Student Outcomes

Comments by Parents – Secondary / Post Secondary

James

Barbara, 

It has been over 3 years since I met you for the first time, with my son, James. At that time, I didn’t know where to turn for help for him.  Was this just another program that might – or might not work? There were so many chances to take. Expenses? Travelling times? Could James remain motivated for two years? Would it really work? I want to take this opportunity to say to you, that the chance we took with you that day when I enroled James, has brought me the most reward any mother could ever have, and I wanted to let you know how I feel about you and your school.

For so many years I greeted my son at the end of each school day in hopes of hearing the day’s accomplishment or some funny story about what he and his friends had done that day. But there were few accomplishments and even fewer stories. He hated school, and over time he hated himself. Confidence was something James knew nothing of. Thousands of dollars in tutors and extra help couldn’t unlock the door to James’s mind. Hope was being replaced by loss.

When James began his first year at Arrowsmith, he knew that he would be behind at High School a minimum of two years. There were endless early mornings and long bus and train rides into the city. For a kid who usually gave up or was afraid to do anything on his own, he seemed to sense that this was the turning point in his life. For the first time in James’s life, he persevered. Finally, stories of accomplishment and chit chat about friends began to flood his evening conversations. As James’s confidence grew, I had hope in his future again.

James graduated from Arrowsmith over a year ago and is currently a motivated grade 10 student. This average for his grade nine year was 73%.  He requires no tutor.  He has good friends at school – something he never had until he went to Arrowsmith. His attitude is brighter and he loves to chat about the future and what it has in store for him. He has had a job for over a year now where he has worked his way up through multiple promotions.  He takes great pride in his many successes. James now looks forward to, and makes plans for, “many tomorrows.”

James doesn’t regret that he lost two years of school. He is happy to be where he is – and is proud to be who he is. For that there is no price. You have given James the opportunity to earn his life back. How can a parent ever repay you for such a gift? I tell everyone about you and your school. The world is a better place for the hearts and ‘brains’ that you have touched.

I wish you much success in your ventures. And, I just wanted to let you know, that I will be forever grateful of your gift to James. Gifts like that just don’t come along every day.

Sarah, James’s Mom

Jennifer

Jennifer successfully completed high school and started her first year of College in September of 1992. She continued to improve in her academic endeavors. In contrast to her previous inability to fully understand the meaning of written and spoken material and her difficulty with abstract thinking, she was able to achieve mostly A’s in her class work, including philosophy and history. The following is an example of a comment on her work, “exceptionally well done, clear, interesting narration, excellent organization, judicious use of source material and consistent focus on question asked.” She made the Dean’s List with a 3.5 grade point average.

About 1-½ years after completing the Arrowsmith program, an independent psychologist administered the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised. The IQ she attained at this time was in the very superior range and 30 IQ points higher than she had tested before starting the Arrowsmith program, at which time she scored in the average range.

Jennifer’s continuing achievements in college were consistent with this higher level of functioning. Again in contrast to her previous difficulty with math, as when she had been unable to subtract, her grade in calculus was an A and she was at this time invited to tutor other students.

In 1994, Jennifer received an invitation to join the Honor program on the basis of her high grades. She graduated from college in 1995. After considering going on to graduate school in psychology and social work, she decided, instead to pursue a career in advertising. She has been successful in this field and has shown herself to be well motivated, quick to learn, conscientious, and responsible – a respected participant and team player.

In recent months our family has been experiencing a major medical crisis. Jennifer has been extremely helpful and sensitive to this difficult situation – offering intelligent and thoughtful suggestions and very appropriate support. The level of her judgment and analytical ability during this time confirm that she is continuing to function on a very high level.

We are grateful to this program for offering our daughter the opportunity to overcome her deficits and to achieve a high level of functioning. We are very proud of her for working hard and taking advantage of this opportunity and maintaining an attitude of cooperation and responsibility.

As a licensed psychologist, I believe it is the responsibility of professionals in the field to seek out and evaluate treatment programs and to disseminate to the concerned community information on critical resources which are offering effective help. The ongoing success of Arrowsmith School’s program is not only in correcting the deficits and bringing the capacity to the average range from an impaired level, but also frequently in raising the capacity to well above average levels; this is just one compelling reason for making this facility known to professionals and families.

