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Guelph school opens Arrowsmith program this fall

Written on July 27th, 2009

OACS school opens first class of 10 students

Guelph Community Christian School (GCCS) is looking forward to opening its Arrowsmith program to 10 students this fall, says principal Bob Moore.

The school’s first class filled up very quickly with families from the Guelph area.

“We are looking forward to being able to work with these children and help them out,” says Moore.

Barbara Arrowsmith Young started the Arrowsmith program, which helps students that cannot benefit from traditional special education because they have multiple learning disabilities, in 1980.

The program is founded on neuroscientific research that students can strengthen weak cognitive capacities through specific exercises.

The objective is to develop students’ abilities in the program so that within three or four years they are able to return to a full academic program in a private or public school. About 80 per cent return to their age-appropriate grade level.

“When we started to inspect the program it became pretty obvious to me that this program would have been an answer for the students I’ve worked with over the years of teaching that nothing else worked for,” Moore previously told the OACS News.

“Ever since I’ve started working, I’ve been aware that there are children that don’t have the tools, and so one of the things I’ve tried to do as a principal is scan the horizon for the tools, and then I try to incorporate them into our program.”

The school initially considered opening two classes, following the model of its sister school Georgetown District Christian School, however due to some staffing changes decided to open one class for the coming school year. Moore says they will probably open a second class in the future.

Georgetown opened its Arrowsmith program in September 2008 and has 20 students and a waiting list. The school has been very helpful to GCCS, says Moore.

Moore notes when the Toronto Catholic District School Board started talking of closing its Arrowsmith program, which was offered in seven elementary schools, families called him to ask about GCCS’ program and rental properties in Guelph.

“When parents are willing to uproot and move so their child can stay in the Arrowsmith program, that’s amazing,” says Moore.

To learn more about the Arrowsmith School, visit www.arrowsmithschool.org.