Schools That Work: Lawrence School

Ohio's Lawrence School helps their students become well-rounded, confident kids regardless of their learning disabilities or ADHD.

Location: Broadview Heights (grades 1 through 6) and Sagamore Hills (grades 7 through 12), Ohio

Number of students: About 300 students with a 1:9 teacher-to-student ratio. The school draws students from 10 counties in northeast Ohio, including the metropolitan Cleveland area.

Curriculum & academic approach: Caters to bright students with ADHD or learning differences on a college-prep track. Ninety-six percent of its graduates attend two- or four-year colleges or universities. The academic approach focuses on the three As: “Acceptance for who the student is, Affirming his learning challenges and strengths, and holding him Accountable for learning material that honors his learning style,” says Lou Salza, head of the Lawrence School.

Strengths of the school: "Our kids become articulate, insightful advocates for themselves,” says Salza. “They can talk about who they are without apology and without arrogance.”

High-tech help: Lawrence’s One-to-One technology program provides every high-school student with a notebook computer, and software for students with learning disabilities. When students graduate, they take their laptops with them to college.

Beyond academics: Clubs and activities include a video-game club, campus literary magazine, and many team sports. “When students play on a team, they find out that they matter to other people,” says Salza. “They also discover that they have a lot to contribute to a team, a group, or the school community.

Teacher tip: “Look for creative ways to get kids to move forward in their studies,” says Courtney Baker, communications manager at Lawrence School. “If children are practicing their multiplication facts or learning new spelling words, let them stand up and shout out the words.”

Learn more: www.lawrenceschool.org or call the admissions office at 440-526-0717.

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