In 1989, our Co-Founder, Kathy Hunt, a son’s mother with language-based learning difficulties, forged a relationship with several mothers facing the same problems. They had children who were capable of succeeding but struggled in the academic arena. The private school, whose teaching approach proved successful for their children, closed, and there was no alternative for these students. Kathy led the group of parents and the closing school’s teaching staff to open a new school, Center School.
Throughout her 24 years at Center School, Kathy constantly desired to expand the grade levels to include high school to help more students in their academic development.
In 2012, Kathy Hunt left Center School to achieve her dream; creating a high school for students with language-based learning difficulties, and others who needed a safe and nurturing environment to learn was her new mission.
Kathy saw a need and is now working with the other founders of MileStone Academy to realize this mission. They are a mix of professionals who have been educating children with language-based learning disabilities for over 25 years and parents of children with language-based learning disabilities. The Board members of MileStone all concur that numerous high school students in the greater Philadelphia area would benefit from this type of educational environment.
Our research found studies showing the need for language-based learning in preparing for this dream. Multiple studies show that students who score below proficient in standardized reading tests by third grade are less likely to graduate high school by age 19. The reading scores for 4th graders in Philadelphia showed that 86% of them scored basic or below in 2011, and 64% of students graduated on time in 2013. Studies show many factors affecting low reading scores, including class size, teacher qualifications, and socioeconomic factors like family structure, neighborhoods, and poverty.
We know that many children with language-based learning disabilities are not identified and are pushed from one grade to the next without the proper intervention or support.
Most educational systems are cookie-cutter programs that do not focus on individual students’ learning styles or needs.
Studies show that successful people are confident not because they are more intelligent but because they are more resourceful and aware of their strengths and weaknesses.