WEYMOUTH – Without specialized programs to meet their needs locally, Jennifer Curtis, of South Shore Stars, said some students with learning differences like dyslexia can spend more than 11 hours per week just getting to and from school.
South Shore Stars hopes to change that.
The nonprofit education program will open a new school for students who have a variety of learning differences in the fall of 2024. The Stars School & Learning Center will serve as a private, nonprofit day school for children in first through fifth grades.
“This is for kids who may have a diagnosis of dyslexia or a language-based learning disability and need a structured, systematic and focused literacy program and targeted, personalized skills,” Curtis, the organization's executive director, said.
South Shore Stars is in the process of purchasing a 30,000 square foot, multipurpose building at 163 Libbey Parkway in Weymouth. It is currently fundraising to support the new school.
Certified and licensed teachers will work with students with dyslexia or language-based learning differences through an innovative and evidence-based curriculum. At full enrollment, Stars School & Learning Center will serve 100 students.Curtis said feedback from parents and educators in the area pushed the organization to create a program focused on building strong literacy skills in reading, writing and spelling.
"Our vision is to become a leading independent school in children’s education, social emotional and individualized growth," she said. "It might be for kiddos who may not be having their needs met in public school, or it be for a child where the family recognizes it's the type of curriculum they need to learn well."
Data from the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education shows that one in four students on the South Shore with a disability qualify for specialized teaching. Many public school systems lack the resources or dedicated staff for students with language-based learning disabilities or dyslexia.Curtis said options for schools focused specifically on these language challenges are limited. Many families currently travel a minimum of 30 miles each way to access educational programming designed exclusively for students with learning differences.
Curtis, who previously served as superintendent in Weymouth, said the goal is to be a partner with public schools on the South Shore and give students the tools they need to transition back into public school with their neighborhood peers.
"Given my past position, I have an interesting lens coming at this," she said. "We want to be a partner."
Author :Jessica Trufant
Source Url :https://www.patriotledger.com/story/news/2023/05/22/weymouth-ma-south-shore-stars-dyslexia-new-school/70223228007/
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