Trident Academy opens first school in Lowcountry for students with Asperger’s/HFA

  • Thursday, March 14, 2013

Trident Academy, an independent school located in Mount Pleasant, is announcing a new plan to serve the greater Charleston community by helping bright students find bright futures. Trident Academy is entering its fifth decade as a nationally-recognized leader in educating students with language-based learning differences – such as dyslexia. Now, the school will expand to include the Center for Learning Differences Education and will also begin serving a new group of students in the School for Asperger’s/HFA at Trident Academy. A community open house will be held on Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 10 a.m. at Trident Academy (1455 Wakendaw Rd.).

“As we acknowledged our 40th milestone, the board of trustees felt it was time to look to Trident Academy’s next 40 years with the same sense of purpose, vision and community as our founders,” says Margaret MacDonald, president of Trident Academy’s Board of Trustees. “Our goal today is the same as it was 40 years ago – to respond to the needs of our community and provide a solution for parents.”

The School for Asperger’s/HFA at Trident Academy is now accepting inquiries for kindergarten, first and second grade for the 2013-14 school year. One additional grade will be added each year through grade eight. The school will serve students diagnosed with HFA and Asperger’s Syndrome through a strong academic program coupled with intensive and research-based intervention in a supportive and nurturing environment. The school operates as a separate program from the School for Language Based Learning at Trident Academy. All classes will follow the Common Core Curriculum while incorporating a specified social skills curriculum. The focus is on language, social skills and school-ready behavior to ensure a successful transition to a conventional school.

Dr. Frampton Gwynette, Medical University of South Carolina child and adolescent psychiatrist and director of Project Rex says, “The decision by Trident Academy to open this school specializing in children with Asperger’s/HFA is a major breakthrough for the Charleston community This will fulfill a long-standing need in the region, and I look forward to the possibility of collaborating with Trident Academy on this very important effort.”

The Center for Learning Differences Education will include tutoring (academic therapy), the accredited Orton-Gillingham Training Program for teachers, and an ongoing parent education component. The center centralizes all of Trident Academy’s community outreach, reinforcing the school’s reputation as the hub of learning difference education in the Charleston region.

The School for Language Based Learning at Trident Academy will continue to be Trident Academy’s signature program as one of 11 certified Orton-Gillingham programs. The Orton-Gillingham approach emphasizes instruction that is individual, diagnostic, and prescriptive for cognitively capable students diagnosed with language learning differences. Class sizes will remain appropriately small with academics following the Common Core Curriculum, while the school continues its commitment as a partner and consultant to parents.

For more information, contact Niki Leiva at 843-884-3494 or nleiva@tridentacademy.com.

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