School for Students Who Learn Differently to Open in Melville

School for Students Who Learn Differently to Open in Melville

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The Long Island Whole Child Academy, School for Twice Exceptional Learning will welcome its first class in January.


The Long Island Whole Child Academy, School for Twice Exceptional Learning
is a nonprofit private school for students in the third through eighth grades who learn differently. LIWCA will welcome its first class in January and is accepting applications through 2017. First and second grades will be added in the fall.

LIWCA aims to create a unique learning environment for students who are highly capable academically and also contend with social cognition, executive functioning and sensory processing challenges, anxiety, ADHD, or dyslexia. These children often have high anxiety levels due to their incredibly developed curiosity about the world and often experience sensory overload.

By teaching children “through the back door,” as director Dr. Ellen T. Richer puts it, students think they are playing while they are actually learning. Examples include learning calculus and physics through flight simulation games. The school includes unique equine therapy to augment social cognition where students work with and around horses. 

Teachings are personally tailored through project-based learning, a nontraditional environment, and approaching students individually. During the academic period, students participate in physical activity but are also given the opportunity to sit quietly and self-regulate in sensory gyms. Students are encouraged to work in small groups, but the schoolwide model provides for one-on-one academic learning until they are ready. The student-to-staff ratio is close to 1-to-1.


Main image: At LIWCA students learn through hands-on projects and real-life problems.
Courtesy The Long Island Whole Child Academy School for Twice Exceptional Learning


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