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About The Howard School

Two students sitting at a table playing with Legos

At The Howard School students rediscover the joy of learning. We recognize and celebrate each learner’s passions and strengths, while also addressing their unique challenges, and believe that learners are neither defined nor limited by labels.

An interdisciplinary team brings experience, enthusiasm and research-based expertise to a full and robust academic program that includes the arts, technology and athletics. Students develop a strong understanding of their own learning profile, which empowers them to advocate for their own learning needs both in school and beyond, and supports them in realizing their true potential.

Without The Howard School, I would not be the same person that I am today.

Expertise in Language-based Learning Differences

Language teaching permeates every aspect of The Howard School. The communication components of Understanding, Speaking, Reading and Writing are key cornerstones of our program. Language is what we are all about!

Explicit focus on language development occurs in the context of a rich curriculum that includes English Language Arts, Mathematics, Sciences, Social Studies, Physical Education, Performing Arts and Visual Arts.

Speech language pathologists work together with classroom teachers at every level of the school in a classroom-based model. In the classroom, students learn to ask questions with specificity, delve into higher levels of vocabulary, and take notes from reading or lecture. They learn to understand and write complex sentences necessary to conveying the essence of all the academic disciplines.

On any day you might see students expressing themselves through discussion, poetry, song, art, movement, or technology.

Read more about our Language and Literacy programs.

Student Self-Advocacy and Student-Run Conferences

We believe that it is essential that students have a clear and non-judgmental understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses, and that they know how to advocate for their own needs. Whether it is the need for movement, keyboarding instead of handwriting, expressing knowledge in creative ways, or asking for information to be repeated or rephrased, we want all students to confidently speak up for what they need. Whereas in most schools students hand in their work and await a teacher’s opinion of it, we ask our students, “What do you think of your work? Is it high quality? How do you know? How could you improve it?”

To these ends, our conferences are student-run and reflect the belief that understanding one’s process of learning is as important as the knowledge itself. To prepare for conferences students are guided to:

  • Chair and lead their conference.
  • Deepen their understanding of their personal learning profile.
  • Identify strategies that complement their personal learning approach.
  • Set benchmarks for learning throughout the year.
  • Identify and characterize their passions and interests.
  • Develop and present a portfolio that demonstrates growth.

Our goal is to teach students to think critically about their work, and themselves. We know that metacognition (awareness of one’s own thought processes), self-reflection, self-knowledge and flexibility are critical in school and in life. When students are keenly aware of their own learning profile and what strategies work best for them, they become empowered to advocate for what they need, whether a digital textbook or extra time to map out a project.

A Full and Robust Curriculum

We believe that our students deserve a full and robust program and curriculum that inspires and engages them, not a remedial experience. As the students engage in this rich experience, an interdisciplinary team supports skills in language, writing, math, reading and other areas to ensure that areas of weakness do not become a barrier to understanding, and also to ensure that they are bringing their strengths and self-knowledge to bear in their own learning.

We draw from many curriculum sources, including national and state education standards and offer a full curriculum of literature and language, math, science, social studies, history, foreign language, art, music, health and physical education. The curriculum focuses on depth of understanding to make learning meaningful and inspiring, with the ultimate purpose of teaching students to think critically about their world and their own work, and to respond flexibly to the challenges and opportunities the world presents them.