New School Offers Place for Struggling Students to Thrive
PALO ALTO, CA (January 6, 2011) Children’s Health Council announces the opening of Sand Hill School, a new private school for kindergarten through third grade children who are bright but who are struggling in a conventional classroom.
When children start to show signs that school is not working for them in preschool, kindergarten or first grade, parents typically think, “Maybe he’ll grow out of it.” But Rosalie Whitlock, educational specialist and executive director of Children’s Health Council, advises, “Act now to relax later.” While acting early may be counterintuitive for parents, early support can change a child’s entire self-perspective and his outlook on school, especially as academic challenges grow.
Developmental pediatrician, Stanford University researcher and Children’s Health Council EQI director, Lynne Huffman, M.D., concurs. “Without intervention, children who have difficulty acquiring reading and other academic skills in early grades are likely to continue to have this problem throughout school. Once established, school-based problems can affect many aspects of psychological well-being. Early intervention increases the chances of good outcomes.”
Sand Hill School at Children’s Health Council in Palo Alto was founded based on the growing research that children who receive early intervention for problems struggle far less in later years. These are children who struggle to sit in circle time and get labeled a troublemaker, who have trouble with “t” sounds one day, but not the next, or who struggle to assert themselves on the playground and classroom and begin to dislike school and want to stay home.
Sand Hill School is a place where these children can feel understood, learn skills and begin to enjoy school and learning. Led by teachers and a diverse staff of child development specialists, children learn skills not traditionally taught in a classroom such as: managing high energy, joining a group when it doesn’t come naturally or learning how to read the words on the page when they look different from what most other kids see.
Sand Hill School is a transition school. It’s designed to help children understand how they learn and develop a package of skills from emotional regulation to academic skills so that they can succeed in a more traditional learning environment. Once children develop new skills and feel more confident about who they are in school, Sand Hill School staff helps each child return to a former school or find a different school that provides a better fit.
Cindy Lopez, Sand Hill School’s Head of School, says it is no accident the school is named after the street where out-of-the-box leaders of Silicon Valley have launched dreams into reality. “Silicon Valley is full of quirky, brilliant minds who don’t fit a conventional path,” Lopez says. “Where would we be without them?”
Sand Hill School is currently accepting applications. Classes begin February 1, 2011.
About Children’s Health Council:
Children’s Health Council (CHC) helps children, teens and families find the best ways to learn, develop and thrive. CHC specialists provide assessment and treatment services in multiple disciplines, including psychiatry, psychology, neuropsychology, social work, education, behavior management, family therapy, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and art therapy. All of CHC’s services are designed to help children reach their maximum potential by building on strengths and teaching strategies to overcome challenges.