Case study: Example 1

A 15-year-old ninth grader, Rachel, who lives with her mother and step-father and younger brother was referred by an educational consultant for testing and possible entrance to Currey Ingram. Previously, she attended a boarding school in the northeast but requested to attend school closer to her home in Alabama. Rachel has a history of struggles with reading, spelling, and written expression, and her former teachers reported she was a passive learner. She has worked with tutors for years, but her mother reports that she still reads very slowly and can’t seem to ever get through the required reading at her current school. The assessment revealed significant variability among Index scores, with a high Verbal Comprehension Index in the superior range (130) and a Processing Speed Index in the low average range (89). An Overall General Ability Index score was in the above average range (116). Significant deficits were noted in Phonological Awareness and Phonological Memory, with both being in the below average range. On academic, normed-referenced tests, she had significant deficits in Basic Reading Skills (SS of 80), Reading Fluency (SS of 84) and Spelling (SS of 79).  Strengths were noted in her above average score in Math Problem Solving (SS of 119).  Rachel was diagnosed with dyslexia, with deficits also identified in organization, time management, and other executive function deficits.

In addition to her core academic classes and small-class size, Rachel received additional intervention in her challenging areas. Intensive instruction was provided in the following areas:

  • Reading was supported in Literacy Lab using Language Live!, taught by a speech-language pathologist.
  • Written Expression was supported in Writing Lab, using the Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD) developed by Karen Harris and Steve Graham.
  • Rachel’s executive function challenges were noted in organization, note-taking, time management, and task completion. In the Grade-Level Seminar Class that meets three times each week, these skills were taught and further developed. 
  • Also, Rachel benefitted from working with her assigned faculty mentor to help with task completion. 

Accommodations provided in her classes:

  • Rachel qualified for and used 100 percent of extended time due to her processing speed deficits.
  • Rachel used audio books (Learning Ally) when reading novels.
  • Rachel was allowed to have a reader or to use Kami for exam completion.
  • Teachers provided Rachel with scaffolded notes and note-taking instruction. 
  • Rachel used the computer for all written assignments with the spell check option.
  • Alternative assessments were used on occasion to allow Rachel to use her strong verbal skills.

Rachel completed her first year at Currey Ingram and made progress in her reading skills. She consistently uses Learning Ally when required to read novels. She also uses Kami when taking exams because she finds this approach easier than to have a reader for her exams. Rachel continues to struggle with spelling and some executive function skills; however, with support from her mentor and teachers, she earned As and Bs during her freshman year. Since joining Currey Ingram, Rachel has definitely found her strengths using her excellent verbal skills in theatre and forensics. She also ran and won a Student Council position for her sophomore year.

Case study: Example 2

A 13-year-old eighth grader, Hank, who lives with his mother and father and younger brother was referred by a learning specialist for testing and possible entrance to Currey Ingram. He has a history of struggles with attention, fine motor tasks, and reading. He has attended an independent middle school in Washington state, but lately his struggles in these areas have resulted in a level of anxiety that is interfering with his relationships at home and at school. He has received private tutoring, OT, and psychotherapy, but the family is searching for a more comprehensive educational intervention that can meet his needs. The assessment revealed cognitive skills in the average range (FSIQ of 103), with a significant discrepancy among cluster scores with high average verbal and working memory skills and low average visual spatial and processing skills. The assessment revealed a diagnosis of ADHD, inattentive type, a learning disorder in reading with impairment in reading fluency and a learning disorder in mathematics with impairment in fluency. 

Currey Ingram’s response:
Hank was assigned a faculty mentor who he met with daily in order to develop a relationship and to help identify his strengths and interests. Through the no-cut policy in sports, he started lifting weights with the soccer team and practicing daily after school with the team. In addition to his mentor, he developed a great relationship with his soccer coach. 

In addition to his core academic classes and small class size, Hank received additional intervention for his challenges: 
Intensive instruction was provided in the following areas:

  • Reading was supported in the Literacy Lab using Wilson Just Words, taught by a speech-language pathologist.
  • Math support was provided in Math Lab, using pre-teaching of Algebra 1 skills and remediation for current skills. 
  • Hank’s executive function challenges were noted in organization, note-taking, task initiation, and task completion. In Freshman Seminar, these skills were taught and monitored three times each week. 

Accommodations provided in all his classes:

  • Hank qualified for and used extended time.
  • Hank used audio books (Learning Ally) when reading novels.
  • Hank also used his computer to take notes due to his fine motor weaknesses.
  • Hank is permitted to use a calculator when solving Algebra problems.
  • Alternative assessments were used on occasion to allow him to use his strong verbal skills.

Outcome: Today, Hank is a self-reliant senior who actively advocates for himself and others. He has taken on leadership roles -- both in the school and in organizations in his community. He is active in leadership roles in Youth in Government and participates in theatre.

List of 1 items.

Currey Ingram Academy is an exemplary PreK-12 day and boarding school that empowers students with learning differences to achieve their fullest potential. Since 2002, the school has been located on an 83-acre campus in Brentwood, Tennessee, just miles from Nashville and Franklin. Families from 33 states and eight countries cite the school as their primary reason for moving to Middle Tennessee.

Currey Ingram Academy is accredited by the Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS) and AdvancEd/Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI).