Three Schools for the Learning Disabled


This is the VOA Special English Education Report.

Today we complete our series on learning disabilities.

In the United States, federal law requires public schools to provide special education services to children with any disability. Specialists commonly provide these services while the children attend the same schools, and often the same classes, as other students.

But today we look at three private schools that serve only students with learning disabilities.

The Hillside School in Pennsylvania accepts up to one hundred twenty-eight children. The students are ages five to thirteen. They have disorders with language, writing or working with numbers. They may also have attention deficit disorders.

Each class has no more than eight students. Hillside administrators say the main goal is to prepare students to learn effectively in a regular school. Teachers and specialists develop individual learning plans for the students, which is something a public school may also do.

Development director Kathy Greene says most students remain at Hillside for about three years before leaving for a regular classroom setting.

The Shelton School in Dallas, Texas
The Shelton School in Dallas, Texas
"Serving intelligent students with learning differences" is the slogan of the Shelton School in Texas. Its Web site says the school has about eight hundred fifty students in all twelve grades, and one teacher for every six students.

The Shelton School also says its goal is to prepare students to return to regular classes, although some do finish high school there. The Web site says Shelton graduated forty-four students in two thousand six. And it says they received acceptances from a total of seventy-seven colleges and universities.

Landmark College in Vermont is a college for students with learning difficulties. It offers a two-year program that prepares students to continue their studies at a four-year school.

Each student has an adviser and an individual learning program. Landmark has international students this year from South America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

All three schools offer financial aid. Hillside costs about seventeen thousand dollars a year. Shelton costs between ten and twenty-one thousand, depending on the grade level. Shelton and Hillside students live at home. Landmark College costs about fifty thousand dollars a year, which includes housing.

And that's the VOA Special English Education Report, written by Nancy Steinbach. Our nine-week series on learning disabilities is online with transcripts and MP3s at I'm Steve Ember.