Nestled in a quiet, tree-shaded neighborhood in Kendall, the McGlannan School for 55 years has provided a full academic curriculum for dyslexic learners.
Founded in 1964 by Frances McGlannan, a research pioneer in the field of dyslexia and related language learning disabilities, the school had its origins in the 1950s when McGlannan set out to find answers as to why her highly intelligent 7-year-old child was unable to learn to read or spell. Her search focused on the slowly evolving enigma of dyslexia.
Julia Fitzgerald McGlannan, a Palmetto Bay resident who has been with McGlannan School for 19 years and has been the administrative director of the school since 2008, was mentored for more than 10 years under the direct tutelage of Frances McGlannan. Julia McGlannan graduated cum laude from the University of Miami’s school of nursing.
She is proud of what sets the school apart from other schools.
“McGlannan School was the first day school in the United States consisting of a complete and rigorous academic program which totally immersed students challenged by dyslexia into a full-time educational environment specifically and solely structured for their unique learning needs,” Julia McGlannan said.
“McGlannan School understands children challenged by specific language learning disabilities beyond any other full day school of its kind. All professional classroom teachers and their assistants, as well as reading clinic instructors, are trained in the uniquely structured learning environment researched and designed by Frances McGlannan,” Julia McGlannan added.
She said she finds happiness in what they have accomplished.
“What gave Frances McGlannan, and what gives all of us at McGlannan School today great joy, is seeing the happy and positive changes in children when they realize they can read, and learning actually becomes fun,” Julia McGlannan said. “It is satisfying to know that for 55 years McGlannan School has been providing for children an education that leads to a successful and productive life which they may otherwise not have had.”
In 1962, Frances McGlannan summed up her conviction and the goal of the school she founded: “Why can’t an intelligent child learn to read and spell as well as his peers instead of living with failure and the threat of adult illiteracy? If we are teaching the blind and the deaf, why can’t we reach these children?”
Julia McGlannan stresses that placing children in the educational environment they so desperately need is not labeling them. It is providing the opportunity for them to realize their true educational potential and expand their personal accomplishments. And she is pleased by the amount of positive feedback she receives from former students and parents.
“So many parents over the years have praised the quality of education McGlannan School provided to their children,” she said.
“We are constantly receiving testimonials from parents thanking us for their children’s achievements and crediting McGlannan School for their success. Countless numbers of former students have shared with us and the community the many ways in which they continued to utilize skills learned at McGlannan throughout their educational careers and well into their professional lives. It is wonderful to know how the years spent at McGlannan School continue to have such a positive impact on the lives of our students into adulthood.”
Students are 6 to 14 years of age (grades first through eighth) with average through superior intellect and challenged by dyslexia, including related language-based learning difficulties such as memory and processing deficits. ADHD may be present as a secondary diagnosis. McGlannan School is an accredited, research based private school. New research relevant to the physiological basis of “how we learn to read” is incorporated into the curriculum.
For information on McGlannan School visit www.mcglannanschool.net or call 305-274-2208. For information on dyslexia visit the website of the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) at https://dyslexiaida.org/.
The school is located at 10770 SW 84 St. Miami, FL 33173.