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Learning-differences school gets new home

PHOENIX — New Way Academy had been operating for 45 years out of a Scottsdale residential facility but has now moved into new home near 52nd Street and McDowell.

“We’re in a real school,” said New Way Academy Executive Director Abbey Ross. “And for our 150 children with learning differences, the last thing we want is for them to not feel like they’re in a real school.”

Ross said she’s “beyond excited” to be in the new school, which has modified the walls, colors and lighting in the classrooms to help the kindergarten through 12th grade students have a better learning environment along with much smaller class sizes. Typically schools have 30 students per class. New Way has 10.

“For our students, being in a class of 30 is nearly impossible for them,” said Ross. “There are smaller schools that do very good work but what sets us apart is that students who maybe fell through the cracks of mainstream education who feel at home here. It’s an expensive tuition but it’s because we know what we do works and that’s why parents come.”

The new facility has a gym, cafeteria, stage and sports programs. Ross said some are surprised that they have full sports programs but that too helps students with learning differences.

“All of our coaches coach in the ways we teach. We are competitive and we win a lot of games. When you’re dyslexic you’re very, very bright and when a coach understands that, things connect and you become athletic and academically talented.”

To learn more about the school, click here.