The Howard School: Empowering Students with Learning Differences

The Howard School
The Howard School

Education is a fundamental right that should be accessible to all children, regardless of their unique learning needs. For children with language-based learning differences, tailored learning approaches and inclusive environments play a crucial role in unlocking their full potential. By understanding and addressing their specific challenges, educators can create an environment that fosters growth, independence, and success.

In a world that often values uniformity and education for all, The Howard School in Atlanta, Georgia, stands as a shining example of educational inclusivity. With a steadfast commitment to empowering students with language-based learning differences, The Howard School has been transforming lives since its establishment in 1950.

As the only K-12 school of its kind in the city of Atlanta, this remarkable institution has consistently demonstrated a deep understanding of the unique needs of its students. By providing tailored education, fostering a nurturing environment, and embracing the power of neurodiversity, The Howard School is a haven where students not only overcome their challenges but also flourish and realize their true potential.


Nestled in the vibrant city of Atlanta, Georgia, The Howard School has been a beacon of hope for children with language-based learning differences since its inception in 1950. Founded by Dr Hermon Martin and Marian Howard, this unique K-12 school has revolutionized education by providing an inclusive environment where students can thrive and reach their full potential. With a rich history and a strong commitment to academic excellence, The Howard School stands as a testament to the transformative power of tailored education.

At The Howard School, students experience a renewed sense of enthusiasm and joy in the learning process. It firmly believes that each learner possesses unique passions and strengths and celebrates these while also addressing their differences and areas of academic weakness. The school rejects the notion that labels define or limit its students.

A Rich History and a Guiding Mission

In 1948, Dr Hermon Martin, Georgia’s first child psychologist, joined forces with Marian Howard to establish a school dedicated to children with learning differences. In April 1950, the school opened its doors with three students, taking up residence in Marian Howard’s own house. Over the next 16 years, Marian Howard laid the foundation for a revolutionary educational institution, emphasizing an approach that went beyond rote memorization and embraced a world without boundaries, labels, or diminished expectations. The Howard School’s mission became clear: to provide a supportive and nurturing environment where children with learning differences can flourish.

Paving the Way: Guiding Beliefs Dignity, mutual respect, and a commitment to common decency serve as the foundational pillars within the vibrant and nurturing learning environment of The Howard School. Here, it is firmly believed that intelligence is not a fixed or unchangeable trait but rather a malleable quality that can be nurtured and developed.

At The Howard School, the significance of understanding one’s unique learning process is upheld with equal importance as the acquisition of knowledge itself. Students thrive when they possess an intimate knowledge of their own learning profiles, enabling them to navigate their educational journey with self-awareness and adaptability.

The school recognizes that intrinsic motivation flourishes when students are encouraged to question, explore and take calculated risks in their pursuit of knowledge. By fostering an environment that supports inquiry and intellectual curiosity, The Howard School ignites a passion for learning that burns brightly within each student.

Acknowledging the diverse ways in which children acquire and express knowledge, The Howard School embraces a holistic approach that allows for various modes of learning and expression. Students are encouraged to tap into their individual strengths and talents, empowering them to communicate their understanding through multiple avenues.

True comprehension flourishes when students actively construct meaning in their own minds and apply their knowledge in novel and diverse contexts. The Howard School champions this deep and enduring understanding, nurturing the cognitive processes that enable students to transfer and adapt their knowledge to real-world situations.

Recognizing that each student possesses unique strengths, The Howard School empowers students to harness their individual talents and embrace a wide array of tools and strategies. Through this approach, barriers to learning are dismantled, paving the way for growth and success.

Demonstrating a comprehensive grasp of the curriculum content and foundational skills, students at The Howard School showcase their learning in diverse and expressive ways, exploring avenues such as the arts and movement to articulate their understanding.

The teachings of John Dewey resonate deeply within the halls of The Howard School. Students are equipped with the ability to view knowledge in relation to the world around them. They develop problem-solving skills and hone their critical thinking abilities, enabling them to confront novel challenges and engage thoughtfully with their surroundings.

In an ever-evolving digital landscape, students at The Howard School not only embrace technology but also utilize it independently to expand their learning horizons. They proficiently leverage technology to conduct research, create original works, and communicate effectively, extending the boundaries of their education.

