The Gow School is the oldest college preparatory school in the US specializing in the education of students with specific language learning difficulties. Since 1926, the school has been working with young students of average to above-average cognitive ability, in addition to diagnoses of dyslexia or similar language-based learning disabilities. Reconstructive Language, an Orton-based phonics class, is offered daily. The class remediates: decoding, comprehension, spelling, and vocabulary development.
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Our Take: The Gow School
The Gow School was founded in the 1920s, though from the outset has based instruction in a very modern understanding, namely that not all learners are created equally, and that intelligence and an ability to succeed in school are two very different things. It's an idea that remains as fresh today (perhaps a little bit disheartningly) as it was when Peter Gow Jr. founded the school all those years ago. He believed that small class sizes and an open mind, when it comes to instruction, can make all the difference, especially for those who are at risk of falling through the cracks of a traditional approach to academics. The students at the top of his mind were those with some form of linguistic disruption—students with dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyspraxia or issues with central auditory processing. Gow believed that success for these students was a function of teaching, and for decades the school has been proving his point. All students—typically they are kids who have been struggling in a traditional setting—are aiming for college and university, and the school has a history of delivering them there. The program has changed over the years, though the spirit of investigation, of finding better ways to support learners, remains.