Positive Beginnings, Bright Futures: The Primary Division at The Piedmont School



BY KORI MACKALL, Director of Communications

 

For over thirty-five years The Piedmont School, an independent school in High Point, has been known for providing an individualized education to Triad area students with ADHD and/or language-based learning differences such as Dyslexia. For much of its history, The Piedmont School predominantly geared its program for students in 2nd-8thgrade. As the school has grown, a real need developed to provide the individualized and specialized education TPS specializes in to the youngest of students.

In 2014, The Piedmont School founded the KinderAcademy program which made The Piedmont School’s methodology available to Kindergarten students for the first time in the school’s thirty-year history. This program has since evolved into the Primary Division of The Piedmont School working with students Kindergarten through 2nd grade providing them with an individualized and developmentally appropriate curriculum to help each student start their school career with a positive, enriching, and goal-oriented beginning.

At TPS the importance of early intervention is understood by administration and the Primary Division faculty. The Piedmont School also understands that some of the most challenging milestones of parenthood come along with the decisions regarding education and schooling. Which school is best for my child? Is my child ready? Will my five-year-old succeed in a traditional class of twenty (or more) students? These questions are often the ones parents wrack their brains (and hearts) over. The Primary Division of TPS has grown to be a unique educational program for many families in the Triad area who have struggled with these questions.

While The Piedmont School specializes in working with students with ADHD or learning differences, the school also understands that many times younger children are not diagnosed until age seven or after. Unlike the 3rd-12thgrade programs, the Primary Division at TPS does not require students have an official diagnosis of ADHD or a learning difference for enrollment. Instead the program aims to serve students who may benefit from a smaller classroom environment and a more individualized approach of instruction for their Kindergarten/1st/2ndgrade years. In order to provide a positive start, students receive initial benchmarking assessments to gage their independent abilities at the beginning of the year and will be informally assessed throughout the year to determine their growth. These assessments will help parents have an idea of any strengths and weaknesses their child is experiencing and also help parents provide valuable and professional information that can assist in exploring any possible diagnosis determinations. The faculty and administration help guide parents through the necessary educational evaluation processes as well as keeping parents well-informed on their child’s progress throughout the year.

When visiting the Primary Division, it is common to see a lot of movement. The Piedmont School understands that young children are most successful in the classroom when they are not confined to sitting and attending to a task for long periods of time. It is often noted by visiting families that the Primary students are among the most engaged and it is not uncommon to see individualized instruction, small group instruction and whole group instruction within a single hour. While movement and change of direction are common in the Primary Division, they are executed with structure and purpose at all times. The program also values experiential learning and real-world application of concepts therefore the Primary students take many field trips throughout the school year to help them see what they are learning in action. Primary students have visited local fire stations, libraries, apple orchards, as well as the Apple Store for hands-on education in 3D modeling and animation. Students are constantly encouraged to explore their strengths and creativity. The Primary Division students participate in the same well-balanced education that all students at The Piedmont School receive that includes music, art, drama, and physical education classes in addition to their core academic areas.

The Piedmont School is located at 815 Old Mill Road in High Point, NC. Conveniently located off of 311, it sits about 25 minutes from downtown Winston-Salem and 10 minutes from Kernerville. For families interested in learning more about the Primary Division at The Piedmont School, please visit: www.thepiedmontschool.com/academics/primary

To arrange a tour or have questions answered, please call the school at 336-883-0992. The Piedmont School accepts several of the NCSEAA state grants including the Opportunity Education Scholarship, Disabilities Grant, and the NC Education Savings Account. More information about these grant programs can be found at www.ncseaa.edu.


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