A grateful mother

William

I want to update you on William’s progress since completing his program at Arrowsmith.

William graduated from Grade 12 having made the Honour Roll for his final three years.

He received early acceptance from the University of Guelph into their Media/Journalism Program with a $2000.00 scholarship. (He was also accepted at Ryerson and York). He LOVED his first year of University and managed to come out with a 74 GPA. I personally don’t think that is doing too badly for the first year. He will end up with a BA from Guelph University in Media and an Honours College Diploma from Humber. His dream is to be a radio announcer but, I keep telling him he has a face for TV!! (I know – a prejudiced Mom).
I have thought on occasion that this is a far cry from the boy who could barely put a coherent sentence on paper and who had one teacher in Elementary School laugh in his face when he said he wanted to go to University and now he’s writing Journalism papers and doing well!!

Thank God (and Barbara Arrowsmith Young) for a program like Arrowsmith. I can’t imagine where William would be today without it!!

Rhonda

Sam

Barbara,

It has been over 3 years since I first met you for the first time, with my son, Sam. At that time, I didn’t know where to turn for help for him.  Was this just another program that might – or might not work? There were so many chances to take. Expenses? Travelling times? Could Sam remain motivated for 2 years? Would it really work? I want to take this opportunity to say to you, that the chances we took with you that day when I enroled Sam, has brought me the most reward any mother could ever have, and I wanted to let you know how I feel about you and your school.

For so many years I greeted my son at the end of each school day in hopes of hearing the day’s accomplishment or some funny story about what he and his friends had done that day. But, there were few accomplishments and even less stories. He hated school, and over time he hated himself. Confidence was something Sam knew nothing of. Thousands of dollars in tutors and extra help couldn’t unlock the door to Sam’s mind. Hope was being replaced by loss.

When Sam began his first year at Arrowsmith, he knew that he would be behind at High School a minimum of 2 years. There were endless early mornings and long bus and train rides into the city. For a kid who usually gave up or was afraid to do anything on his own, he seemed to sense that this was the turning point in his life. For the first time in Sam’s life, he persevered. Finally, stories of accomplishment and chit chat about friends began to flood his evening conversations. As Sam’s confidence grew, I had hope in his future again.

Sam graduated from Arrowsmith over a year ago and is currently a motivated grade 10 student in High School. This average for his grade nine years was approximately 73%. He requires no tutor. He has good friends at school – something he never had until he went to Arrowsmith.  His attitude is brighter and he loves to chat about the future and what it has in store for him. He has had a job for over a year now, where he has worked his way up through multiple promotions.  He takes great pride in his many successes. Sam now looks forward to, and makes plans for, many ” tomorrows”.

Sam doesn’t regret that he lost two years of school. He is happy to be where he is – and is proud to be who he is. For that there is no price. You have given Sam the opportunity to earn his life back. How can a parent ever repay you for such a gift? I tell everyone about you and your school. The world is a better place for the hearts and ‘brains’ that you have touched.

I wish you much success in your ventures. And, I just wanted to let you know, that I will be forever grateful of your gift to Sam. Gifts like that just don’t come along every day.

Sam’s mom.

Jackson

A letter to the Arrowsmith Program at St. Theresa’s Shrine School:

It has been my intention to send you and the school St. Theresa’s a formal thank you for your dedication and help to our family and more so for our son Jackson.

As you are aware Jackson was designated early on as Learning Disabled (LD). We were very concerned for our son’s future based on his progress to the grade Four (4) level. As you may recall Jackson was not able to tell time, could not read the simplest of words or retain the most basic of ideas after reading very short or simple passages. As well, if there was any more than two or three simple math questions on anyone page he was overwhelmed by the simplest of tasks.

The most disturbing concern of all was what all of this was doing to our son’s self esteem. He was one of the most well behaved children anyone had known and this situation was transforming him into a troublesome child. Worst of all he was aware of his own problems and was becoming increasingly more frustrated because there didn’t seem to be any solution.

We all became quickly aware the traditional methods being utilized by the Separate School Board at this time were not showing any progress in Jackson’s learning. By the end of grade four (4) Jack could not even tell time or read the simplest of words. We were introduced to the Arrowsmith program when Jackson entered the fifth (5) grade and there has been no looking back since that day. Within just one month he could tell some time and over the next few months we watched as he began to make amazing progress.

