What kinds of students attend DePaul?
DePaul is for the 1 in 5 kids with dyslexia. Our multisensory program uses the Orton-Gillingham approach.
The typical DePaul student is intelligent, hard-working, a good school citizen, and has dyslexia (or symptoms of dyslexia). DePaul uses research-based techniques to deliver outstanding instruction that makes sense to these students and their unique neurological wiring.
In other words, we teach the way they learn.
What grades do you serve?
We currently serve grades 2 through 8.
Is DePaul accredited?
DePaul is accredited on the state and national levels through the Association of Independent Schools of Florida (AISF) and the National Council for Private School Accreditation (NCPSA). We meet all requirements for the scholarship programs utilized by our students, including the McKay Scholarship and Step Up For Students.
Additionally, we’re accountable to an independent board of directors—local leaders, business owners, and parents who oversee the direction of the school.
What kind of curriculum do you use?
All staff members have Orton-Gillingham International Certification, and are also trained in Lindamood Bell. After we run diagnostics on each student and fit him/her for core academic classes, we use a combination of Orton Gillingham instruction, Handwriting Without Tears, Visualizing and Verbalizing, Ready Reading, Wilson Reading, iReady Math, SRA Imagine It by McGraw Hill, the Barton Reading and Spelling System, Saxon Math, and more, depending on the needs of our students.
How do I know the DePaul Difference is working?
Our curriculum is prescriptive for each student, with teaching plans based on continuous assessment of individual progress. One-size-fits-all instruction doesn’t work for our kids, so we use creative, immersive lessons full of experimental and hands-on learning.
At DePaul, we don’t assume the kids are learning just because our program is research-based. We put several checks and balances in place to measure their progress. The DRA2 (Direct Reading Assessment), iReady Reading, and iReady Mathematics give us data to help us place, monitor, and plan for each student.
Most importantly, we make school FUN. Most kids come to us hating school. It takes strong relationships, motivation, and FUN to help them believe in the process, and in their own capabilities again.
Are their resource/elective classes available?
Yes. These are a big part of our multisensory curriculum, as they give students a chance to apply core academics lessons in other contexts. This year, we have LionWorks Entrepreneurship, Broadcasting, Music, Art, Drama, Cooking, Gardening, Sign Language, P.E., and Technology/Keyboarding.
Does DePaul have homework?
Yes, but we do not overload our students with it. They may read any material of their choosing for 20 minutes every night, and each week they will have an iReady exercise, a spelling worksheet, and a short math exercise.
We have an optional Homework Help program every Monday through Thursday from 3:15-4:00.
What about P.E. and recess?
We believe in brain breaks! Every morning our kids get a 10-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?
There’s NO fighting to get an IEP at DePaul. Our entire school is an accommodation!
Since all of our students have learning differences, we match our multisensory lessons as closely as we can with their needs. We:
-Regularly assess students for Reading, Language, and Math levels, then sort them into classes by ability, teach the curriculum to mastery, then bump them to the next level when they are ready
-Allow extra time for assessments
-Realistically estimate the time it takes our kids to do homework, then avoid overloading them
-Engage kids in a variety of creative lessons and their real-life applications
-Feature flexible seating, kick bands, and standing desks for kids with wiggle worms
Do you take behavioral cases?
DePaul is not a school for behavioral remediation. We are a school for children affected academically by dyslexia or a related learning difference. Our small student-to-teacher ratio helps us to see and address issues quickly and effectively.
DePaul students are expected to:
-show up on time and attend regularly unless they are sick
-go to class on their own every school day without excessive coaxing from staff or parents
-avoid distracting other students from instruction, or interrupting teaching for non emergencies
-participate in class to the best of their ability
-respond to redirection in ways that show personal growth
-follow rules and be respectful to everyone in the building
We regularly give children advice and tools to handle frustrations with school work. We also have a zero tolerance policy for bullying.
How do I know if DePaul is right for my child?
If your child is affected academically by dyslexia, ADD/ADHD, dyscalculia, or a related learning difference, is not easily overstimulated, and has good conduct and attendance, we highly recommend scheduling a tryout school day. This is an excellent opportunity to see firsthand if DePaul 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 have a screening in lieu of a tryout day in the summertime.
How will I know if my child is progressing— if these strategies help?
Testing is different at DePaul. We regularly evaluate our kids to see how they are doing in the classroom, and how we are doing as a school. We analyze their academic levels and ensure that our classroom strategies are working.
DePaul parents receive growth data in Reading and Mathematics on their children in December (mid-year) and May (end of year). Parents meet with teachers formally twice a year to discuss each child’s progress. Informal conversations and conferences are a regular part of DePaul.
Do you offer any scholarships?
Almost every DePaul student has a scholarship of some kind. The McKay is not available to children with an out-of-state IEP.
We also accept the Gardiner Scholarship, the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship, the Hope Scholarship, and the Frances McGlannan Foundation Trust.
DePaul itself also offers an annual scholarship to help offset the cost of tuition. You can explore scholarships here.
Are you a religious school?
Are you a school for other learning differences?
Everything at DePaul is designed for the specific neurological needs of kids with dyslexia. Our lessons are a multisensory experience of dynamic visuals and sounds, and all kinds of textures, and there’s lots of variety in our school day.
Since our program is so dyslexia-specific, it doesn’t fit every learning difference. Students don’t have to have a dyslexia diagnosis to enroll, however, and we determine suitability for non-dyslexic students on a case-by-case basis.
Do you have any sports teams?
While we don’t have sports teams, students from Duval County who attend DePaul may try out for and play sports at any public school for which they are zoned. For more info, Google the Craig Dickinson Act, also called the Tim Tebow Act.
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 to public school, and others to a more specialized school, depending on their academic needs and work ethic. Many DePaul Lions go on to get degrees at various colleges and universities.
Parents should talk openly with teachers and admins about their child’s potential and high school plans.
We are also proud of our growing community of alumni—our kids love to keep in touch 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.
How long have you been around?
Since 1980. The first DePaul School for students with dyslexia was founded in Louisville in 1970. So many Jacksonville parents sent their children to the boarding program that they realized we needed a local school for dyslexia.
So, a group of parents worked with Louisville to establish DePaul School Jacksonville first as a Saturday program, then a summer program. In 1982, the full-time day school opened its doors.