From the Smarty Education Corner: More Than Just a School, We Are A Community: Get to Know The Fletcher Family
by Maura Triebenbacher, M.A., Division Head of Middle and Upper School, The Fletcher School; parent of Liam (class of 2024) and Sean (class of 2026)
[Fletcher is the] “sweetest school, [with the] best teachers & staff. [Their educational pedagogy is] exactly how education should be for everyone everywhere: individual attention, accommodations for different learning styles, acceptance of child’s needs, and an intimate setting. [It] feels like a family. My son has loved learning because of the Fletcher School. Never once in 8 years there did he say that he didn’t want to go to school!”
This quote from a parent of a current Fletcher student highlights exactly what sets us apart. The Fletcher School is more than just a school, it’s a community, a family. Moreover, it’s a place of extraordinary potential—a joyful learning environment lit by the smiles of our students.
You need only spend a few moments in our corridors or classrooms to hear, to see, and to understand what makes Fletcher so unique.
We are an independent, K-12 school offering a college preparatory curriculum for students with learning differences. Our comprehensive program is designed to build the academic, social, and emotional competence of our students. Fletcher Falcons are assured in their abilities and strengths, and stride forward with purpose on the path to fulfillment and life success!
Our students are unique individuals who learn and process the world differently. They struggle in conventional classroom environments due to their learning differences. Our students quickly uncover their hidden talents and unique learning styles when they join the Fletcher Family. They learn how to excel both in school and in life, reaching their full potential. Our bright, talented, and often gifted students learn in small, structured classes with a 6:1 student-to-teacher ratio.
Our teachers are certified in the Orton-Gillingham approach to learning. Using this proven method, instruction is sequential, cumulative, and repetitious in order for students to achieve mastery. Individual and prescriptive plans of instruction are developed for each student. Multisensory learning techniques are the basis of this method, and school-issued, 1:1 Apple® devices support and enhance our students’ learning.
1 in 7 kids is diagnosed with a Specific Learning Disability in the U.S.
Children with specific learning disabilities (SLD) are as smart or smarter than their peers but they may have difficulty reading, writing, spelling, reasoning, recalling, and/or organizing information. (To read a previous CSP post on the Early Identification of Specific Learning Disabilities in Pre-School and Elementary Children, click here)
Children with learning differences see the world differently and are often described as “out of the box” thinkers; SLD’s are also very common. Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, Anderson Cooper, Charles Schwab, Ted Turner, and Leonardo da Vinci are several notable and influential people with diagnosed learning differences. With the right support and intervention, children with learning differences excel to reach their full potential both in school and in life!
The Fletcher Family Difference
Having worked in eight different school settings, both public and private, I can say with confidence that The Fletcher School touches the lives of students and their families in a way that is truly unique. Fletcher students are taught to understand how they learn and develop the skills to become lifelong learners. Here at Fletcher, we are a community of truly dedicated, caring and passionate professionals, parents, and students. Our beliefs in the Fletcher mission and values do not waiver.
Our values of student success, quality teaching, care and encouragement are present in every classroom, every hallway, and every school activity. These values form the basis of deep, trusting, and transparent relationships between students, teachers, and parents.
1. The Fletcher Family listens
We are constantly listening to and learning from our parents and students. An open dialogue between students, teachers, staff and parents ensures our students’ success. This full transparency around student learning and each child’s unique experience, during and after school, ensures that each child meets their full potential and allows a unique, healthy bond to form between the student, their parents, and their teachers.
2. The Fletcher Family celebrates every child’s uniqueness
Students are encouraged to share what they are good at and collaborate with others. For example, if one student is good at art and another is good at technology, they are encouraged to celebrate their unique skill and use it to help others. Moreover, a small class size and individualized teaching allows teachers to accommodate the different learning styles of each student by assessing their progress via different tests.
3. The Fletcher Family embraces an important hidden curriculum
Students, especially in the Upper School, are encouraged to determine how they learn. In doing this, they learn about themselves, what makes them unique and “what’s best for me”. This is the first step in exercising self advocacy. At Fletcher, everyday we practice and teach the importance of self advocacy across every aspect of daily life (work, school, social life, etc.).
4. The Fletcher Family changes lives
The power of our education to change our students’ and our families’ lives is evident not only in the academic success of our students, but in their social and emotional lives, too. Fletcher provides an environment where students adopt strategies to accommodate their weaknesses and skills to focus on their strengths. Before Fletcher, my children hyperfocused on what they couldn’t do well, but now they are eager to learn and share their strengths. Fletcher has changed our family and now my children love learning! This quote from one of our mothers says it all: “My child has never been so happy!”
The Fletcher School is a supportive community of students, parents, teachers and staff who are all working together to ensure the success of our students, each of whom work hard every day to reach their full potential. At Fletcher, we are more than just a school, we are a community, a family.