Delaware Valley Friends School

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Delaware Valley Friends School in Paoli, PA

Delaware Valley Friends School (DVFS) is a private school located in Paoli, Pennsylvania for children with learning disabilities.[2][3] DVFS was founded in 1986 by Irene McHenry.[4] The current Head of School, Kirk Smothers,[5] joined DVFS in July 2015. The school is operated by a Board of Directors[6] and is under the care of the Philadelphia Quarterly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends.[7] The student-to-teacher ratio at DVFS is approximately 4 to 1.[8][9]

Quaker Education and Learning Differences[edit]

Located in Paoli, Pennsylvania, DVFS offers a Quaker education for students in grades 3 through 12 who have learning differences, particularly in reading (dyslexia), writing (dysgraphia), math (dyscalculia), memory (long-term and working), processing speed, ADHD and executive functioning challenges. DVFS is the only[10] Quaker upper school in the Philadelphia region structured for this purpose.[11]


DVFS teachers are trained[12] in the Orton-Gillingham (O-G) approach, to address the needs of dyslexic, dysgraphic, and attention deficit students. Delaware Valley Friends School has been accredited by the International Multisensory Structured Learning Education Council (IMSLEC) and the International Dyslexia Association (IDA).[13] The faculty at Delaware Valley Friends School developed the DVFS Adolescent Literacy Program, based on O-G principles,[14] to address the needs of students in the middle and high school years with dyslexia or other learning differences. The annual summer teacher training program provides certification and ongoing training to DVFS faculty and summer tutors in the specific methodology and instructional techniques encompassed in the DVFS Adolescent Literacy Program.[15]


Delaware Valley Friends School has a lower school program for grades 3 - 5 and a middle school for grades 6 - 8 to address the specific needs of students with learning differences, covering English, language arts, science, mathematics, social studies, physical education, and an arts rotation.[16] Upper School students follow a college-preparatory curriculum for grades 9-12 that includes English, language arts, social studies, mathematics, science, art, music, physical education, health, ABLE (see below), a senior internship, community service requirements, and world language electives that include ASL and Spanish.[17] A component of the Upper School curriculum focuses on metacognition and self-advocacy.[18]

Arts electives include choices in music, creative expression, mixed media, photography, drawing and painting, dance and movement, sculpture and ceramics, and culinary arts.[19][20] An annual spring Arts Festival is held to showcase student talent.[21]

The service learning component for middle schoolers includes selected projects throughout the year.[22] Ninth graders go on trips during a school day to volunteer at various local organizations that have included: Cradles to Crayons, Philabundance, and Aid for Friends.[23] Students in tenth and eleventh grade are responsible for finding service opportunities and fulfilling 20 hours of service participation during the school year.[24] The student run Service Committee finds and provides school-wide service projects throughout the year.[25]

The athletic teams at DVFS, known as the DVFS Dragons, compete in the Tri-County Independent Schools League.[26] Teams are no-cut, with emphasis on health, wellness, and skill building.[27]

The school offers a summer academic program with language arts tutorials, math enrichment, technology, and art classes.[28]


  1. ^ "Private School for Children with LD & Dyslexia in Philadelphia". Delaware Valley Friends School. Retrieved 2016-02-12. 
  2. ^ "Admissions | Delaware Valley Friends School". Retrieved 2016-02-12. 
  3. ^ "Delaware Valley Friends School Profile | Paoli, Pennsylvania (PA)". Retrieved 2016-02-12. 
  4. ^ (DVFS history)
  5. ^ "Delaware Valley Friends School: Head's Welcome". Retrieved 2016-02-12. 
  6. ^ "Delaware Valley Friends School: Board of Directors". Retrieved 2016-02-12. 
  7. ^ "History | Delaware Valley Friends School". Retrieved 2016-02-12. 
  8. ^ ([1]
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Delaware Valley Friends School: IMSLEC/IDA Accredited Program". Retrieved 2016-02-12. 
  11. ^ "Delaware Valley Friends School: IMSLEC/IDA Accredited Program". Retrieved 2016-02-12. 
  12. ^ "Delaware Valley Friends School: Teaching Differently". Retrieved 2016-02-12. 
  13. ^ "Delaware Valley Friends School: IMSLEC/IDA Accredited Program". Retrieved 2016-02-12. 
  14. ^ "Delaware Valley Friends School: Principles of Orton-Gillingham Instruction". Retrieved 2016-02-12. 
  15. ^ "Delaware Valley Friends School: Orton-Gillingham Certification at DVFS". Retrieved 2016-02-12. 
  16. ^ "Delaware Valley Friends School: Middle School". Retrieved 2016-02-12. 
  17. ^ "Delaware Valley Friends School: Upper School". Retrieved 2016-02-12. 
  18. ^ "Delaware Valley Friends School: MetaCognition". Retrieved 2016-02-12. 
  19. ^ "Delaware Valley Friends School: Electives". Retrieved 2016-02-12. 
  20. ^ "Delaware Valley Friends School: Arts InfoGraphic". Retrieved 2016-02-12. 
  21. ^ "Delaware Valley Friends School: Arts Fest 2015". Retrieved 2016-02-12. 
  22. ^ "Delaware Valley Friends School: Service Learning". Retrieved 2016-02-12. 
  23. ^ "Delaware Valley Friends School: Service Learning". Retrieved 2016-02-12. 
  24. ^ "Delaware Valley Friends School: Service Learning". Retrieved 2016-02-12. 
  25. ^ "Delaware Valley Friends School: Clubs/Activities". Retrieved 2016-02-12. 
  26. ^ "Delaware Valley Friends School: Athletics". Retrieved 2016-02-12. 
  27. ^ "Delaware Valley Friends School: Athletics InfoGraphic". Retrieved 2016-02-12. 
  28. ^ [2]

External links[edit]