BY KORI MACKALL, Director of Communications
For more than 35 years, The Piedmont School has served a special niche of students in the heart of the Triad. These students are bright, with average to above-average cognitive abilities, and struggle with either attention deficits or language-based learning differences, such as dyslexia. Over those past three decades, The Piedmont School has grown and evolved into a truly unique environment that now serves nearly 100 students in Kindergarten through the 12th grade.
In the last five years, The Piedmont School has more than tripled its enrollment and has added a much-needed high school program to its offerings. In the school’s infancy, it primarily served as a transitional program where students may have attended for a few years to gain strategies they needed to be successful academically before transitioning back to area home schools. Now, The Piedmont School serves as more of a destination school. With the addition of a robust arts education program and athletics, many students are finding everything they need at TPS and don’t feel the need to transition anywhere else. Instead, they are choosing to complete their high school careers here as well.
Last year the newly added high school program was officially renamed John Yowell Academy at The Piedmont School in memory of longtime school supporter and advocate John Yowell. JYA has blossomed over the last four years, growing in numbers each year. While JYA is a division of The Piedmont School, it does serve as its own unique program. John Yowell Academy offers an individualized high school education to students who meet The Piedmont School profile (average to above cognitive abilities with attention deficit or language-based learning difference diagnosis). JYA students are required to meet all of the same course requirements as other area high school students and receive the same standard high school diploma as they would in any other high school. The program offers face-to-face classes with a 1:8 teacher-to-student ratio. JYA also offers several online options for elective courses, which provide a great deal of variety for students and in special situations options for credit recovery or advanced placement coursework. The John Yowell Academy places an emphasis on creating a well-balanced student. While academic expectations are high, value is also placed on service learning. Students are expected to complete all high school graduation requirements while also completing a number of service hours—both in school and in the community—as a part of their requirements. JYA students work individually with the school counselor to set academic and personal goals each year and to receive guidance on their post-high school path, be it toward a four-year university, community college, or the workforce. The JYA team works with students to learn and explore what it is they want to do and helps provide the stepping-stones and guidance for getting them there. As of Fall 2017, The Piedmont School has also become an approved testing site for the SAT and ACT. This allows for JYA students to be able to take these college admissions exams in their home school while also being provided the accommodations outlined in their individual instruction plans. In addition to a complete high school curriculum, JYA adds several extracurricular opportunities for students, and is looking to add athletics beginning Spring of 2018.
With the growth of The Piedmont School and addition of John Yowell Academy, the school has seen a great need for an expansion of the campus. The school is currently in the middle of a capital campaign to make this dream a reality. The school, located on a beautiful piece of property in North High Point that is easily accessible from anywhere in the Triad, will maintain its current residence and expand the present site. The expansion plan will nearly triple the size of the current campus and primarily be geared for the growth of the Upper Division (7th-12th grades).
For more information about The Piedmont School or John Yowell Academy, please visit our website at: www.thepiedmontschool.com or www.thepiedmontschool.com/academics/JYA . Enrollment for the 2018-2019 school year has begun. If interested in scheduling a tour, please call (336) 883-0992.