This story is brought to you by Bayhill High School.
Richard Branson, Charles Schwab, Steven Spielberg. These three bright creative thinkers all have a learning disability or difference. When a child has dyslexia, ADHD, or another learning disability, they often feel like a square peg in a round hole. Fitting into a traditional education environment can be frustrating and daunting when a child thinks differently than the norm.
Bayhill High School, a small private school in Berkeley, is in its eleventh year educating students with learning differences.
What makes Bayhill different? For one, its teachers are trained specifically how to teach students who learn differently. Lessons are taught auditorily, visually, and kinesthetically (hands-on) in order to reach every student. Bayhill students are challenged at their level with a college preparatory curriculum that fosters critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and emphasizes student strengths.
“My advice for any young dyslexic is ask yourself ‘what’s the one thing I’m really good at.. what’s the one thing I really enjoy’ then focus all your effort on that thing and you’ll become really good at it. That’ll build your confidence and help you succeed”.
— Richard Branson
In tune with Branson’s sage advice, Bayhill students have the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of concepts in ways beyond the usual test taking. Perhaps they choose to use digital design to demonstrate the parts and functions of neurons. Maybe a student creates a stop-animation film to explain a theme in Macbeth. By focusing on what students are good at, Bayhill can challenge and prepare them for college or other post-secondary endeavors.
Bayhill students also enjoy a wide range of course offerings, extracurriculars and school events. Its extensive arts program allows students to explore talents in art, photography, music and digital media. Students participate in clubs like Student Council, Poetry & Creative Writing and the national Junior State of America organization.
Bayhill takes advantage of the many opportunities on offer in the Bay Area to learn through hands-on exploration and real world experience. The area’s many museums, universities, and natural wonders are extended classrooms where students learn in a variety of modalities.
Bayhill graduates have successfully matriculated to four-year colleges such as University of Puget Sound, Southern Oregon University and the California State universities. Others have studied culinary arts, visual arts, and technical programs at junior colleges. Bayhill alumni have proven time and again that students with learning differences have much to offer the world when given the right instruction and a positive environment that focuses on strengths.
Want to learn more? Join Bayhill High School for an Open House on Saturday, Oct. 13 at 1 p.m. Learn how this specialized high school in Berkeley empowers students with learning differences to succeed in high school, college, and beyond. Experience classroom demonstrations and talk with Bayhill students and parents to see what attracts families from all over the Bay Area.
Can’t make it that day? Bayhill will have a Tour & Talk on Oct. 25 at 10 a.m. and another open house on Nov. 10 at 1 p.m. Bayhill is always available to meet with families to discuss your child and how Bayhill can help them thrive. Call 510-984-0599 or visit bayhillhs.org.