The most important issue to us as the parents was to watch this confused and lost child begin to transform back into the kind of person we had known before he realized he wasn’t the same as everyone else. We watched as he regained his personal pride and no longer felt like he was a loser (his words). Jackson was now coming home from school and was doing his homework without being asked and was able to understand it.

Before long Jack was participating in more of the regular programs with the other children at his grade level. As you may recall when he began the Arrowsmith program in grade five (5) his overall competency was barely a grade one (1) level. When Jackson reached grade eight (8) we had our son back. He had exceeded our expectations in every sense.

Now to the reason I have finally decided to take the time to write to you and the school. Today I picked up Jack from school. When he entered the car he was excited to discuss the day’s activities. He quickly revealed he had received the results of a test he had written a few days earlier. He had achieved an 88% on the test. Needless to say I was as excited as he was. This however is no longer an unusual occurrence in Jackson’s routine in high school.

When Jackson left Grade school we were well aware that his work had only begun and a great deal of organization on his part was going to be required. As parents we work tirelessly to help him understand how to use what he had learned at St. Theresa’s Shrine in the Arrowsmith Program.

Jackson’s transformation to high school was almost flawless, he had regained enough of his self-esteem that he felt like anyone else who was starting at a new school. This was a fresh start and a new beginning for him.

Jack finished grade nine (9) with a 77% average and as of today is averaging about 72%. His average in almost all of his programs are in the high 80% or 90%’ s. His only problem left to date is dealing with the final exams, they are still an area of concern for him, the exam marks bring his average down. Jackson, however is the one now dealing with this situation on his own. I go back to the reason I started this letter today. He had realized he needed some help in his programming, math and science courses after he had done very poorly on an earlier test he had completed, he had only earned a 38%. He, on his own went to his teachers and requested help. He and the teachers worked out a schedule of help and on the next two tests he achieved a 75% and 88%. This is just a couple of examples of how he is dealing with his education on his own.

Jackson wrote the Grade Ten Literacy test this year and passed it the first time, he made it his business to prepare for this test on his own. Jackson entered high school at an applied level in grade nine (9). He is now taking two academic courses, History and Science, and maintaining 70% + marks. Of note was the big end of the year Science project Jack completed in Grade nine, his final mark for this project was 100%.

I could go on and on however I believe the most important message that needs to be heard is the Arrowsmith program gave my son his future back. I am truly thankful for your dedication and commitment to the Arrowsmith program and the children in your care.

It is my hope that this program will always be there to help other children in need and hopefully the School Board will continue to see the value of a program that helps out children to become self-sufficient and self-reliant.

Jackson’s Mother

Elijah

Our son needed extra help and attention since he was a little boy. He was very easily distracted, didn’t follow instructions, was clumsy and many times inattentive. We had him evaluated neurologically and learned that he has a learning disability but otherwise, thank God, healthy. He was not ADHD nor autistic, something that we sometimes thought. We went through the intensive route of ongoing speech therapy, occupational therapy and special education. He maintained a regular classroom schedule with his peers, although with a lot of extra help when we could get it. Not always were his teachers understanding or tolerant of his needs. We would ask the teacher to allow him a few breaks, or find a task for him to do, if she/he noticed him getting “antsy”. We would ask for the tests in advance so we would only have to concentrate on a few topics, etc.

PTA was never a good night. Every single teacher would say the same thing – they try to call on him but he never responds, so they stopped or he doesn’t seem to pay attention, he doodles, he never has the right books or papers, he forgets homework … Somehow, he made it through elementary school.

The beginning of 9th grade is the time that we were introduced to the Arrowsmith Program. Gradually we began to see improvements – was it maturity or Arrowsmith, we constantly questioned. But over time, he began to blossom. He’s become expressive, attentive and even inter-active. Socially, this past summer in camp, he had a great time as “one of the guys”. During a skills lesson, where usually older counselors teach a skill, like diving or hiking etc. to the younger campers, our son, on his own initiative co-ordinated and then taught an entire lesson on how to play golf. This is not the same child that we’ve raised for 16 ½ years. His confidence has grown, his social interaction is age appropriate and he’s happy. He’s also learned how to play the electric guitar quite well. He’s now beginning the 11th grade. He’ll be taking trigonometry. He did well in algebra and geometry and has the confidence to go on. Because of the Arrowsmith Program, he now has the ability to memorize, understand and formulate difficult mathematical equations.

