How we see The Gow School
How The Gow School sees itself
"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."
"We are highly selective on our profile of students with academic difficulties."
"Our unique culture of success and belonging permeates throughout campus. With small class sizes and a level playing field, families are are able to find Hope with Action once they arrive on campus."
"Families often credit Gow to not only changing the way their child learns and acts but often times the family dynamics change in a good way. With Gow taking the pressure off of the families for homework, school, and much more, moms and dads can go back to being parents and less stressed about their child in school."
"Our geographical location. Before enrolling people are worried about the distance but once they start travelling to Gow they realize how easy it is get to Buffalo."
"4:1 student to faculty ratio
Average class size of 5
Founded in 1926
Oldest school in the country for dyslexic students
Top-down influence on the school’s direction and tone
M. Bradley Rogers, Jr., Headmaster
"For the last 88 years, Gow's structured program has helped students overcome their learning disabilities and succeed in college. To learn more about how Gow School programs change lives, visit www.gow.org, or give us a call."
If you’re considering a small school for your extroverted child, make sure it offers plenty of social opportunities, including the ability to seek out and interact with different peer groups. Since smaller schools have smaller and less diverse student populations than big schools, it can sometimes be more challenging for your child to find a like-minded group of friends—friends with similar interests, values, etc.
“It’s important to look at the social makeup of the school,” says Ruth Rumack of Ruth Rumack's Learning Space. "Is there enough variety that your child will have a group that they feel connected with? Because you want to have friends that are like-minded and you want to be in a social situation where you feel honoured and respected. Variety can also be found in extracurriculars, leadership programs, and sports activities, which tend to have kids with a wide range of personalities.”
Also, make sure a school’s teaching and learning approach is suitable for your social child. “For instance, a school focusing on individual learning instead of group learning may not play into your child’s strengths,” say Ann and Karen Wolff, Toronto-based education consultants at Wolff Educational Services. “You want to make sure the social, emotional, and academic realities of the classroom are a match for your child’s personality.”
At a boarding school, your extroverted child will likely enjoy seeking out and interacting with peer groups from different backgrounds, away from home. In fact, studying and living with other kids for an extended period of time, as many alumni tell us, provides the unique opportunity to form close relationships that can last well beyond the school years. Many boarding schools also have large student populations and more extracurriculars—including activities like student council, team sports, and arts programs—which will give your outgoing child a broader scope of opportunities to feed off the energy of others, and possibly even become a leader, in a dynamic environment.
Keep in mind, though, “Being an extrovert can be a catalyst for getting involved in lots of activities, which can sometimes be hard to manage,” says Joanne Foster, Toronto-based education consultant and author of ABCs of Raising Smarter Kids. “For instance, a particularly extroverted child may try to end up juggling too many people and activities. While they still may thrive at a boarding school, it helps to know your child and how much social interaction they can handle comfortably.”
Smaller schools often have small classrooms and tight-knit communities, which can make it easier for your introverted child to come out of their shell, make friends, and feel like they belong. Since they’re less socially overwhelming, your child should find it easier to navigate their social environment. And since they’re conducive to group work, small classes often have plenty of interaction, which can help your child develop critical interpersonal skills.
Of course, small schools normally have a less diverse student population than big schools, which can sometimes make it more challenging to find a group of like-minded peers—peers with similar personalities, interests, values, etc. This makes it especially important to ask a school about its extracurricular programs, which can help your introverted child establish an intimate social circle.
At a boarding school, your introverted child will be more motivated (and virtually compelled) to seek out and interact with different peer groups. Away from home and in a new environment, they’re more likely to take the initiative to form close friendships, which can boost their independence and confidence, and help them develop critical social skills.
"Consider, though, whether your child will be comfortable and confident while living away from home, and while having to navigate the various, and sometimes unforeseen social-emotional experiences, alongside the academic challenges,” says Joanne Foster, education expert and author of ABCs of Raising Smarter Kids. Finally, ensure support systems are in place to promote their social and emotional development, and that your child is willing and prepared to take advantage of them. Your child will often need to advocate for themselves at a boarding school, and they’ll need confidence and perseverance to do so.
THE OUR KIDS REPORT: The Gow School
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