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The Kildonan School

Private | 2-12 | 83 students

Our school is best known for using dyslexics' gifts to remediate their dyslexia.

 
 

Living in Amenia

Situated in a suburban neighborhood. The median home value is $319,400. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,000.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
No new ratings
2013:
Based on 10 ratings
2012:
Based on 4 ratings
2011:
Based on 3 ratings

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35 reviews of this school


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Posted January 16, 2014

The support that not just the child, but the whole family of the child gets at Kildonan, is phenomenal, in fact I would describe it as life changing. My child was not just given the opportunity to succeed in school, but almost instantly began to thrive in school, beyond our expectations. It has been very exciting watching his confidence grow as a learner and seeing him taking ownership of his dyslexia and embracing it as the true gift we have all come to realize that it is. He has a very bright future ahead of him, and we owe so much of that to The Kildonan School. It would be hard to describe how Kildonan achieves what it does, there are so many ways and I think it is more of a synergy really, where everything just comes together perfectly. It would be better to see Kildonan in action if you wanted to understand how it is done, and also speak with the students who have the wonderful fortune of being there.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 29, 2013

Our son attended Kildonan for five years. The school changed his life in so many ways. He came to the school with no self confidence and was reading at a first grade level. They not only taught him to read but taught him to believe in himself. He has become a leader and has learned to help others empower themselves. In addition to the Orton-Gillingham Program, the offer sports, art and music as well as involve the students in many character building programs. Our son participated in so many programs and events throughout the years that have helped him to understand his dyslexia and be able to see the gifts that the disability has. He is attending his first year of college this Fall(which we did not think was going to be possible). He is using the skills that he learned at Kildonan to advocate for himself and it is just amazing to watch. We know that our son will do wonderful things and are forever grateful to The Kildonan School.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 28, 2013

The Kildonan School has undergone a lot of changes in the past year. A largely new administrative team has overhauled the curriculum and brought rigor to the classroom environment in order to prepare the students for college and beyond. This, coupled with the fact that Kildonan has spearheaded the world's premier accredited Orton-Gillingham training for their teachers (even beginning teachers have received 70+ hours in OG coursework and are mentored by OG fellows), not to mention the fact that the school accepts only students with a diagnosis of dyslexia so that it can focus on bringing out the strengths in these unique students' minds (ala Brock and Fernette Eide), makes Kildonan the best of the best when it comes to trusting dyslexic student minds to the right people with the right techniques.
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted August 27, 2013

The Kildonan School is a rare school in that it limits its focus to children with Dyslexia. Classes range from small to daily one-on-one Orton-Gillingham language learning. The staff, from the teachers to the administrators to the ground staff are accessible and extremely caring. It has a large arts program limited only by the student's imagination along with theater and music. The focus is on the whole child empowering students with creative independent thinking. The school does not rest on its laurels either but is always looking for new ways to teach. The assistive technology lab is superior. Many parents say that their child is more communicative, confident and happier. So many of the parents continue to be actively involved with the school after their child graduates. The student body is small yet diverse; students come from many states and many parts of the world. The headmaster can frequently be found among them. Moreover the campus is beautiful. The school goes skiing every Thursday during the winter and the program culminates with a week away at a ski resort in February. This school prepares a child for the real world in addition to the world of academics. Check it out!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 16, 2013

The Kildonan School is a small school focussed on a big mission, helping students with Dyslexia learn to love school. I have worked at Kildonan for 9 years now and love it. Every year I meet new, bright, Dyslexics who have fresh ideas to share and a lot of excitement for learning. We give our students new ways to learn, not lecture and text-based study, but hands-on and practical applications. I teach science and one of my favorite things to do with students is to get out and explore. I'm looking forward to the school year starting in a few weeks, it's going to be a great year!
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted August 7, 2013

The Kildonan School has been my 'home' for the past 17 years, and I have been pleased with the evolution it has and is still undergoing. The faculty and staff are constantly working together to create a welcoming and nurturing environment for students with dyslexia to learn and succeed in the world. The technological advances and language training program allow students to challenge themselves at individual levels while the small class sizes enhance cooperative learning and sharing ideas to build upon one another's strengths. As the needs of the world change, students at Kildonan will be prepared to meet those changes with intuitive and imaginative ideas and solutions.
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted August 6, 2013

Kildonan's remediation program for dyslexic students is unparalleled. The classes are small. Tutoring is one-to-one every day. The school works with every parent to customize its program to meet the needs their child. The art, theater, and music programs are expanding. Every parent looking for a school for their dyslexic child should put Kildonan at the top of their consideration list.
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted August 6, 2013

My daughter has attended The Kildonan School for four years and it has been an incredible experience in education, support and learning. Dyslexic and language impaired children attend and for the first time, they aren't "pulled" from regular classrooms to receive services (that are usually inadequate) making them feel different. Our daughter learned that she is not only intelligent, creative and a leader -- but she has a voice and a unique way of looking at the world. It is an amazing school with friendly and supportive teachers, staff, and students. I wish every child that has a learning difference could experience The Kildonan School and their way of teaching students. It has been a blessing every day that our daughter has attended -- and she will continue on now in middle school. The Kildonan School should be the model for all schools, empowering students to find their own unique style of learning and their own path on the way through the education system.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 21, 2013

My 14 year old child is attending Kildonan summer camp. My child came home this weekend with a book in hand. No a big deal except my child has severe dyslexia, and HATES to read. Before Kildonan my child would only read if we sat together. The positive environment of seeing other students reading and being given strategy by the teachers was all it took. I can't truly articulate how seeing my child read means to our family. I have NEVER written a review or letter to express my feeling about something that impacted me or my family not even to Oprah who I love. But I had to write to let other parents know our experience at Kildonan. I hope this review review helps someone.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 17, 2013

Our son struggled academically in a public school system before coming to Kildonan. In the three years he has attended the school his self-actualization and problem-solving skills have soared. He is accomplished and confident in his abilities. The Kildonan learning programs, teachers, and especially the individual attention of his tutors have been a perfect match for his learning style.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 4, 2013

My daughter is in her fourth year at Kildonan, and it has changed her life. She entered the school as a fifth grader, reading on a 2nd grade level, and doing math at an even lower level. She is now at the end of her middle school years, reading close to grade level, and feeling great about herself! This school educates the whole child, not just remediates the weak areas. My daughter is empowered with her dyslexia, and LOVES being in a school with peers and teachers that "get" her. The teachers and administration are accessible and use the team approach when problems arise, involving the parents in the process. The middle school curriculum is phenomenal; my daughter is reading books in literature that most HS students tackle. I can't say enough great things about this program!!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 5, 2012

Buyer beware. Kildonan has many new, immature faculty that have only had a crash course in OG training. If your're lucky enough to get one of the few good ones, it is great. The faculty is so sparse kids get the same teacher many times over. Parents input is definately not welcome if there is a problem, hiding under e-mails and sparse conference times that provide little support. There are many socially dyfunfunctional kids that are not dyslexic making up the student body. Individualizing kids interests seems to be of little interest to them.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 5, 2012

Our child started fifth grade at The Kildonan School in September 2011. Here is how our child has changed over the past year: He now wants to go to school every morning. He has finally memorized his multiplication tables and feels confident about his math abilities. He is composing reports about subjects in which he is interested. He is reading books. He loves his teachers. He has friends that look at the world like he does. He asked his mom to play Scrabble! He is now a happy boy that takes pride in his achievements. We can approach the headmaster, the director of elementary, and the teachers at any time to discuss our child's progress or our concerns. They are very accessible. Every child has their own iPad for school work. We are immensely pleased with the school, the staff, and the campus and would highly recommend this school to any family with a child struggling in the public school system because of dyslexia. The price you pay pales in comparison to the return you get. Your child will achieve so much more than would ever be possible in a public school. They will truly blossom. We cannot recommend this school enough for children that are dyslexic!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 12, 2012

Kildonan not only changed my child's self esteem, but changed his attitude toward learning. He used to ask every morning " when is 12 th grade?" as he hated going to school so much. But Kildonan turned him into an engaged learner, building upon his strengths while supporting his weak areas of reading and math. Teachers have been available for conferences whenever we have requested them. The new headmaster has an open door policy to parents' input. Diana Hanbury King, the founder, who was a leading pioneer in OG education for dyslexics is retiring after 62 years of teaching but the school remains committed to its mission. It's a wonderful school for dyslexic learners, go see it for yourself.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 12, 2012

My son has been attending Kildonan since September 011. This school is amazing!!! He has excelled beyond my wildest dreams he is happpy. He loves school. He loves sports. He loves it being led and I believe being a boy from a family of four he needs to be in a coed school. The rate hers and staff d head master are exceptional. These. Children are so fortunate. I hope you will consider this school if your child has dyslexia. My son Is thrilled. We were at nothi boarding school for four years nd this school as done mre in alf a year if you want my optioning.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 21, 2011

I attended the Kildonan School for a fewyears and it helped me only with my reading but when I went back to real school I had a lot of trouble with math and writing and textbook assinments and organization, I think they want you to stay at this school forever but nobody should do that. You should go for a few years and get your reading up but go back to real school as soon as you can because you miss out on too much at this school.


Posted May 20, 2011

this school has made a dramatic change in our child.The public school just didn't know to deal with his dyslexia even though they made lots of promises. Within a very short time we saw a dramatic improvement in self esteem, reading, and happiness. It was the best thing that we have done for him and are glad that we made the move when we did.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 20, 2011

I had the opportunity to attend camp Dunnabeck in Western PA. I am struggleing to find information with regards to the old Dunnabeck address. I was literally reading backwards and over the eight week coarse my reading excelled 7 years. It completely changes my life. I now am on a quest to help 2 out of my 3 sons with their study issues. I want to walk them through my experience of the "old" camp Dunnabeck. Can someone help me with the old address and info about the "old" camp?
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 20, 2010

My son failed in school after school -- public, private and therapeutic. He was attending, at best, three days a week. He simply refused education. The only real progress he made each year was from his summers at Dunnabeck, where he first learned to read. Finally, he begged us to send him to Kildonan. I can't begin to describe the changes in his academic and social development. He is engaged, he is committed, he is happy. For the first time in his life, he has tasted success and is building on it. The faculty and administration combine technical skills, enthusiasm and common sense. They run a great school -- and as the father of six kids, I have had plenty of exposure to outstanding schools. I'd like to comment as well that the several negative reviews strike me as suspicious, perhaps the work of a single disgruntled individual.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 26, 2010

I am a practicing licensed Therapist with a graduate degree in Counseling. I attended Kildonan for a four year duration graduating from the high school program. I learned many coping strategies to learn and overcome my learning challenges. The teachers and staff were outstanding in helping me to achieve academic and interpersonal success. I am very grateful to learn and grow from the Kildonan School.


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 91% 52%
Black 5% 21%
Hispanic 3% 21%
Asian 1% N/A
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 1%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander N/A 6%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% N/A
Two or more races 0% N/A
Source: NCES, 2009-2010

College readiness and student pathways

Percentage of students going to 4-year college 100% (2012)
Read more about resources at this school
Source: Manually entered by a school official.

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Art teacher(s)
College counselor(s)
Computer specialist(s)
Math specialist(s)
Music teacher(s)
PE instructor(s)
Nurse(s)
Reading specialist(s)
Security personnel
Tutor(s)
Foreign languages spoken by school staff Chinese (Mandarin)
French
Italian
Spanish
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

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Special education / special needs

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Special education
Specialized programs for specific types of special education students
  • Specific learning disabilities

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Staff resources available to students
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Math specialist(s)
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Science lab
Visual arts
  • Architecture

Arts & music

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Performance stage
Visual arts
  • Architecture
  • Ceramics
  • Design
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Photography
Music
  • Instrumental music lessons
  • Vocal lessons / coaching
Media arts
  • Computer animation
Clubs
  • Woodshop
  • Yearbook

Language learning

Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • French
  • Italian
  • Spanish

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Nurse(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Access to sports fields
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Gym
  • Kitchen

Gifted & talented

College preparation / awareness resources offered
  • College presentations or information sessions
  • SAT prep in tutoring
School leaders can update this information here.

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School basics

School start time
  • 8:00 am
School end time
  • 5:00 pm
School Leader's name
  • Kevin Pendergast
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Email
  • Phone
Gender
  • Coed
Special schedule
  • Extended/longer school day
Boarding options
  • Some boarding, some day
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Affiliation
  • Nonsectarian
Associations
  • ABS
  • NAIS

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • College prep
  • Individually guided instruction
  • Orton-Gillingham
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • Special ed
  • Special education
  • Special eduction
Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered

Don't understand these terms?
  • No
Specialized programs for specific types of special education students
  • Specific learning disabilities

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • College counselor(s)
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Math specialist(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • Nurse(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • Reading specialist(s)
  • Security personnel
  • Tutor(s)
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • French
  • Italian
  • Spanish
Extra learning resources offered
  • Assistive technology
  • Career/college counseling
  • Remediation
  • Tutoring
College preparation / awareness resources offered
  • College presentations or information sessions
  • SAT prep in tutoring
Transportation options
  • School shares bus/van with other schools
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Access to sports fields
  • Art room
  • Audiovisual aids
  • Cafeteria
  • College/career center
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Gym
  • Internet access
  • Kitchen
  • Library
  • Performance stage
  • Playground
  • Science lab
School leaders can update this information here.

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Sports

Boys sports
  • Basketball
  • Equestrian
  • Fitness training
  • Lacrosse
  • Skiing
  • Soccer
  • Tennis
Girls sports
  • Basketball
  • Equestrian
  • Fitness training
  • Skiing
  • Soccer
  • Tennis

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Architecture
  • Ceramics
  • Design
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Photography
Music
  • Instrumental music lessons
  • Vocal lessons / coaching
Media arts
  • Computer animation

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Community service
  • Girl Power
  • Project Impact
  • Student council/government
  • Woodshop
  • Yearbook
School leaders can update this information here.

Upcoming Events

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School culture

Dress Code
  • Dress code
Bullying policy
  • This school has a bullying and/or cyber bullying policy in place.
Parent involvement
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
  • Serve on school improvement team or governance council
More from this school
  • Kildonan is the one arena in which the dyslexic student can fully flower. The one-on-one language training instruction, the inquiry-based classroom approach, the challenging ski and riding programs, and the residential culture of self-awareness all build dyslexic students' confidence in themselves. In addition to remediating students' language difficulties, the school's highly trained faculty and staff tap into the creative and athletic gifts that come naturally to dyslexics.
School leaders can update this information here.

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rolling basis

 
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What does it cost?

Vouchers accepted
No

Planning ahead

College preparation / awareness offered
College presentations or information sessions
SAT prep in tutoring
Students' post-graduation plans in 2012
4 year college - 100%
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

425 Morse Hill Rd
Amenia, NY 12501
Website: Click here
Phone: (845) 373-8111

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