Empowering Success at Benchmark School
What do schools need to provide to help delayed readers and children who have dyslexia, ADHD, and other learning differences meet with success in school?
It is not enough to teach children how to read.
For children and young adults, school is one of their primary environments. And with each passing year, a student’s academic and life successes depend more and more on mastery of executive function processes, such as goal setting, planning, organizing material, prioritizing, distinguishing main ideas, memorizing, initiating, self-monitoring progress, and reflecting on one’s own work.
Unfortunately, the essential executive function processes required for school success are rarely taught systematically in classrooms. Assignments are given with the assumption that students have, at some time earlier in their school experience, learned the executive function processes they need to complete the assigned tasks such as how to take notes, study, take tests and complete long-term projects.
Instruction must emphasize with students how to learn and how to take charge of their learning.
Typically classroom instruction is focused on content, rather than on how to learn. For students who have not figured out how to put these executive processes into play, the result, even for adequate readers, is often frustration and poor performance in school.
Executive function processes are how our brain puts us in charge of our environments.
Success in school and in the workplace depends more than ever before on how expert we are at taking charge of our own thoughts and actions and in assuming responsibility for the independent learning that will be needed to organize and integrate an ever-changing body of information.
Benchmark is different because we emphasize with students how to learn and how to take charge of their learning.
In our 49 years of working with struggling learners, we have a distinguished record of teaching students research-based strategies for developing mastery of the executive function processes that will help them find success in school and in the workplace.
The experience of teaching over 1900 students and reviewing the follow up research on these students has enabled us to continually refine our understanding of how to best meet the needs of struggling learners.
Benchmark School’s mission is to help bright students in first through eighth grades who have yet to reach their academic potential become confident and strategic thinkers, learners, and problem solvers who have who meet with success in school and in life.
Benchmark School’s intentional first to eighth grade experience equips students with the tools to succeed in any academic setting. As our students develop into confident learners who take responsibility for their own outcomes, we believe that high school is the optimal time for them to take the next step, testing what they have learned and applying it independently while still in a supportive home environment.
Photographs courtesy of the Benchmark School.