My school, ACDS is probably the best school in the world. The TLC program is a BIG bonus because everyone at ACDS is so sweet and kind. The teachers are so sweet and generous and really help you in their own ways. For example, I have dyslexia and I first started this school in 2nd grade when The Learning Center was not even a thing yet... just a thought and a dream. But the amazing Director of TLC, Mrs. Robb would not let this amazing idea go so they started the program. My first TLC teacher was Mrs. Pombo (who is still a teacher in the program) and she is my hero--she helped me learn and work hard to think better, so by the end of that year I had learned sooo much my brain was practically begging for more. I am super EXCITED to go to school every day. The learning is so fun and in a way that I can understand. It's not just TLC teachers that are nice, it's EVERY TEACHER--library, music, art and sooo many teachers--each student gets treated with love and care. Even if the school didn't have TLC it’s still so fun in every way and I am really proud to say I'm Abigail and I go to ACDS!
This is a great school for parents and children. They're kind, thoughtful, academic, active, and safe, all rolled together. Abigail has really received a fantastic education there and has really blossomed and gained confidence as she learns to work with her different mode of learning with dyslexia. She still is positively challenged and creative in ways that prove her brain is growing bigger every day. They have brought the kids back to physical campus in a way that makes us feel very safe in this COVID-19 world. I could not more wholeheartedly recommend ACDS.
We feel so fortunate to have found ACDS and especially the TLC program. This has been a game-changer for our child who has dyslexia and dysgraphia. The teachers have been exceptional! They are not only able to expertly deliver curriculum but are truly invested in the success and well being of the children. The small class sizes have allowed the teachers to adapt the lessons based on the needs of the group to allow for more personalized learning opportunities for both the class cohorts and individual students. There is a genuine effort to create a sense of community within TLC where the children feel supported, respected, and cared for by peers and teachers alike. Additionally, integration with the age group classes at ACDS has been seamless and the enrichment class opportunities are outstanding. We are profoundly grateful to the TLC community for redefining what school can, and should be for children with learning differences. THANK YOU!
As our son progressed through the lower elementary grades, he faced learning challenges that caused him to fall behind his peers which wiped out his confidence. We had him assessed several times but never got a conclusion or recommendation that suggested a specific resource to help support him and his learning issues. All the while, he continued to feel terrible and, as his parents, we felt more and more helpless and stressed. We then heard about The Learning Center (TLC) opening at Almaden Country Day School. Together with the small class sizes and the trained teachers, we jumped at the opportunity to get him enrolled. And what a great move it was.
The teachers in the TLC provide a nurturing and supportive environment that made such a difference for our son. His self-confidence has returned, and he’s feeling accomplished again. They provide constantly evolving lesson plans to meet individual student needs. He just completed a full academic year, and his test scores and assessments improved more than we could have ever expected. He didn’t know anyone when he first came to ACDS, but he very easily made friends because of the welcoming environment. He was never treated differently by other kids or teachers because he was a TLC student, which was one of our worries. He always felt part of the bigger ACDS community. After all the academic challenges he’s faced the past few years, it is exceptionally gratifying to see him happy and excited about school again. We thank ACDS and the amazing TLC teachers for that.
The TLC at ACDS is the perfect school for our son. Everyone at the school is incredibly welcoming and the faculty is very dedicated and genuinely care about every student. We have seen significant growth in his core subject knowledge his first year in the TLC, and the integration into the mainstream 5th grade classes has been just what we hoped for. Frequent, proactive communication from our son's teachers has kept us informed of his progress as well as what he is doing in class on a day-to-day basis. ACDS provides far more than just the TLC, but a well-rounded curriculum that helps our son develop as a person and an individual. We are continually impressed by the increased confidence and respect of others we see in our son everyday and believe his daily interactions and experiences at ACDS contribute to his self-esteem and genuine interest in others.
After four years of struggling through the special education system in public school and countless hours of tutoring and educational services, we knew something needed to change. Despite the best of intentions, our daughter was pulled from her favorite parts of her school day for extra help and often ended her day with extra outside tutoring on top of it all. In turn, she didn’t enjoy school very much and had little free time to be a kid. Her school and life experience were not what we wanted for her. We knew she needed to get support during her school day without being pulled from every enjoyable part.
After finding that most schools dedicated to serving children with language-based learning differences were primarily located on the peninsula, we were discouraged. We also really wanted to keep all 3 of our children at the same school. Sometimes we wondered if we were just expecting too much and needed to settle. We just hadn’t found Almaden Country Day School and The Learning Center yet.
We were initially struck by the fact that all teachers in the TLC program are trained in the Orton-Gillingham method of instruction. Being the oldest and best researched program for dyslexia instruction, we loved that all subject matter would be taught using the multisensory approach. Many schools we visited used various curricula, but the TLC uses Orton-Gillingham with fidelity which allows them to have a better understanding of students’ areas for need and growth over time as well as better student success.
Much thought has been taken to ensure students are Almaden Country Day School students first and TLC students second. TLC students receive all their core subject matter in small group instruction while still experiencing electives with the rest of their peers outside of the TLC.
The TLC is more than just instruction though. Research shows that it takes five positive experiences to counteract a negative one. Because of their different needs, students with learning differences often have very negative feelings surrounding school. Our daughter was no different. Having highly qualified teachers that are also passionate about teaching students the way they learn is changing those feelings. A growth mindset is instilled and the idea that mistakes are a way to learn and grow is reinforced.
The opportunities for hands on learning experiences and volunteering and participating in the community are unparalleled. Feeling a bigger connection to the world around them and celebrating their many individual strengths has been invaluable.
Truly the biggest change we have noticed though has to be in self-confidence and attitude towards school. After years of daily crying before school, during homework, and even anxiety before bedtime, we finally have a child that is excited to go to school and misses it on the weekends. That is a testament to the wonderful rapport with teachers and fellow students. The TLC really feels like a supportive family.
We are so grateful to have found the TLC program at Almaden Country Day School. For the first time, our son actually LOVES school. It is a pure joy as a parent to see our son's confidence increase and for him to enjoy learning. We could not be more impressed with the teaching staff and their ability to connect with each child and create an environment for them to thrive.
The TLC program shines in so many ways and has been an invaluable gift for our family. Every aspect of the program has been honed in a way that has resulted in a happy, confident, skilled reader who now has a difficult time putting down a book!