Our Policy Regarding Students with Learning Differences


At The New School, we define learning differences in a broader sense than simply Learning Disabilities (LD) and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD or ADHD). A student’s mental, physical and emotional states all play a part in whether he or she is able to learn. A student with chronic insomnia has difficulty learning, as does a student whose social life prevents him or her from getting homework done.

We believe that, with the proper support, most students who are committed to their education and are willing to collaborate with teachers can succeed at The New School. This policy is intended to clarify what the school expects from students and what students can expect from the school.

1. The New School accepts students whom we feel will benefit from our small classes and multi-sensory, skills-based approach.

2. The New School’s goals and practices may be incompatible with the needs of some students with learning differences as outlined in their IEP or 504 plans, or psycho-educational reports.

3. Some of our practices are helpful to students with learning differences. However, The New School does not provide accommodations that conflict with our basic approach or place an undue burden on our staff.

4. We do not specifically recruit teachers with training in special education, nor do we represent ourselves as experts in dealing with learning differences. We do make available resources and professional development opportunities to educate our staff about these issues.

5. A hallmark of The New School program is the dynamic nature of our classes, which are structured yet flexible enough to permit student interest and input to shape classes on an ongoing basis. Some students with learning differences perform better in a more rigidly structured environment than ours.

6. All students at The New School are expected to fulfill their academic requirements. Therefore, we require some students, at their parents’ expense, to receive outside support in order to succeed in our academic program.

7. All students at The New School are held to the same standard of behavior. The New School is not an appropriate placement for students who have difficulty controlling their impulses and present ongoing behavior problems.

8. Parents must provide the school with all documentation of learning differences, and keep the school informed of changes in circumstances, including medications, that may affect their child’s ability to learn. We reserve the right to require, at the parents’ expense, testing or evaluations that will better inform the staff about the particular challenges faced by the student.