The Windward School has been the subject of a profile here in the past but their focus on language development at the middle school level deserves further examination. The Windward School middle school encompasses grades 5 through 9 in a program that is truly unique.
Windward School is a unique institution in that it focuses exclusively on students with language-based learning disorders.
Rather than teach language skills as separate elements of a “hooked on phonics” curriculum, Windward School delivers language-based education in one integrated format where reading, writing, and spelling are taught together so they support each other. In middle school, students tackle expository writing, vocabulary development, and study skills. The Orton-Gillingham reading model is used when necessary.
Each student at Windward School middle school students take Math and Social studies daily, and science is incorporated into the curriculum as well. These classes are at grade level with advanced placement math classes available. The focus is still on language, and to that end students take three class periods a day of language-based classes. These can range from writing and vocabulary development to reading. Reading class placement is based on testing, teacher recommendation and assessment from a reading specialist.
In the eighth grade, a class called Getting Ahead In School (GAINS) is taught, which allows students to evaluate themselves and discover their own strengths and weaknesses. This helps them to become better communicators and self-evaluators.
There is more to life at the Windward School than academics. There are plenty of extra-curricular activities to interest the kids as well. Everything from drama to music as well as clubs ensure that each child develops emotionally, mentally and academically. No school would be complete without sports, and Windward School is no exception. There are a number of active sports teams available for the students to join, including lacrosse, basketball, soccer, track, and softball.
For more information, see the middle school website of the Windward School.