New Albany will be getting a new school which fills a need and draws students from three counties.
This week, attorneys for Marburn Academy expect to close on a deal to buy the land for an expanded building. It serves a group of students who otherwise might be lost through the cracks.
At Marburn Academy on the city's north side, educators know learning can be a tough, steep climb for many kids with dyslexia or ADHD.
"These are kids who typically fall a little further behind every year with traditional teaching, " said headmaster Earl Oremus. "The dyslexic kids don't learn to read, or they don't learn the math skills. The ADHD kids become more and more frustrated because the schools don't teach them better self-management skills, which are what they need."
That happened to Sue Kear's son. She said by seventh grade he couldn't read and had given up on his public school.
"I think he felt like the odd man out at his own school, and when he came here, it changed his life," Kear said.
Oremus said that the kids often are very bright, but their brains work differently. So teachers here receive specialized training then use those techniques to help students learn.
Some, like Sue's son, return to their home schools after a few years. Others graduate from Marburn.
"The word has gotten out that the teaching going on here works for children who are dyslexic or ADHD," Oremus said. "We are bursting at the seams. About five years ago, we had 120 children, and this year we have 180. And each of the last four years, we've had between 15 and 20 children that we actually accepted, but we couldn't enroll them because we did not have seats for them."
Even though they added a modular classroom, officials at Marburn Academy still had to turn kids away.
They now plan a new $9 million school in New Albany near U.S. 62 and state Route 161. They hope to break ground by the end of the summer. When built, the new facility will have room for 250 students, with space for future growth.
Kear said this school did more than just teach her son to read.
"It gave him the courage. It gave him encouragement. It made him emotionally sound again," she said.
Though her son is now in college, she was so impressed by his transformation that she got some special training and now tutors children at Marburn Academy.
About 90 percent of the students get financial assistance at this private school. The headmaster said in the past 10 years, every graduate has gone to college.
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