For many young people with a learning disability, schools begins with failure. That failure is a cumulative failure in that they begin to experience problems in school, those problems amplify, the help they need is late or entirely absent, then the cycle usually repeats. It is also a series of individual, often daily failures, where a variety of lessons not absorbed (academic, social, a combination of both and more) repeats upon itself to the point of implosion. Imagine starting every school day knowing that from that point until the end of the day, things will more likely than not go straight downhill.

We have built our schools on the notion that students are responsible for their own success. We expect that the metrics of success are a product of hard work and applying oneself to the tasks at hand. It’s an ethic that works only with some students some of the time.

Imagine how lucky we are at The Academy when we get to invert failure, as we do every single day. When we give students the tools to be successful not in a haphazard way, but consistently, deeply, broadly. This success, as you can imagine, carries outside the classroom and school walls, as it is also met with a change of attitude.

I would like to remind you of something I have previously written when discussing how The Academy changes a student’s trajectory and life. Have a look here. When we talk about success, we are talking about measurement. We are able to show prospective families exactly how we do what we do as a school and community.

As always, we welcome the opportunity to meet you and share what we have accomplished over the history of our school with you. When we talk about mission-appropriate students for The Academy, that conversation begins with our mission: to help you and to help your child.

Don Adams, Head of School

Jan 24th, 2013 – It Begins With Failure