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Program Summary


Each year a student is assigned a faculty advisor. Advisory meets Monday through Thursday to help students solve problems, access resources, and reflect on their executive functioning skills related to course work. On special advisory days throughout the year, advisors explore a variety of topics about adolescent development, such as healthy relationships, online safety, inclusion and bias, and leadership skills.

Team Approach

As always, at The Howard School, each student is surrounded by a team that includes lead and support teachers, literacy and math specialists, a school counselor, school psychologist, speech-language pathologists, assistive technology specialist, college and next-steps counselor and an instructional technology specialist. Students are encouraged to use technology to assist with their communication, presentation, reading and writing skills.

Fostering Independence

The Howard School recognizes a learner’s ability and strengths, while also addressing the disabilities and weaknesses.

Though diagnoses and learning profiles are essential to understanding each student, learners are not defined nor limited by labels. Students gain a strong sense of self-advocacy and self-awareness for their own learning profiles, and thrive in a community that recognizes true potential and respects personal need.

21st Century Learning

We not only teach core content in math, science, English, history and foreign language, we also help students know themselves as learners, and help them discover and actively use the techniques and strategies that work best for them.

We focus on teaching our students what are often called “21st century skills” —critical thinking, using technology to access information, problem solving, communication and collaboration — that will serve them over their lifetimes. To that end, we deliberately organize class work to promote team building, leadership and presentation skills.

College and Next Steps Counseling 

College and Next Steps Counseling for each student is a collaborative effort between the students, their families, The Howard School faculty, and the counseling and next steps staff. The goal is to find the best fit for the particular student at a particular time in their development. As with most students, their first post-secondary step will most likely not be the last step in their journey, but we strive to find the next best step for each of our graduating seniors. 

Counseling/Learning Services 

The school psychologist consults with students, faculty/ staff, administration, and parents to track and support students’ educational and social-emotional needs. The school psychologist reviews psychoeducational evaluations and learning profiles and maintains a broad perspective on interventions, accommodations, and modifications for students, following them through their Howard School tenure to ensure continuity between school divisions, and suggesting new strategies as students change over time. When needed, the school psychologist works with Howard School faculty/staff to: support crisis intervention and conflict resolution; facilitate classroom interventions and small group activities; and develop and implement schoolwide assessment process and refer students to community providers for individual evaluations as needed. The school psychologist does not provide ongoing individual or family therapy, but can make referrals in the community for such services. 

Language, Communication, and Speech 

Speech-Language Pathologists in the High School work closely with teachers to develop approaches to curriculum that allow students with language-based learning disabilities to be successful. They promote skill development and use of strategies that further students’ listening, understanding, speaking, and writing. Most of the speech-language pathologists’ work takes place in the context of the classrooms and in small groups with students. Some students also seek them out for assistance with specific projects. 


The Literacy program offers students more intensive work in areas of decoding (reading) and encoding (spelling) as needed. A variety of programs and techniques are used to strengthen phonemic awareness, develop symbol imagery, and increase automaticity and fluency. In addition, our Literacy Specialists work with students to increase awareness for improved self-correction and implementation of reading strategies. They also support students’ use of technological tools that can help increase reading and writing accessibility and production. Literacy Specialists collaborate with classroom teachers to offer curriculum support for struggling readers, as well as to provide teachers with effective strategies to help students access the curriculum. 

Assistive Technology 

Assistive Technology, such as text-to-speech, audio capture, and voice recognition software, is used to support students’ reading and writing skills. Students are evaluated, trained, and taught to implement these tools in the classroom. The technology gives the students access to materials at their comprehension level, which is often higher than their decoding level. Technology supports for writing give the students more freedom to express themselves along with support for identifying and correcting mistakes in writing. Technology support for note taking allows students to focus on listening to a lecture and gives them the ability to go back and process their notes, which aids comprehension and learning.