The Grayson School: Exceptional Learning for Exceptional Minds
At The Grayson School, a focus on authentic practice creates incredibly unique academic opportunities.
Joseph Stocke had exhausted his school’s math program by first grade. By second grade, he was getting into Calculus with a tutor. His parents, Joe and Linda Stocke, knew that he needed more, and testing confirmed that he was gifted. They even tried homeschooling for a year, but it was not ideal because Joseph was a very social child. Then they learned a new school was opening—one especially for gifted children. In September 2015, Joseph was the first student to arrive at The Grayson School in their inaugural year. He was one of 12 students.
Today, there are over 100 students from prekindergarten through 12th grade attending The Grayson School’s expanded Radnor campus. Grayson’s research-based programming that stresses project-based learning, is flexible to allow the school to nurture each individual student’s interests and strengths. Hands-on, experiential projects integrate topics from across the curriculum and become increasingly independent and complex as students rise through the school.
For Joseph’s younger sister Meredith in her combined kindergarten and first grade class, this means encouraging her natural curiosity with ability grouped academics. For Joseph—who is currently in ninth grade—it means building a cathode ray tube and continuing to advance his passion in advanced nuclear sciences.
To foster Joseph’s undeniable mastery of math and science, the school has also engaged a Haverford College chemistry professor who is able to come teach biochemistry one-to-one at a college level. “Initially I was not sure they’d be able to accommodate Joseph because we needed extremely accelerated work,” his father Joe relates. “We’ve been working with Grayson and they’ve been working with us,” he continues, noting the importance of his children getting individualized attention and exposure to people who are experts in their fields.
A focus on authentic practice creates incredibly unique academic opportunities. Inspired by the work of an engineer, students completed a LEGO replica of an Antikythera Mechanism – an ancient “computer” used to calculate and predict astronomical events. Last year, student space interest in space led to multiple contacts with an astronaut aboard International Space Station and an unforgettable visit to the school once she returned to Earth.
Meredith is similarly thriving in her kindergarten setting. She is already coming up with project ideas for her class, and loves the approach. Her father feels that this collaborative, flexible method of learning is also what makes the Grayson “family” so special: “It’s very much a community, as opposed to a school. Students develop really close friendships and love the teachers.”
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The Grayson School supports the Main Line Parent and Philly Family communities.
Photographs by Ivory Tree Portraits.