History of the Churchill School and Center
In the 1970s, learning disabilities were viewed as a medical condition to be remediated. Independent school teacher Harry Valentine, who stuttered and overcame his own social and academic challenges while in school, was frustrated by this limited approach and lack of educational resources for students with learning differences. He worked in conjunction with Arnold Schickler, who was inspired by the example of his niece, who had suffered from a traumatic brain injury. Together they gathered a team of partners, educators, and parents to found the Churchill School in 1972. The Churchill School was progressive for the times, taking a whole-child approach to education that included psycho-social development, an enriched curriculum, reading support, nutrition, and occupational therapy to develop students' strengths.
Through the years, the Churchill School continued this innovative, solutions-oriented approach to creating the best educational setting for students with learning differences. Because graduate schools were not effectively preparing teachers, the Churchill School developed its own professional development programs and training, stressing real-world techniques in classroom management, problem-solving, and reading instruction. In 1980, the Churchill Center was founded with a mission to bring new knowledge and resources to families and teachers across New York City by regularly offering workshops led by nationally known experts in the field of learning disabilities education. As a result, many learning specialists at mainstream private schools in New York were trained at Churchill.
A constant feature in the history of the Churchill School and Center is the ability to attract the best teachers – those who are dedicated, expert, resourceful, and exceptionally good at determining what each student needs to be successful. If you walk Churchill's halls today, you will meet school professionals who are deeply committed to their students and to Churchill's mission to provide an innovative and transformational K-12 learning community that empowers students with language-based learning disabilities.
Since 1972 there have been many advances in brain science and teaching, but the purpose of the Churchill School and Center remains the same - to use its deep expertise to power unlimited possibilities for every student.