May 11, 2023 By Steve Saleeba
South Shore Stars, a nonprofit provider of comprehensive early education and youth development programs for communities on the South Shore of Boston, is announcing the creation of a new school. The school is opening to meet the needs of students with varying literacy, academic, social, and emotional learning differences.
Set to open in early 2024, Stars School & Learning Center will serve as a private, nonprofit day school with after-school programming opportunities. The school will cater to children in grades 1-5. Orton-Gillingham (OG) certified staff and licensed educators will work with students daily, incorporating practices designed to empower students identified with – or at high risk of – dyslexia or language-based learning differences, by providing an innovative, evidence-based, multi-sensory education, grounded in the Science of Reading. At full enrollment, Stars School & Learning Center will welcome 100 students.
Analysis of data available on the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education website revealed that one in four students on the South Shore with a disability are identified as having a Specific Learning Disability and qualify for specialized teaching. Also, many students who may not have been formally identified with learning needs would benefit from systematic, sequential, and multi-sensory literacy instruction. This instruction may not be easy to find. Specialized day school options for families seeking schools focused on dyslexia and language-based differences are not abundant on the South Shore. Many families currently travel a minimum of 30 miles each way to access educational programming designed exclusively for students with learning differences, such as dyslexia and frequently associated secondary needs, i.e. ADD, and spend upwards of 11.5 hours commuting to schools every week.
Nancy Duggan, Executive Director of Decoding Dyslexia, shared her full support of the school and the overwhelming need, a first of its kind on the South Shore of Boston. She lauded the school’s objective to combine general education and special education to meet the diverse literacy needs of young learners.
“The overwhelming response from parents, guardians, special education advisory committees, and educators in the area has driven the initiative to create an educational institution that would meet the needs of students focused on building strong literacy skills in reading, writing and spelling, specifically those students with dyslexia or other language-based learning needs,” said Dr. Jennifer Curtis, Executive Director of Stars. “Our vision is to become a leading independent school in children’s education, social emotional, and individualized growth, focusing on three essential areas that work together for the greatest impact for students: Care, Evidence-Based Educational Practices, and Joy.
Stars is in the process of purchasing a 30,000 square foot, multipurpose building located at 163 Libbey Parkway in Weymouth and is seeking additional funding to realize the school’s vision and full potential. To show your support and for additional information, please visit southshorestars.org.