Woodlynde School Featured in SAVVY Main Line

Why Woodlynde Works Wonders for Kids Who Learn Differently by Rebecca Adler (SAVVY Main Line)

Choosing the right school can be daunting – especially on the Main Line, where there’s no shortage of first-rate public and private schools.

But if your child learns differently, look no further than the Woodlynde School, an independent, co-ed K-12 college prep school in Strafford.

For over 40 years, Woodlynde has been accepting children who, in their previous schools, were defined by their test scores. Instead, the focus is on potential – In a warm nurturing environment that gets results.

Point of pride: A 100 percent college acceptance rate, including Woodlynde’s Class of 2018.

For a group of students with learning differences, that’s a big deal.

While public schools and some independent schools may provide support services, Woodlynde’s ability to educate the whole child – academically, socially, emotionally – is in the school’s DNA.

The student body includes kids with language- and math-based learning differences (e.g. dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia), executive function disorder, ADD/ADHD, and auditory processing disorders – as well as kids who learn best in smaller settings with easy access to teachers.

Woodlynde’s distinct education model is completely personalized:
  • Everyone gets an individual learning profile that’s shared among teachers, counselors, administrators and parents. It’s a dynamic document that grows with your child.
  • Instruction throughout the school is multi-sensory: students see, say, hear, write and feel what they’re learning. Woodlynde is a nationally recognized Wilson [Reading System] Accredited Partner School.  Literacy is taught daily in grades K-5 and as needed after that.
  • The Responsive Classrooms approach combines social skills with academics. (Think group problem solving and re-charging “brain breaks.”)
  • Metacognition strategies helps kids hone in on their unique learning strengths as well as challenges, while affirming that they are indeed intelligent, talented individuals. Woodlynde helps level the playing field for college by teaching students to advocate for themselves.
“We come across so many kids who, as they get older, have no idea how to learn,” says Dorinda Shank, an assistant head of school, grades 9-12. “No one taught them how to organize a paper, study [for a test] or take notes. Many people … need to explicitly be taught how to do these things.”
Which is why Woodlynde accepts students at all ages and stages, even as late as senior year. “It’s never too early to come to Woodlynde,” says Lisa Ketcham, director of advancement. “But it’s also never too late … we will help you be successful.”

On the flip side, the school provides exit points for students who’ve met Woodlynde’s benchmarks for success and want to transition to another school.

Because you don’t leave your learning disability at the classroom door, teaching philosophies – and teachers! – are ingrained in extra-curriculars, too.

Woodlynde offers 17 varsity sports, wide-ranging school trips, and a plethora of after-school and weekend activities in which students are encouraged to try new things and take leadership roles that boost self-confidence.

Another huge Woodlynde plus: its concierge-style college guidance program.
Students write college essays in school, they work on applications during college guidance period (an actual class!) and meet with the director of college guidance as early as eighth grade to help students choose schools that match not just their criteria, but also their likelihood for success.

A few more reasons to love Woodlynde:
  • free before- and after-school program (grades K-6) for working parents includes snack, homework help, and plenty of play-time.
  • A free after-school Homework Assistance Program (grades 6-12) all but eliminates kitchen table clashes. “Our son is empowered with the tools he needs to help himself when he gets stuck,” says one current parent. “We no longer need to supervise daily assignments.”
  • Qualified seniors can take classes and prep for college life at Cabrini and Landmark College through Woodlynde’s free college dual enrollment program. Seniors take those college credits with them when they graduate.
  • The College Assistance Program pairs graduating seniors with Woodlynde teachers who serve as mentors during the first year of college (and often beyond). “It shows how passionate the faculty is about what they do,” says Ketcham. “They want the kids to be successful at every stage, even beyond this school.”
Since the school’s founding, Woodlynde alumni have graduated from over 140 national and international colleges and universities and are leading successful careers in law, business, technology, education and more.

Click here to view the article on SAVVY Main Line. 

Thank you to Rebecca Adler from SAVVY Main Line for joining us on campus earlier this month. We are looking forward to continuing our partnership with Caroline O'Halloran and her team at SAVVY Main Line!
Woodlynde School is a private, co-ed college prep day school located in suburban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, that serves intelligent, talented students with learning differences in grades K - 12. Woodlynde provides a comprehensive, evidence-based Kindergartenelementarymiddle and high school program in a challenging yet nurturing environment for students with average to above average cognitive abilities (IQ) who have language- or math-based learning differences (such as Dyslexia, Dysgraphia or Dyscalculia), Executive Function Challenges, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), or Auditory Processing Disorder. Even for those students without a diagnosed learning disability (LD), Woodlynde offers expert and caring teachers in small classroom settings that support academic success. Woodlynde School also offers a post-graduate (PG) program in partnership with Rosemont College as well as a regional Summer Camp for students who learn differently.