Gateway Lab School is a public charter school offering students with learning differences, disabilities and difficulties a rigorous, arts-infused education that is tailored to their individual learning styles. We are seeing tremendous success, however in order to offer our students the supports and services we provide, in the small class setting that they need, takes significant resources over and above what comes from state and local funding.
Your donation will go to our general fund which is used to pay for enrichment programs for our students like visiting artists in residence, supplies and equipment for art and music programs and field learning experiences.
Are you a parent or guardian that has a child that is struggling in school? Here are some reasons why Gateway may be right for your child:
7 Reasons Why Gateway Lab School May Be Right for Your Unique Learner
1. My child’s ability is not reflected in his/her academic performance.
Unique learners can be challenged academically due to multiple obstacles they may face in the classroom. Many children retain information better through experiential (hands-on) learning versus learning linguistically (reading and lecture), which is the predominant method of instruction in a traditional classroom environment. The technological age in which we live allows students to explore areas of interest independently through the internet; however what is missing is learning how to apply what they are learning to their academics and real life. In addition, some students require accommodations like adapted text, seating preference, or use of a keyboard to help bridge the knowledge gap. All of the teachers at Gateway are trained to evaluate what each student needs to realize their individual learning potential and implement a plan of action.
2. My child performs better in small group settings.
The small class size enjoyed by students at Gateway provides an environment for teachers to get up close and personal with their students. The average teacher to student ratio at Gateway is 1:15 in the regular classroom with smaller groups of 1:2 to 1:6 during schoolwide Success Block. Many Gateway teachers have dual-certification in a subject-area and special education and have received the on-going professional development that they need to address our student’s specific needs. In addition to our teachers, there are highly qualified para-professionals in the classroom that assist our students in their small groups.
3. My child retains information better with “hands-on” learning.
Teachers at Gateway receive on-going training and support on ways to make their lesson plans engaging and relevant to students through the use of hands-on, arts-infused, interactive instruction. Whether using technology to create a paperless classroom with dynamic educational apps or good, old-fashioned dress-up and role-play, Gateway students are learning in an experiential way that helps to connect theory and application of the subject matter. This type of learning goes beyond rote memorization and helps students to use critical thinking skills that are necessary for the retention of information long term.
See the following information about Kinesthetic Learners: https://www.education.com/magazine/article/kinesthetic_learner/
4. My child is socially awkward or shy and struggles making friends.
Gateway Lab School is a Responsive Classroom© school. The Responsive Classroom approach incorporates the students’ social and emotional growth into their academic learning, stemming from the notion that children learn best through social interaction and when they are explicitly taught social and emotional skills along with their academic lessons. Gateway students begin by forming a community with their classmates and homeroom teacher through a daily Morning Meeting. In morning meeting, students help to create rules for their classroom and participate in team building activities that help them develop respect and trust for their classmates and take personal ownership for their actions. The Responsive Classroom approach allows teachers to get to know their students on a more personal level, and for the students, it serves to create an atmosphere of consistent expectations.
The students at Gateway have the opportunity to form relationships through their common interests by participating in school sports activities and clubs. Some of our past in-school and after school activities have included, Running Club, Volleyball, Basketball, Spirit Team, Youth in City Government, Odyssey of the Mind, Impact Leaders, and Computer Science Club to name a few.
5. My child needs focused intervention with reading and/or math.
The Response to Intervention (RtI) strategies used by teachers at Gateway focus on helping each student fill in gaps that may exist in reading and/or math. An assessment is given to each student at the beginning of the school year to determine what interventions are needed. Students are then assigned to smaller groups with classmates of similar ability during Success Block. Teachers track each student’s growth through regular progress monitoring and NWEA MAP assessments. Intervention curriculum includes the Wilson Reading System®, CARS & STARS, Do the Math and Failure Free Reading™. In addition to the statewide Smarter Balanced assessment Delaware students are required to take annually, our student’s progress is measured up to three times a year through the NWEA Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment. Data from the MAP assessment allows teachers to see where deficiencies are occurring during the year and address them during quickly.
6. My child has lost his/her motivation to attend school.
When a unique learner begins to advance through elementary school, he or she may begin to feel lost or off-kilter in their classroom. There may be challenges with maintaining focus and attention, or grasping concepts can cause them to fall behind as they have trouble maintaining pace with their classmates. They may sense frustration from teachers and parents who try to help them overcome their barriers to learning through extra-time, tutoring, and accommodations. When a child begins to experience anxiety or negative emotions around their learning challenges, they may “check out” and loose the desire to engage at school, a place where they feel unsuccessful and bewildered about how to perform to the expectations of teachers and parents.
The focus at Gateway Lab School is about discovering what each of our students needs to be successful according to their unique set of abilities and strengths. Using proven research-based strategies in a nurturing, safe, and secure environment, our teachers employ the teaching methods that work for each of their students, while empowering the students to understand their strengths and challenges that will help them to advocate for themselves, and articulate what they need to be successful as they advance to high school and college or work.
7. My child is doing well academically but needs a lot of help maintaining focus and organization.
The inability to stay on task and maintain organization can undermine the academic progress of even the brightest student. Teachers in a traditional class environment are often frustrated when a student that cannot sit still at his or her desk for an extended time in the classroom, or is frequently off task and fails to complete assignments. Parents of students with attention deficits may experience equal frustration while attempting to help their child stay organized, including trying to locate lost or misplaced assignments and supplies, and communicating and keeping up with homework and project due dates. Frequently, it appears that the child is “not trying hard enough”, because their academic outcomes in school do not match their ability. Gateway teachers employ various teaching methods to help engage inattentive students. Experiential (hands-on) lessons help to engage the student’s interest in the subject matter, while daily “brain breaks” provide time for movement in the classroom that re-energizes the body and brain. The small class size also keeps each student in view of the teacher which allows for re-direction as needed.
If you felt yourself nodding in agreement with any of these “reasons” for considering Gateway for your child, give us a call at 302-633-4091 or visit our website at www.gatewaylabschool.org
for more information. Gateway is a public, tuition-free charter school open to Delaware students in grades 3-8, located in suburban Wilmington, DE. Visit during a scheduled open house, or call to arrange for a tour to get answers to any question you may have about the school and how it can help your unique learner soar to success!
The Gateway Lab School philosophy is based on the belief that children, who have struggled to achieve academic success in the traditional school environment and learn differently, have the capacity to achieve academic success and to realize individual learning potential.
The teachers and staff of Gateway Lab School are committed to developing a sense of inquiry and love of learning in each student. This is accomplished by focusing on providing interventions in the areas of reading, oral and written language, math and motor skills. The school provides a unique program that incorporates art, music, drama and hands-on learning experiences.
Our social skill/character development curriculum, Responsive Classroom equips students with the knowledge to build relationships and approach new situations with confidence. Students learn to advocate for themselves by gaining an understanding of how they best learn.