For over forty-three years, Newgrange School and Laurel Schools have empowered children with learning differences, providing them with the tools and confidence necessary to accomplish their goals. The Robinowitz Education Center has simultaneously guided generations of educators to use evidence-based approaches when teaching students who have dyslexia and related learning differences. While operating as part of a single educational organization, the three entities have operated at separate facilities — until now.
In the summer of 2020, Newgrange School, Laurel School, and Robinowitz Education Center will come together under one roof as Laurel Education Group. The new campus is located on a beautiful property in Mercer County, just off the Scotch Road exit of I-295.
“Our location is a modern building with acres of green space and wetlands that will help our students and educators intellectually, socially, and emotionally,” says Tim Viands, CEO and Head of Laurel Education.
This integration will allow Laurel Education Group to fully come together in their celebration of cerebrodiversity, a term coined by Dr. Gordon F. Sherman, former Executive Director. Cerebrodiversity refers to the idea that human brains are diverse, and that this diversity creates an adaptive advantage when we leverage our unique strengths. It allows educators, in particular, to think about and discuss dyslexia beyond the “disability model.” Appreciating the cerebrodiversity of students enables Laurel Education Group to provide the best education for students with a wide range of learning differences.
Over the years, the teams at Newgrange, Laurel, and Robinowitz have come to be widely acknowledged as local, national, and global thought leaders in the world of dyslexia and related learning differences, including dyscalculia, executive function, ADHD, and autism spectrum disorders. By consolidating their programs into a single campus, educators in all three parts of the organization can further their commitment to children and families in the region.
“We have been dreaming about a new and bigger space for so many years,” says Dee Rosenberg, Director of Robinowitz Education Center and the Education Director for Newgrange. “We are really excited to have all of our faculty working together, sharing their expertise, and providing evidence-based practices for one campus.”
The journey began in 1977 when The Newgrange School was founded by Lois Young and Fran Benson. It was established to support students who had language-based and non-verbal learning differences. With the guidance of expert teachers, speech and language pathologists, occupational therapists, school counselors, and learning disability consultants, Newgrange has been a leader in providing education adapted to the individual needs of each student. In keeping with Dr. Sherman’s idea that cerebrodiversity provides unique advantages, the Newgrange organization continually seeks opportunities for faculty and students to work together in an enriched, positive, and supportive environment.
By 1991, it had become clear that the strategies implemented at Newgrange were working — improving educational outcomes for students with learning disabilities, boosting students’ confidence, self-esteem, and more — and The Robinowitz Education Center (REC) was founded as a way to promote those strategies in the educational community. For almost 30 years, REC has provided professional development and consulting services for teachers who dedicate their lives to students who have learning differences, locally and nationally. Since 2001, REC has offered educational evaluations, tutoring and consultation services, and evidence-based resources for communities and families.
With the help of Head of School Dee Rosenberg, Dr. Sherman further expanded what is now known as The Newgrange Family of Schools with the opening of The Laurel School in 2012. The Laurel School focuses on students who have language-based learning differences like dyslexia and dyscalculia, as well as co-existing conditions like ADHD and executive functioning skills deficits. For nearly a decade, The Laurel School has used evidence-based and multi-sensory strategies to foster students’ curiosity, confidence, skills, and learning.
Now — forty-three years after The Newgrange School first opened its doors — all three of these excellent institutions are to come together, concentrating their resources and state-of-the-art facilities in the Newgrange Family of Schools. United on one campus, they are able to provide an even greater impact to students, families, and educators.
The new campus is sunlit, modern, and surrounded by plenty of open green space. It’s sure to be a place where students will look forward to learning and rising to new challenges. Families and students will have easy, daily access to experts who understand learning differences — all in one place, all right here in New Jersey. The leadership team looks forward to growing programs and opportunities even further.
Aubrey Haines — CEO of Mercer Oak Realty, the company that handled the construction of the new campus — is very hopeful for the future of the project. “The Newgrange Family of Schools has a tremendous leader in CEO Tim Viands,” he says. “He had a vision for the new facility and never wavered from that goal.”
“We are excited to join the Hopewell and Pennington community as the premiere resource in the community for students who learn differently, as well as reach our nearby neighbors in Bucks County and surrounding Pennsylvania counties,” Viands says.
The Laurel Education Group looks forward to welcoming students for the 2020-2021 school year and is currently accepting applications.