Frequently Asked Questions

Please click on the questions below to see the responses.

  • What makes Center School unique?

    • Center School has certified reading specialists in every classroom. Reading specialists are trained to understand the various components of learning to diagnose specific learning needs and implement quality instruction to address those needs effectively.
    • Team teaching enables teachers to engage in personal interactions with students, creates more time for individualized attention and provides greater opportunity for observing and managing student learning and socialization.
  • What reading program does Center School use?

    • Reading is the cornerstone of the curriculum at Center School, and much of the day is dedicated to building literacy skills.  The reading curriculum is language-based, multisensory, sequential, and structured to be cumulative.  Direct instruction and explicit modeling are used to provide students with the tools necessary to develop sound comprehension skills.  Material is chosen at the child’s instructional reading level.
    • Students come with a variety of needs; there is no single commercial program that is appropriate for all learners. Rather, Center School relies on ongoing diagnosis by the learning specialists in each class to determine how best to meet each child’s needs.  Instruction revolves around five areas crucial to reading success: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary development and comprehension.  Various frameworks are used for reading instruction which include the Directed Reading Thinking Activity and components of the Reading Workshop and Balanced Literacy Approach.
    • Reading teachers are certified in Orton Gillingham, a diagnostic and prescriptive approach to reading instruction for students who have difficulty with reading, spelling, and writing often associated with dyslexia, or Wilson Reading System, a multisensory, structured curricula based upon phonological-coding research and Orton-Gillingham principles.  Phonemic awareness, phonics, spelling, and writing are the dominant focus of these methods.
  • How do you teach writing?

    The writing curriculum in Center School focuses on a direct approach to teaching writing. In all grade levels, Step Up to Writing by Maureen Auman, a research-based explicit, systematic approach to writing instruction, is used as a resource to guide teachers in creating curriculum. Skills are sequenced, clearly instructed with examples, then modeled with guided practice. A common writing language is developed among all grade levels. In each grade, students learn and understand the importance of the steps of the writing process, and independence in applying them is taught.

  • What is a language-based curriculum?

    A language-based curriculum places emphasis on skills relating to understanding spoken and written language.  Center School’s curriculum is language-based, recognizing the role that language plays in academic success.  Full curriculum instruction is offered through a structured, multi-sensory approach, based on the students’ needs, and designed to address each child’s learning needs through small group instruction.

  • What is meant by a full curriculum?

    In addition to reading and language arts instruction, Center School students experience the full range of typical school subjects including Science, Social Studies, Math, Art, Physical Education, Team Sports and the Arts.
  • How long does a student normally stay at Center School?

    Because of their varying learning needs, it would be misleading to provide an average student stay at Center School. Our goal is for students to transition successfully to a new school – the rate at which this occurs depends on each child’s progress.
  • How does Center School help children prepare for high school?

    As students develop academic skills, they learn how to apply them with independence in order to be successful in high school. Through direct instruction, students learn about their own unique learning styles and how to manage their learning differences successfully. The skill of self-advocacy is emphasized, and as self-awareness grows, students can better manage the learning demands expected in high school.

  • Where do students go after they leave Center School?

    Students attend a variety of schools after leaving Center School. Parents and students are encouraged to consider factors like class size, and the level of support needed to be successful when exploring new placements.

    High Schools
    • Abington Friends School
    • Abington High Schools
    • Academy in Manayunk
    • Archbishop Ryan High School
    • Archbishop Carroll
    • Baldwin School
    • Bishop McDevitt High School
    • Cardinal Dougherty High School
    • Centennial Public Schools
    • Cheltenham Public Schools
    • Chestnut Hill Academy
    • Christopher Dock High School
    • Council Rock Public School
    • Creative & Performing Arts
    • Crefeld School
    • Delaware Valley Friends School
    • LaSalle College High School
    • Lower Moreland Public Schools
    • Malvern Prep
    • Eagle Hill School
    • Friends Select School
    • Germantown Academy
    • Hallahan High School
    • Hatboro-Horsham High School
    • Notre Dame Academy
    • Oak Lane Day School
    • Pen Ryn School
    • Pennington School
    • Roman Catholic High School
    • Neshaminy High School
    • Northeast Catholic High School
    • Norwood-Fontbonne Academy
    • Solebury School
    • Springside School
    • Upper Dublin High School
    • Upper Moreland High School
    • West Nottingham Academy
    • William Penn Charter School
    • Wissahickon High School
    • Woodlynde School
    • Wyncote Academy

    As we celebrate our 25th year, this is just a partial list of schools our alumni are attending or from which they have graduated.
    • Albright College
    • American University
    • Arcadia University
    • Chestnut Hill College
    • Columbia University
    • Culinary Institute of America
    • Delaware Valley College
    • Dickinson College
    • Drew University
    • Drexel University
    • Eckerd College
    • Florida International University
    • Franklin and Marshall College
    • Guilford College
    • Indiana University of Pennsylvania
    • Johnson & Wales College
    • Kings College Tyler School of Art
    • Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts
    • Lock Haven University
    • McDaniel College
    • Montgomery County Community College
    • Muhlenberg College
    • Philadelphia University
    • Penn State University
    • Rider University
    • Temple University
    • Towson University
    • Tyler School of Art
    • Ursinus College
    • Union College
    • Unity College
    • University of the Arts
    • St. John’s College
    • Suffolk University
    • University of Wisconsin
    • West Chester University
    • Widener University