However, The Howard School instills in its students not only a thirst for personal growth but also a sense of responsibility to the communities they inhabit. Students understand the importance of active participation and take action to contribute positively to their local environments, recognizing that they have a role to play in shaping a better world.

At The Howard School, students embark on an educational journey where self-discovery, advocacy and the pursuit of knowledge intertwine. Through an integrated approach that nurtures their strengths, encourages creative expression and fosters a sense of social responsibility, students emerge as empowered learners, equipped to make a meaningful impact on the world around them.

Dedicated and Highly Qualified Staff

One key aspect of learning for children with learning differences or learning challenges is individualized instruction. Recognizing that every child has different strengths and needs, personalized learning plans are developed to cater to their specific requirements. This approach allows educators to adapt teaching methods, materials and accommodations to meet each child’s learning style, pace, and abilities.

What sets The Howard School apart from other educational institutions in Georgia is its team of highly qualified and dedicated teachers and specialists. Speech-language pathologists, literacy specialists, math experts and psychologists come together to tailor instruction and support services to the unique needs of each student. Through a collaborative approach, these professionals ensure that learning is meaningful and engaging, enabling every student to thrive academically and personally. The school’s commitment to the Habits of Mind framework further enriches the learning experience, fostering critical thinking, problem-solving skills and self-reflection.

A Comprehensive Academic Program

The Howard School offers a comprehensive academic program spanning grades K- 12. Recognizing that no two students are alike, the curriculum is designed to accommodate individual learning styles and needs while recognizing that a one-size-fits-all approach does not cater to the diverse needs of its students. Core subjects such as English, math, science, and social studies are taught with a focus on differentiated instruction, ensuring that students receive the support they require to succeed.

Differentiated instruction is another essential component of learning for children with learning disabilities. By offering various instructional strategies, educators can accommodate diverse learning styles and engage students in ways that resonate with them. This can include multisensory approaches, visual aids, hands-on activities and assistive technologies that facilitate comprehension and participation. Moreover, elective courses allow students to explore their passions and talents, whether in the arts, technology, or other areas of interest.

Expanding Horizons through Unique Opportunities

Beyond traditional classroom instruction, The Howard School places great emphasis on experiential learning as a means of enhancing students’ understanding and engagement. At The Howard School, learning extends beyond the classroom walls. Trips and _field experiences are integral to the curriculum, providing students with _firsthand learning opportunities that deepen their understanding of key concepts.

Whether exploring nature, visiting museums, or engaging in community service, these experiences foster a sense of curiosity, empathy and appreciation for the world around them. The school’s innovative STEAM program further enhances experiential learning, allowing students of all ages to engage in hands-on activities, building and making. These unique opportunities empower students to apply their knowledge and develop critical skills for the future. By integrating experiential learning opportunities into the curriculum, The Howard School ensures that its students are not only academically proficient but also equipped with the practical skills necessary for success in the modern world.

Cutting-Edge Facilities and Resources

The Howard School campus, sprawling across nearly 18 acres on Atlanta’s vibrant westside, boasts state-of-the-art facilities and resources. The school’s commitment to providing an optimal learning environment is evident in the ample greenspace, modern classrooms and the integration of technology into every aspect of education. From interactive smartboards to specialized learning tools, students have access to the latest educational resources, ensuring a dynamic and engaging learning experience.

Building a Strong Community

Parental involvement is crucial for the success of children who learn differently. Collaborative partnerships between parents and educators ensure that the child’s individualized needs are effectively addressed both at school and at home.

Regular communication, goal setting and shared decision-making empower parents to participate in their child’s educational journey actively.

Community and collaboration are cornerstones of The Howard School’s ethos. Designated as a ‘No Place for Hate’ School by the Anti-Defamation League, the institution fosters a sense of inclusivity and respect among its students. Throughout the year, students of all ages come together to share their unique experiences and build deeper connections. By celebrating diversity and nurturing a safe and supportive community, The Howard School instills in its students the values of empathy, acceptance, and understanding.

For over seven decades, The Howard School has remained at the forefront of empowering students with language-based learning disabilities and learning differences. With its rich history, dedicated staff, tailored academic programs, unique opportunities, cutting-edge facilities and emphasis on community, The Howard School continues to be a beacon of hope, unlocking the potential within each student. By embracing individuality and fostering a love of learning, this exceptional institution paves the way for a brighter future for its students and serves as a model for differentiated learning.

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