Hopefully, this will be his 3rd and final year at Arrowsmith. Although he doesn’t always like to be singled out from his friends and classmates he realizes that he could not have made it this far without Arrowsmith. We know that one day he will look back at his school days, try to forget the difficult elementary school years and remember and be grateful for the Arrowsmith Program that helped awaken him to a promising future.

Darryl

A letter to Darryl’s Arrowsmith Teacher

Hi Chris,

So good to hear from you! Darryl graduated from Grade 12 having made the Honour Roll for his final three years. He received early acceptance from the University of Guelph into their Media/Journalism Program with a $2000.00 scholarship. (He was also accepted at Ryerson and York). He LOVED his first year of University and managed to come out with a 74 GPA. I personally don’t think that is doing too badly for the first year. He is studying at the satellite campus beside Humber College, so he is living at home and commutes each day. There will be a fair bit of cross-over in his last two years so that he will end up with a BA from Guelph U. in Media and an Honours College Diploma from Humber. His dream is to be a radio announcer but, I keep telling him he has a face for TV!! (I know – a prejudiced Mom!).

I have thought on occasion that this is my “pride and boy” who could barely put a coherent sentence on paper and who had one teacher in Elementary School laugh in his face when he said he wanted to go to University and now he’s writing Journalism papers and doing well!!

Thank God (and Barbara Young) for a program like Arrowsmith; I can’t imagine where Darryl would be today without it!!

Keep well and enjoy your summer, Slainte!

Tanner

Hi Tara and Chris,

I hope you are well and are enjoying the first few months of a new school year.

I just want to touch base with you to let you know how well Taner is doing. He is really enjoying his high school, it seems to be a great fit for him. The teacher/student connection and focus on individual student success reminds me a lot of Arrowsmith and I think this has helped to make it a smooth transition for him. Taner received his first progress report last month and he is doing amazing well. He has had a solid academic start with no need for any accommodations at this point (he got an 86 on his last English assignment!).

Thank you so much to you and everyone at Arrowsmith who invested so much in Taner, he is clearly reaping the benefits of that support. There is no doubt Taner’s Arrowsmith experience has everything to do with his confidence in approaching high school (and life 🙂 and those feelings (and that experience) will undoubtedly be with him for the rest of his life.

Wishing you a wonderful holiday break!

Gordon

I thought I would give you a little update of Gordon’s transition to Senior School. We enroled Gordon at a public school that only caters for Year 11 and 12. I think this works in his favour being around older students as he just turned 17.

Out of 1000 applications the school is only able to offer 300 places each year, the students have to show great commitment to their studies and have a future goal. Gordon got in by the skin of his teeth the day before classes started as they were 99% full and were able to take him mostly based on his subject choices. Whew!!  In the interview we left out the bit about being a professional snow boarder as his future goal.

Gordon chose (with my help as he was feeling overwhelmed at the end of January), Standard English, General Math, Ancient History, Woodworking (Design and Tech), Japanese and Digital Photography. The school has high quality teachers but not a lot of coaxing and hand holding at this school, they expect the students to take initiative for their learning.

Gordon is into week 7 of the school term and is really seeming to thrive. A very different boy than he was 18 months ago.

He has significantly better classroom focus and is engaged with the academic work. He was able to decipher his first English Assignment and answer exactly what was asked of him in his 1st Assessment on Creative Writing. He didn’t flinch or put off the work, or ask me for help, and was keen to get it done ahead of time. This was a first ever!! He knew exactly what was expected of him and followed sequentially step by step in getting the assignment done.

He is able to read class dynamics so much better after attending EA and is handling situations with his peers confidently.

I must share what his Ancient History teacher said to Gordon today. I guess the class was quite disruptive and quite a few students were texting and looking at their phones during the lesson, I believe she had a go at the class as to their poor behaviour. Gordon was the last to leave the classroom when the bell had gone and she pulled him up and said;

“YOU LISTEN UP GORDON, You’re a bloody gem, if the rest of the students were as half as good as you I’d be the happiest teacher in the world”.

I guess you can’t do better than that for a Wednesday. Yeah for EA and GORDON!

All the best from here!

Student / Parent
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