The Greenwood School

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The Greenwood School
14 Greenwood Lane, Putney, Vermont
Coordinates 42°58′34″N 72°33′10″W / 42.976093°N 72.552729°W / 42.976093; -72.552729Coordinates: 42°58′34″N 72°33′10″W / 42.976093°N 72.552729°W / 42.976093; -72.552729
Established 1978
Faculty 20
Grades 6-12
Number of students 48 boarding, 1 day
Campus size 100 ac (40 ha)

The Greenwood School is a specialized boarding and day school for boys in grades 6 through 12. It was established in 1978 by Thomas and Andrea Scheidler to educate students who needed tutorial help in order to master rote learning skills. The school is situated on a 100-acre (40 ha) campus outside Putney, Vermont, 12 miles (19 km) north of Brattleboro in the south eastern part of the state. The Greenwood School is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and is approved by the state of Vermont and is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools.

One major stated objective of the Greenwood School is to maximize the academic potential of boys with learning difficulties. Greenwood serves boys with language-based learning deficits, including dyslexia, math deficits, writing deficits, comprehension deficits, memory and processing weaknesses, ADD/ADHD, Executive Function deficits, and difficulty reading social cues. Another stated goal is to help these boys discover and develop their talents in many non-academic areas including art, music, sports, wood- and metal-working, drama, community service, and leadership.


The Greenwood School was founded in May 1978 by Thomas and Andrea Scheidler to carry on their ground breaking work in the field of education for children diagnosed with learning disabilities. The Scheidlers viewed their students as uniquely gifted with right brain skills and designed a curriculum to serve their needs. With the support of a group of parents, educators and other professionals in the field of dyslexia, the Schiedlers formed a non-profit institution. They rented, and eventually purchased a campus in Putney, Vermont. Tom and Andrea were opposed to the medicalization of what they saw as a "brain difference". They believed that the education of children with dyslexia and attention difficulties was best addressed by teaching to their strengths. Tom Scheidler's background was in psychology, Andrea's in education. Together they designed a curriculum that taught needed academic skills, but embedded those skills in a much larger program that stimulated and advanced students' knowledge and recognized their inborn strengths. A major feature of their approach was to make art and the spoken word a part of the core curriculum. In 1993 Tom initiated a resident artist program. Visiting artists from diverse fields came to the school to both work and teach students about their field. Resident artist included: a woodcarver, comic book artist, storyteller, and a douser. The latter 2 artists were very hands on and had success teaching students about their work.[1]

Philosophy and Academics[edit]

With a 2:1 student to teacher ratio, classes are small at the Greenwood School, ranging from 1 to 10 students. Greenwood’s remedial language program uses a diagnostic-prescriptive approach, including the Lindamood-Bell and Orton Gillingham methods. The program targets all aspects of literacy, including phonology, phonics, morphology, and orthography. Students spend one hour a day in a language tutorial to study and practice reading, spelling, comprehension, handwriting, and writing from dictation. All instruction is multisensory, structured, sequential, and sensitive to students’ individual learning styles. Because written work is such a difficult process for most students with a language-based learning disability, Greenwood students spend an additional period in writing instruction. Assistive technology programs such as Dragon NaturallySpeaking, Inspiration and Kurzweil are used to aid students in the writing process. The language remediation described above is combined with an academic curriculum that includes science, history, literature, art, music, crafts, and athletics. Twice daily study halls provide students with the opportunity to apply skills independently. All students attend weekly group social pragmatics lessons, and for some students speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, and/or additional social pragmatics are also part of Greenwood’s academic program.


Boarding students live in the Greenwood dormitory, which has twenty-four student rooms, four faculty apartments, and three common rooms. The dorm is designed to allow developmental grouping. The remainder of the resident teachers live in adjacent buildings.

The academic center houses the school library and assembly room, the dining hall, and 12 classrooms. A recent partnership with the Yellow Barn Music School and Festival has added nine eco-friendly, cabin-like classroom spaces that Yellow Barn uses as rehearsal spaces during the summer and Greenwood uses as supplemental classrooms during the school year.

The gym, which includes an indoor skate park and climbing wall, is used for physical education and large gatherings. A recently expanded woodshop and pottery studio and the administrative building complete the list of buildings on campus.

Sports and Recreation[edit]

A physical education instructor and four coaches head a variety of seasonal sports and outdoor activities, including interscholastic soccer, basketball, and baseball as well as intramural track, rock climbing, volleyball, bowling, archery, outdoor leadership, orienteering, and cross-country and downhill skiing. A network of trails that wind through the 100-acre (0.40 km2) campus are used for hiking, mountain biking, and cross-country skiing. A 2-acre (8,100 m2) pond is available for science classes, fishing, and boating; and the campus has an outdoor skate/bike park and dirt jump area. The winter sports program includes a weekly trip to Mount Snow for downhill skiing, snowboarding and terrain park. Outdoor activities are emphasized, the gym facility was originally intended to be a covered basketball court for use during rainy days.

Vacation program[edit]

The Greenwood School’s CONNECT Program provides dynamic, challenging and fun community service-learning programs individualized for boys with learning differences that foster self-reflection, mutual responsibility, and a commitment to community.

National Recognition[edit]

The Greenwood School was featured on Public Television’s National Education Report in 2007.[2]

On February 2013, The Greenwood School announced that they were going to work together with Ken Burns on the documentary "The Address." The film was aired on PBS in the spring of 2014.[3]

Notable faculty[edit]

Derrik Jordan, Music teacher. Recording artist, award-winning singer-songwriter, composer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist (electric violin, percussion, guitar, piano and voice).[4]

Annie Quest, Art and Social Pragmatics teacher. Singer-Songwriter, recording artist, puppeteer. Her two-woman group The Annies was recognized with a 2008 Parent's Choice Approved Award for their Crazy Stew CD.[5]

Bruce Rosow – Academic Dean. Co-Author of Spellography: A Student Road Map to Better Spelling. Dr. Rosow was recognized by the National Council on Teacher Quality as one of only three teacher-trainers in America named as "leaders in the field who provide excellent models of what future teachers should know about reading".


External links[edit]