Forman School

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Forman School
12 Norfolk Road
Litchfield, Connecticut
Type boarding school, day school
Established 1930
Faculty 60
Grades 9-12, + post-graduate
Enrollment 218
Color(s) Green & White
Mascot Lions

The Forman School is a co-educational boarding and day school in Litchfield, Connecticut, USA offering a college preparatory program in grades 9 to 12 and a postgraduate program (PG) exclusively for students with learning differences such as ADD/ADHD and dyslexia. Forman School offers a 4-week summer program in July for students with learning disabilities.


The school was founded in 1930 by John and Julie Ripley Forman, with three students who hadn't had a history of academic success in a traditional setting. The school grew over the years into a gateway to college for learning disabled students, and in recent years has seen 100% college acceptance. All accepted students are bright with language-based disabilities, most notably dyslexia, attention deficit disorders (ADHD), and executive function disorders.

The Formans were committed to utilizing the best available resources and latest research-driven techniques to address the specific learning differences of their students, a tradition that has continued throughout the school’s history. They turned to Dr. Samuel Orton, a pioneer in reading methodologies and a mentor of John Forman, to determine how to teach the fundamentals of reading. The Formans established the Remedial English Department and employed the Orton-Gillingham method of teaching reading phonics. They were also awarded a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation to conduct research in teaching reading.

As a graduate of Princeton University, one of John Forman’s contacts was Professor Albert Einstein, who had faced reading challenges of his own as a student. This relationship led to Dr. Einstein joining the Forman School’s Academic Board of Advisors and his input to the school’s groundbreaking curriculum.

In the 1980s, Forman was the subject of a Time magazine profile highlighting its success with dyslectics.[1] Additionally, Forman was featured in The New York Times for its curriculum in the 1980s and its Costa Rican Rainforest Project in the 1990s.[2][3]

Mark B. Perkins, a former dean of students at Holderness School, was head of Forman from 1995 to 2008. In November 2007, Adam K. Man, academic dean at St. Timothy's School in Stevenson, Maryland, was appointed the next head of school and assumed the position on July 1, 2008.[4]


Forman’s Institute for Cognition and Learning is a leader in efforts to raise awareness about different learning styles and improve outcomes for students with learning differences. As a one-to-one iPad school, students use assistive technology and apps for brainstorming, reading, and organization.


Athletics at Forman are an integral part of community life. All students have the option to participate in either a competitive interscholastic league or recreational sport. Forman competes with schools in the Housatonic Valley Athletic League and the Hudson Valley Athletic League.

Forman offers a teacher/coach model in which classroom teachers have the opportunity to work with students on the playing fields, thereby expanding the understanding and support that has proven to increase success and confidence in both areas. All Forman coaches are certified by the Positive Coaching Alliance.[5]

Sports offered include alpine ski team, baseball, basketball, crew, cross-country, dance, equestrian, football, golf, ice hockey, kayaking, lacrosse, recreational skiing, rock climbing, snowboarding, soccer, tennis, ultimate frisbee, volleyball, and wrestling.

Professional development[edit]

The school has an extensive professional development program that includes work with the Center for Research on Learning at the University of Kansas. Recent campus speakers include Dr. Robert Brooks, Dr. George McClosky, Ned Hallowell, Rick Lavoie, and Dr. Madeline Levine. The school focuses strongly on translating research into practice and employs state-of-the-art assistive technologies.

Notable people[edit]


  • Mitchell Block,[6] Academy Award winning producer (Big Mama) and Academy Award nominated filmmaker (Poster Girl)
  • Toni Fishman,[7] owner of Telefunken
  • Eli Morgan Gesner, designer and creative genius behind Baby Phat, Zoo York, and HBO's "How to make it in America"
  • Richard Henkels,[8] award-winning cinematographer
  • Annette Jenner,[9] Ph.D. Harvard University, neuroscientist, and researcher, professor at Syracuse University
  • John Seward Johnson II, bronze sculptor[10]
  • Nick Kraus, co-founder of Soldier Ride and Wounded Warrior Project
  • Shawn Lerner,[11] owner of Zip-Flyer, LLC, creator of largest zipline in the world, Las Vegas Slotzilla
  • Blake Miller,[12] professional lacrosse player
  • David Rublin, bass player of American Authors
  • Leslie Rudes, co-founder and owner of Not Your Daughter’s Jeans
  • Doran Smith, Emmy nominated film editor
  • William Stahl, Vice Chairman at Southeby's, North and South America
  • David Walter, inventor of Aldus PageMaker, the first desktop publishing program, as well as Visio, drawing software

Former faculty[edit]


  1. ^ Education: Don't Call It a Disease, Time, September 6, 1982
  2. ^ Special School for Special Students, The New York Times, October 8, 1987.
  3. ^ Students Off to See Costa Rica Rain Forest, The New York Times, March 2, 1982
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ [2]
  6. ^ [3]
  7. ^ [4]
  8. ^ [5]
  9. ^ [6]
  10. ^ Seward's Follies, The New York Times, June 30, 2002
  11. ^ [7]
  12. ^ [8]
  13. ^ [9]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°45′17″N 73°11′27″W / 41.7547°N 73.1909°W / 41.7547; -73.1909