A Different Kind of School
Dartmoor's motto is "A Different Kind of School!" What makes DS different? Click on the links below to discover the difference of a personalized education.
Student respect constitutes Dartmoor's founding principle and conditions the school's daily efforts to promote academic achievement for all of its students. This respect requires, additionally, that Dartmoor and its families reflect on what academic achievement means for an individual student. For some this will entail the mastery of basic academic skills, while for others coursework will present rigorous preparation for advanced study.
Great teachers make all the difference in a student's life. Though each staff member has a different story about why she or he became a Dartmoorian, all share a belief in the transformative capacity of education and a passion for teaching and learning. Dartmoor staff are intelligent, innovative, and compassionate individuals who unselfishly dedicate themselves to the prosperity of their students and community.
Staff and professionals present monthly trainings on topics ranging from the medical aspects of ADHD to teaching students with Asperger's. These trainings provide staff with monthly opportunities to share and enhance their knowledge.
Over the last two decades, Dartmoor has worked successfully with more than 3,000 students, all of whom have had unique student profiles (ADHD, Asperger's gifted, athletes). Dartmoor has also graduated over 300 students and has experience with application and acceptance to highly selective universities. See DS's "College Profile" section for more.
Dartmoor views itself as part of a network of resources supporting education in the Puget Sound region. To this end, Dartmoor collaborates with the student and family, with area professionals, and with public and private schools to attain student goals. Cultivating relationships in the community has been a focus of the school since its inception, and Dartmoor welcomes information from professionals as well as public and private schools.
When a student enrolls, Dartmoor works with the student, family, and anyone else directly involved in the student's education, such as professionals or staff from another school. The information from these constituents and a battery of internal placement assessments directs the design of a tailored program. Dartmoor's diagnostic-prescriptive approach maintains relevance because of a refined dialectic between precision and flexibility. An Instructor can implement one model or resource to remediate a skill and if this proves ineffectual, then Dartmoor has the flexibility to adapt and refine instruction or content so the course remains accessible and appropriately challenging: that is, at instructional level and just beyond to maximize student growth. In addition, student programs can incorporate skills such as time management, organization, project planning and completion, test taking strategies, and so forth. For students who require significant intervention in these areas, Dartmoor recommends a personalized Study Skills course.
An Instructor spends each academic session actively teaching to the specific needs of a single student. Thus, the Instructor has multiple opportunities to check for mastery before moving on to the next concept. Direct interaction maximizes student learning and allows Instructors to engage and challenge students appropriately through a variety of relevant, prescribed activities. As a result, the student gains important academic skills, learns content, and builds confidence---all of which serve to promote post-Dartmoor achievement.
Individuals who require flexible scheduling to allow for participation in a competitive sport, ballet, theatre, can opt for a specially designed schedule allowing them to balance educational and extracurricular needs without sacrificing the integrity of either.
Supplemental programs at Dartmoor are more than tutoring. The same staff, assessments, instructional methods, accommodations, modifications, curricula, textbooks, technology - in short, the entire panoply of resources of an accredited independent school - inform each supplemental course.
Dartmoor believes in the meaningful integration of technology. All Dartmoor students have access to a computer and for some this acts as an accommodation. For a dysgraphic student, keyboarding removes the painful task of handwriting from the compositional process, and allows the Instructor and student to isolate and develop compositional skills. Beyond this basic accommodation, many courses access digitally-based content that introduces concepts via multi-sensory media. At Dartmoor the computer does not replace the teacher: the digital content replaces the textbook. Instructors still actively teach and explore concepts with the student.
The Instructor tracks performance daily and has an ongoing discussion with the student about progress. Likewise, the Instructor can speak directly at any time with an administrator regarding concerns or successes. A Campus Manager, the on-site administrator, supports the Instructors, and dialogues with the Head of School and, where appropriate, the Director of Special Education, to build and adjust student programs. The Campus Manager regularly communicates with the parents to keep them informed of their child's performance. With permission from the family, Dartmoor will provide professionals with progress reports.
Dartmoor's value resides in its ability to transform lives through personalized education. Frustrated students regain their innate thirst for knowledge, build confidence, and learn with enthusiasm once more. Each student enjoys the chance to discover and develop her or his particular talents, while becoming proficient in crucial academic and intellectual skills. A Dartmoor student has the freedom to learn and through her or his studies gains a new perspective on education and life. To Dartmoor, the success of each student is invaluable.