Thousands of students on Staten Island suffer from dyslexia and other language-based learning disabilities. For years, community advocates and parents have been asking for an educational option to meet the needs of these children.

We hope to offer a new, innovative choice for families via the charter model to create a school that uses instructional approaches devoted to serving these students. Charter schools were developed to create choices for families, raise students' academic achievement and provide a space for the use of innovation and best practices. We can think of no more compelling reason to develop a charter school than to directly respond to this specific community need.

If our charter is authorized, our school will be the first and only public charter school in New York State and one of a handful in the US, dedicated to educating students with dyslexia and language-based learning difficulties. Our school will use Orton-Gillingham, a multisensory instructional approach intended primarily to help students who have difficulty with reading, spelling and writing. This method teaches the connection between sounds and letters to teach reading. Students with dyslexia require explicit, targeted and systematic instruction, as well as opportunities for practice with corrective feedback.

Our mission is to provide a high-quality education for students diagnosed with dyslexia and language-based learning difficulties, while also helping them gain the skills and confidence needed to achieve their full potential via the use of alternative, but research-based, proven teaching methods. At any point, if our students have mastered the learning strategies needed to overcome their academic challenges, they may return to a more traditional educational setting.

Community input is vital to our development as a school. What are your thoughts on a public school like this opening on Staten Island? Please fill out this survey and let us know!
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