Vincent’s family first noticed his learning disability when he was in kindergarten and 1st grade, he struggled with learning letter sounds, reading and his handwriting was nearly unreadable. It felt like everyone had a method to teach Vincent to read, but no one was successful. He was referred to the resource classroom in the middle of 2nd grade for reading and written language support for 23 minutes a day. At home, they would spend hours on homework and intervention projects to help with his learning challenges but saw very little improvement. The family was frustrated because it seemed every time they asked for additional support in the classroom, he didn’t qualify. By the end of 6th grade it seemed apparent that he was falling far behind his peers.
The first week of 7th grade Vincent, who was normally happy and fun-loving, hated going to school. Vincent’s homework load was three times what was expected in 6th grade, leaving little time for him to be a normal 12-year-old boy. Vincent’s favorite subjects are science and social studies, but because of his learning difference he was pulled out of those classes to attend resource. He was frustrated, angry and would think of any excuse not to go to school. The family knew something need to change, but they were not sure where to start.
His mom Stacy, searched online and found New Way Academy. Vincent’s dad was apprehensive, mostly due to the cost and location, but his mom felt confident this was the solution to their problem. They attended a prospective parent’s tour and immediately knew this is where Vincent needed to be. At the end of January, Vincent’s family was informed there was a spot beginning in February 2018.
Now that Vincent is at New Way Academy, his core classes are grouped by skill, not necessarily grade level. This makes group learning and the possibility to have peer help in class so much easier. The family also commented on how the teachers are so approachable and how having the smaller class size has been really beneficial for Vincent’s learning process. Vincent loves history. He wants to attend Grand Canyon University and study video game design, as this is a true passion for him.
According to Vincent, “If I did not receive a scholarship from Arizona Leadership Foundation, I would not be able to attend New Way Academy. The scholarship allowed me to finally enjoy not only the social aspects, but to thrive academically at school.”