School can be difficult for a lot of people. The academic and social pressures can be enough to stress out even the most well-adjusted child. For the boys here at White Fields school is simply a trigger. It triggers bad memories of past school experience, the realization that they are behind their peers in reading and math, and the reality that they don’t have contact with their parents. As you can imagine this time of year is very difficult for most of our residents.
Figuring out your place in the world is tough, and at a young age we typically discover this in school. The boys here at White Fields struggle with this. Our goal is to minimize this struggle by looking at each boy’s individual needs and personalizing a learning plan specific for each child. We partner with Deer Creek Public Schools to insure they are getting all their needs met. All of our boys start at our on campus school and attend as long as necessary; some a few months, others years. When our boys are ready to transition we typically move slowly into the public school setting. Most will start with 2 hours of school and build upon it. We have the flexibility to stay at those 2 hours, increase, or decrease as we see fit. Many of our boys have thrived going to public school. They finally have the supports in place for success in the classroom, and have many watchful eyes on their studies. Some will try and still not be able to handle the academic and social pressures of public school, and we have pulled those boys back into the classroom here at White Fields. We want all our boys to go to public school, but with an on campus school it gives us flexibility to give each boy what they need at a given time and to set him up for future success.
In addition to having the support of Deer Creek and the on campus school, each White Fields resident has their own tutor that comes to meet with them weekly. This provides another positive adult relationship in their life who cares about their education. We also have a speech pathologist that serves our boys in the education center. With the help of our staff and the community around us, we are able to make education a priority in the lives of the boys that come to us. Personalizing each child’s education is one of the big ways we are bringing growth, instilling confidence and changing the lives of the boys here at White Fields.
Andrew Schlecht, White Fields Education Coordinator