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Research shows the earlier students with learning differences like dyslexia are introduced to the specialized instruction required to overcome their challenges, the more quickly and solidly they close the gaps in their academic achievement. And, that is exactly what happens at Lawrence Lower School—students may join us as struggling learners, but with our small class sizes and evidence-based instructional techniques, they instantly feel at home, gain confidence in their abilities, and grow into competent readers, writers, and mathematicians!

At a glance, Lower School looks a lot like other elementary schools, and some traditional approaches to teaching and assessment are an important part of our school day. However, the following hallmarks of our program for students with learning differences are anything but traditional:

Small Class Sizes

With an average of only nine learners in a Lower School classroom, our student-to-teacher ratio ensures every student is given the attention and individualized instruction needed to meet their unique needs.

Skill-Based Groupings

Our classes are grouped by ability instead of age for both language arts and math, so there’s no “kindergarten” or “third grade class.” Students are paired with other kids who are learning and growing at comparable levels. Progress is monitored frequently and class groupings can change as students advance.

Multisensory Teaching

We employ an Orton-Gillingham-based multisensory approach to every subject we teach. Students with learning differences process and retain information better when it’s presented using at least two modalities (visual, tactile, auditory, and kinesthetic) at the same time. In every class you’ll see students writing in shaving cream and sand, sculpting in clay, moving beads as they count along, and more.

Kinesthetic Model

Rather than sitting in uniform rows of desks, our students can be found walking, standing, and even dancing during instruction time. Research shows physical activity improves memory and concentration. From sky-writing words in the air to moving hands during literacy drills to wobbling and bouncing on our active classroom furniture, we infuse movement into our lessons at every opportunity!

Responsive Classroom Techniques

We use an evidence-based approach to classroom management that focuses on engaging academics, positive community, and social-emotional learning. Our students are taught to be good citizens of our school and the world.

Our goal is for each and every Lower School student to achieve:

  • Mastery in all academic areas
  • Problem-solving and critical thinking proficiency
  • Creativity and healthy self-expression
  • Self-esteem, contentment, and pride in oneself
  • Friendship/social skills and respect for others
  • Leadership and teamwork abilities
  • A love of learning that will last a lifetime

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Our community is full of people just like you—parents who hold unwavering belief in their child's bright future.

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