School Elevates Kids with ADHD, Dyslexia
June 30, 2010 · Published By Editor
New Way Learning Academy Unlocks Students’ Potential
Walk the halls of New Way Learning Academy in Scottsdale and find students who are flourishing. Students who were once taunted and bullied have found a place where they fit in. Students at New Way Learning Academy who struggle with learning differences such as ADHD and dyslexia have found that they possess special talents when they are taught in ways they learn best.
The kindergarten through 12th graders also gain a tremendous boost in self esteem by participating in sports. Many of these children came from schools where they rejected, but at New Way Learning Academy their athleticism helps them focus, socialize, work as a team and have confidence in the classroom.
During his spare time, sixth-grade teacher Mike Walker created a sports program for the school. Drawing upon his childhood in California playing football, basketball and baseball as well as running track and cross country, Walker formed a unique blend of academia and athleticism.
“The first year of competition was definitely a learning experience,” Walker said. “A lot of the kids had never been on an organized team, and most of them never watched or had much exposure to any of the sports. We had to work on teamwork, following directions, sportsmanship and many other lessons that were completely new to them.”
Coach Walker has taken these kids to new heights. They have placed in tournaments and won individual medals.
This past spring, New Way Learning Academy students won six medals in the Scottsdale All-City Track Meet— three gold medals for softball throws went to Mareion Jones, Elizabeth Henson and Madi Molina; one silver medal was awarded to Mareion Jones for the 100-meter dash; and two bronze medals were won by Taylor Tzineff, for the 1600-meter race, and Benjamin Wolk for the 50-meter race.
In spring 2009, New Way Learning Academy featured a gold medalist long jumper, a silver medalist 1,600-meter relay team and three bronze medalists in the City of Scottsdale Track Meet. Just recently, the 7th/8th grade flag football team finished the season in third place with four wins and outscored its opponents 83-31, with four shutouts.
In 2008, the 4th and 5th grade girls’ basketball team also finished 5-2, eventually losing in the championship game. In 2007, the 4th and 5th grade football team finished with a 5-2 record and represented New Way in the playoffs.
That is quite an accomplishment for the students who were typically chosen to play last.
Published on behalf of New Way Learning Academy
New Way Learning Academy has been serving children with learning differences in grades K-12 for 41 years. New Way is approved by the Arizona Department of Special Education to serve students with learning disabilities; it meets state mandated standards and guidelines. School enrollment is approximately 120 students with 40 staff members. The student to staff ratio is 6:1. It is the only private school in Arizona to provide such specialized education for children with learning differences in grades K-12. New Way’s philosophy is that the school meets the needs of each student. For more information, visit http://www.newwayacademy.org/.