What kind of students attend DePaul?
DePaul is for children with learning differences, with an emphasis on the 1 in 5 kids who have dyslexia. Our multisensory curriculum is based on the Orton-Gillingham approach, and it benefits many students with dysgraphia, dyscalculia, ADD/ADHD, and sensory processing disorders.
The typical DePaul student is intelligent, hard-working, directable, and wired to receive and process information differently—it’s why they fall behind in traditional education and special education programs. DePaul uses research-based techniques to deliver outstanding instruction in ways that make sense to these students.
In other words, we teach the way they learn.
What grades do you serve?
We currently serve grades 2 through 8.
How long have you been around?
Almost four decades! The first DePaul School was founded in Louisville in 1970 and was so successful that many Jacksonville parents sent their children to the boarding program. Recognizing the need for a local school for dyslexia, a group of parents worked with Louisville to establish an accredited DePaul school Jacksonville. We were founded in 1980 as a Saturday program, then a summer program. In 1982, the day school opened its doors.
Is DePaul accredited?
DePaul has been accredited since 2004 by the Association of Independent Schools of Florida (AISF), and we are in full compliance with the regulations of the Florida Department of Education.
What kind of curriculum do you use?
All staff members are Lindamood Bell Certified instructors. We use a combination of Orton Gillingham aligned strategies to engage children in dyslexia-specific programs, such as LiPS® (Lindamood Phoneme Sequencing) and Visualizing and Verbalizing® Program for Cognitive Development, Comprehension, and Thinking.
Our curriculum is also completely customized for each student, based on his or her own unique needs. The teaching plan is based on careful and continuous assessment of the individual’s learning differences and academic progress. Content presented must be mastered step by step for the student to progress. The DRA2 (Direct Reading Assessment), MAPP testing, iReady Reading and iReady Mathematics are used to place, monitor, and plan for each student.
Voyages in English, Handwriting Without Tears, SRA Imagine It by McGraw Hill, the Barton Reading and Spelling System, and Saxon Math supplement our instruction.
Our curriculum is slower-paced, deliberate, and highly prescriptive. We avoid the “one-size-must-fit-all” mentality found in traditional schools, opting instead for creative, direct instruction methods along with experimental and hands-on learning. We don’t just assume the kids are learning—we have several checks and balances in place to make sure they are.
An important character trait of our curriculum is FUN. These kids have been conditioned to hate school. It takes strong relationships, motivation, and FUN to allow students to believe in the process and in themselves again.
Are their resource/elective classes available? (clubs, etc.)
Yes. These are a big part of our multisensory curriculum, as they give our students a chance to apply concepts from core academics in other contexts. This year, we have Speech/Broadcasting, Art, Drama/Voice, Cooking, Gardening, Guidance, and Technology/Keyboarding. Once a month we also feature guest instructors who deliver special lessons.
Does DePaul have homework?
Yes, but we do not overload our students with it. We have optional Homework Help every Monday through Thursday from 3:15-4:00. We also have our students read anything of their choosing for 20 minutes every day at home.
What about P.E. and recess?
Every morning our kids get a 15-minute brain break, and we send them outside to play for 30 minutes of recess on every pretty day. We also assign every student to a P.E. class.
Do you have classroom accommodations?
Our entire school is an accommodation! Since our students have learning differences, we work to match multisensory lessons with their neurological wiring. To accomplish that, we:
-Regularly assess students for Reading, Language, and Math levels, then sort them into classes (for subjects) by ability, teach the curriculum to mastery, then bump them to the next level when they are ready
-Allow extra time for assessments
-Don’t overload kids with homework
-Present lessons in a variety of ways
-Employ repetition in lessons, since many of our kids struggle with memory difficulties
-Engage kids with lessons in a variety of creative ways to apply information to everyday life
How do I know if DePaul is right for my child?
If your child has dyslexia, ADD/ADHD, dyscalculia, or a related learning difference, we highly recommend scheduling a tryout school day, where your child attends a regular school day at DePaul. This is an excellent opportunity to see firsthand if our lesson style is compatible with the way (s)he learns. Once the day is done, parents and administration can discuss whether DePaul is a good fit for your student. Your child may be given our screening assessment in lieu of a tryout day in the summertime.
How will I know if my child is progressing? How will I know if these strategies help her?
We regularly evaluate our kids to ensure they are placed in the correct academic levels, and that our classroom strategies are working. DePaul parents receive quantitative and qualitative growth data on their children in December (mid-year) and May (end of year). This data covers reading and mathematics progress. Parents meet with teachers formally twice a year to discuss individual progress. Informal conversations and conferences are also a regular part of life at DePaul. Partnering with you to help your children is a privilege we do not take lightly.
Do you offer any scholarships?
Almost every DePaul student has a Florida School Choice Scholarship of some kind. If your child has a Florida IEP, you may apply for the McKay here: http://www.fldoe.org/schools/school-choice/k-12-scholarship-programs/mckay/
The McKay is not available to children with an out-of-state IEP.
We also accept the Gardiner Scholarship, the FTC, and the Frances McGlannon Foundation Scholarship.
Additionally, DePaul itself offers an annual scholarship to help offset the cost of tuition. You may apply for those scholarships here.
Are you a religious school?
DePaul is not affiliated with any church or denomination, and does not teach religious curriculum.
Are you a school for autism?
DePaul is designed for students with dyslexia. While our program sometimes benefits children with other learning differences, this is a multisensory environment with lots of variety, brilliant visuals, different textures, and dynamic sounds. Everything is targeted to address the neurological wiring of dyslexia, so suitability for non-dyslexic students must be determined on a case-by-case basis.
Do you have any sports teams?
While we don’t currently have sports teams, students from Duval County who attend DePaul may try out for and play sports at any school for which they are zoned. For more information, Google the Craig Dickinson Act, also called the Tim Tebow Act.
Do you take behavioral cases?
DePaul is not a school for behavioral remediation. DePaul students are expected to attend class regularly, show up on time, participate in classroom activities, and be respectful to each other and our faculty and staff.
We are equipped to help children handle their frustrations with school work, however, we are not a school for significant behavioral management. DePaul students should be mindful, directable, cooperative, and work hard to finish assignments to the best of their ability. Our small student-to-teacher ratio helps us to see and address any issues quickly and effectively. We also have a zero tolerance policy for bullying.
Where do DePaul students transition after 8th grade?
DePaul educates students to the top of their capability and helps them transition to schools that best fit their needs. DePaul graduates who are on grade level have the potential to earn a standard diploma. Some of our kids transition back into public school after DePaul, and others transition to a more specialized school, depending on their needs and their work ethic. Parents should talk openly with teachers and admins about their child’s potential and high school plans. Many DePaul Lions go on to get degrees at various colleges and universities.
We are also proud of our growing community of alumni, as there are multiple benefits when students maintain their relationships with each other and DePaul after graduation.
does your school day begin and end?
We begin at 8:15 AM, and dismiss for the day at 3:15 PM. For parents who need extended hours, we offer three programs:
1. Extended Day Morning Care: Drop your child off as early as 6:45 AM. ($40/monthly or $5 for cash drop-in)
2. Homework Help: Monday through Thursday of each week from 3:15 to 4:00 PM, students may remain in a classroom working on homework with teacher assistance. ($125/quarter; no drop-ins)
3. Extended Day Afternoon Care: Students may stay as late as 5:30 PM under teacher supervision, where they do homework, have a snack, and play games/electronics once homework is completed until an authorized person picks them up. ($140/month or $10 cash drop-in)
Find enrollment forms for these programs here.