is a better fit for a learning difference - without compromising challenge.
Throughout, students are explicitly taught to reflect and provide feedback on what strategies or tools work best for their particular learning differences and strengths, and, ultimately, as they mature, students are expected to be able to apply these strategies independently and advocate for accommodations they may need.
DVFS offers a college-preparatory experience to students with learning differences, particularly in reading (dyslexia), writing (dysgraphia), math (dyscalculia), memory (long-term and working), processing speed, ADHD and executive functioning. Our lower school program's focus on closing the gap in basic, foundational skills (grades 3-5) creates the framework for more content-rich work in the middle school (grades 6-8). Our upper school program (grades 9-12) emphasizes self-advocacy and moving toward more independent work as critical skills for success in college and beyond.
We cover challenging content at a patient pace. Our expectations of our students are high and our course content is consistent with a strong college preparatory curriculum – but with extra time devoted to remediation and skills-building needed to empower students to become independent learners.
Our curriculum is grounded in research and experience-based methods and techniques for teaching students with learning differences, such as the Orton-Gillingham approach to reading instruction. Teachers address students' varied learning needs by using multisensory teaching methods and by direct teaching of learning strategies.
We use the tools of technology effectively. Our teachers draw from an array of proven technologies to help each of their students thrive.
Self-understanding and self-advocacy are critical elements of a DVFS education. Beginning in Middle School, students investigate (in age-appropriate ways) their specific learning difference to better understand how to succeed in the classroom. By the time students graduate, they have developed a remarkable understanding about how they learn best, and can clearly and confidently articulate their abilities and learning needs.
Delaware Valley Friends school welcomes students in grades 3 - 12 with learning differences, particularly in reading (dyslexia), writing (dysgraphia), math (dyscalculia), memory (long-term and working), processing speed, ADHD and executive functioning challenges. located in the Philadelphia area.