Respect For How You Learn
We want you to know that at Dearborn, you will never be disrespected for learning in a different way. You will never be alone in facing your challenges, no matter how tough they seem now. We want you to get what you need for your future. We want to help you rediscover the joy in learning.
Our students have to deal with all kinds of issues—language-based and nonverbal learning disabilities; dyslexia, writing or comprehension difficulties; executive functioning challenges; ADD and ADHD; anxiety, social anxiety, depression and mood disorders; and PTSD—all things that would derail most people. They may come from different kinds of families and backgrounds. What they share is the desire not to be known by a label.
You know. You know that learning is different for every one—and it's different for you. That's not something everyone understands. But it's what we live and breathe at Dearborn.
Because of their struggles, our students are, in certain ways, wiser and more self-aware than so-called "typical" students. Most of our students have a lot of potential and are often amazingly talented. Most have higher than average IQs—sometimes a lot higher. Our students are smart. Passionate. Hard-working. But, for whatever reason, they have not had it easy.
We know. Sometimes people need a little help shouldering the load. Sometimes they need guidance or a specialist to help them overcome their challenges. Sometimes they need someone who will listen. And that's what we do.
A School Designed For You
It's not "school as usual" around here. Sure, we have desks and homework. But Dearborn Academy feels a little different from a regular school. For starters, it's a lot smaller.
Here are a few of the ways in which we're different.
- A Healthy Environment for Learning
When you visit Dearborn, you'll see how supportive we are. The elementary/middle and high school programs are completely separate—the elementary/middle school is up the stairs, while the high school occupies the lower floors. Our classrooms might be a little smaller than what you're used to. You'll see kids are talking with their teachers, reading and working together on a project.
You'll hear students and teachers call each other by their first names. We're not formal. What's important here is trust. Conversations might be about math, but also about what's been happening at home or how you might be progressing with a therapist or new medication (read more about our clinical services here.)
At Dearborn we want every single student in our care to have a strong, trusting relationship with key staff members. Every student here has a few adults who know them well. They will be the people you can count on to listen, to help you solve problems, to give you the support and advice —and even a nudge—when you need to move forward.
- Student-Centered Education
Not everyone learns the same way, and the differences in the ways students learn can be profound. So why should a school teach everyone the same? We don't. We're interested in how you learn, not how we think you should learn. We'll adapt how we teach to meet your needs. And we're here to help you become a better, more confident, more successful learner. Learning should be enjoyable, not painful, and we want to help you get there.
You can learn a great deal from peers who learn differently—you can learn new strategies for solving problems. You can benefit from their perspectives and experiences. At Dearborn everyone brings something interesting to the table.
Everyone has different interests and abilities, too. We believe education should offer every student a chance to explore their unique talents and develop their strengths and interests and not just work on their weaknesses.
- Specialized Support and Remedial Programs
Don't get it? Don't worry. You'll have the help you need. We'll re-teach you how to do things you don't do easily. We'll figure out why you think writing is hard or why you keep forgetting your assignments. We have many skilled experts on staff to help you—in small groups, with specialized instruction and support, with one-on-one tutoring—whatever you need.
- High Standards for All
Just because you have a learning difference doesn't mean you can't excel. You can excel and exceed everyone's expectations, and we'll help you. There is no reason for any student to settle for less than what they can and want to do. We'll help you get past the MCAS requirements—99 percent of our student do. But don't stop there. Let us help you raise your expectations.
- An Eye to the Future
We want you to enjoy learning again. And we want you to have the confidence to learn whatever you need to know. Together we'll focus on the future and help you map a way forward. We want you to see the possibilities—a new school, college, career, family—and we want to help you get there. Our career planning and college guidance programs will prepare you to achieve your goals.