This is Austin's final year at The Child School. As we look forward to him attending college, we also reflect back on his years with you at The Child School.
Austin has been at TCS since the Third Grade. TCS taught Austin, from a young age, to be organized, encouraged him to work hard and gave him the confidence and skills to achieve his short-term and long-term goals. Austin was always very conscientious about completing all of his homework every night. However, TCS also taught him the presence of mind and confidence to take charge whenever that could not be the case. When there were events, mostly caused by us as parents, which prevented him from finishing all of his homework on a particular night, Austin would write a note for us to sign explaining that he could not finish his homework and promising to hand it in a day later – which he always did. Thank you for your flexibility during these times but more so for teaching him the courage to ask.
Legacy High School allowed Austin to always challenge himself and he not only met each challenge but he exceeded all of our expectations. TCS taught Austin to never let any learning disability hinder him from achieving and exceeding his goals. Austin knew he learned differently. It often took him longer to learn certain skills which other children took for granted. He overcame these obstacles. Austin did not speak in full sentences until after he started at The Child School. But knowing him now, you'd never know it. We were so proud that he gave the valedictorian speech at middle school graduation. You will be proud to know that he continues to hone his skills as a public speaker. This summer, at his internship with the Manhattan District Attorney's office, Austin prepared and argued a moot court case in a real courtroom.
Legacy High School has also taught Austin to give back and has provided him opportunities to do so both in the TCS community and elsewhere in New York City. Austin is working as a teacher's assistant providing tutoring to younger children in the elementary school. Austin volunteers at the Masbia Soup Kitchen in Flatbush every Wednesday. He is also a leader in the New York Cares program where he helps to coordinate the coat drive and the holiday gifts program for underprivileged children. Austin also participates, along with other high school students from throughout NYC, in Citizen's Committee for Children's Youth Action program as a youth advocate.
The many extra-curricular activities available buttressed his confidence and provided him opportunities to literally see the world. Austin is on this year's championship soccer team (as he was in 10th grade). His annual participation in the June play while in elementary and middle school gave him the confidence to perform in front of an audience. Austin has always enjoyed the annual ski trip as well as the Spring and Fall trips to Costa Rica, Panama, Spain, Niagara Falls, Washington DC and, of course, The Great Wolf Lodge. He will miss these trips with TCS but they gave him a lifetime of fond memories and a lifelong interest in traveling.
In sum, during his years at TCS and Legacy High School, we have seen Austin transform from a skinny 7 year-old boy into a well-rounded adult citizen of the world. Austin worked hard with us towards this goal and you have been more than a great partner. As with so many other facets of Austin's life, we feel that we have exceeded our goals so far.
We are grateful for all of our and Austin's years here and will cherish the remaining time at Legacy High School.
Ken Chin and Lisa Lim
Dear The Child School,
As I reflect upon my son's recent graduation fromTCS, the magnitude of the advancements and achievements that Brendan attained are, in a word, overwhelming. Whether I reflect upon Brendan's academic progress or his advancing social skills, I am left with the notion of how blessed we were to have benefitted from the nurturing and cutting edge academic and co curricular programs that were offered to Brendan. The school raised Brendan's self esteem and social skills to a level that we could never have anticipated. From a child who once developed an aphasia to a young man who was happy to deliver speeches, Brendan's progress through the guidance and supervision of an unparalleled qualified and devoted staff was incredible. Our entire family will be forever indebted to the school. Apart from what we hope will be lifelong friendships that Brendan has formed, I look forward to maintaining contact with so many staff members and parents whose friendship I will always treasure. The Child School has truly become the jewel that we hoped it could become.
Gary Rome, parent of alumni
Dear Child School/Legacy High School,
From the moment our family went to visit the Child School for the first time we knew it was something special. The school. or more exactly the staff & teachers, were just what we were looking for. For the first time in many years, and many schools, we felt we had met people who truly understood our child and the special challenges he faced. The school took the time to get to know not only our child but also the family so they would have the big picture. The staff and teachers worked with us tirelessly for many (often difficult) years to help our Son move ahead educationally, emotionally, socially, and personally. It was not always easy but never did anyone stop trying and working on that all important goal..providing a safe, happy, positive, and educational environment. At the end of this path we are proud and happy to note that our Son has successfully graduated High School with an Advandced Regents Diploma and was accepted at a number of excellent Universities where we expect he will do very well. We are certain we will stay closely connected to the Child School for many years to come and that the people we met and came to appreciate will be part of our lives going forward.
Michael Leinweber, parent of alumni
Dear Child School/Legacy High School
I moved to New York for a one year adventure and found myself at The Child School for 15 years and truly in the adventure of my life. The school was located on 33rd Street in Manhattan, an old parochial school building. I rang the front door buzzer and a new chapter of my life began. Legacy, was just starting and in the second year I began my career as the Legacy High School English Teacher. I moved up to the 4th floor (8 long flights of stairs) with Popie and Peter who were my teaching partners in the high school program. I have come to feel this as home as we have graduated approximate 380 students. You don't know how proud I am to have been a part of the lives of all of these remarkable young people. As Legacy grew, I grew.
The Child School/Legacy High School has always been the innovator as a school for students with learning and behavioral challenges. It didn't take long for me to understand that this wasn't just an ordinary school, but a school with a different approach and I was going to grow. I was amazed to tears at least once a week those first few months. Here, special education children were proud of themselves. They were gifted in so many ways and this school allowed their special talents to shine. We were one of the first special education schools to offer a Regent's diploma to our Legacy students. Can they do it? Of course they can!
The Child School taught me to hold my students to a high standard and they would respond. It showed me how to provide structure in a soft way, to plan my lessons in such a way that made learning easy. I learned to recognize which behaviors the student could not control and which they could. I learned that is was okay to have a learning challenge and to talk about it. The school gave me the opportunity to work collaboratively with my teacher assistant, the related service providers, the school administrators and the parents. When we all work together to support our children magic happens.
I love this school. The Child School offered personal growth as a professional, from honing my skills as a teacher to joining the administrative team as a Legacy Supervisor and as Admissions Director. It has embraced me as it embraces each student. We learn together and grow together. I look back over these 15 years and feel fortunate to have stumbled over that ad for a teacher in the NY Times. If you are a perspective parent who has a child who needs a very special school, you too, have stumbled into a great opportunity. Let your adventure begin.
Sandy Cox, Teacher, Legacy High School
Dear Child School/Legacy High School
"To work at The Child School is a rich and pleasant experience. The campus-like environment of Roosevelt Island provides a calm environment of incomparable beauty. Even the backdrop is stunning - with the serenity of the east river and the Manhattan skyline. Each season brings new pleasures, such as in the springtime with the rows of cherry blossom. There is an array of sports fields and parks/gardens which line the thin isle and the students have the opportunity to enjoy these precious sites. Here, the knowledgeable and experienced professional staff is committed to each and every student. It is with great respect and patience that they work to help each individual reach his/her full potential.
Over my decade of experience as a math teacher at the Child School I grew professionally and personally. With students and families of such diverse backgrounds I felt motivated to meet and surpass expectations. I felt safe and encouraged to be creative, innovative and compassionate. The nurturing environment allowed me to be an inspiring mentor for the students during their academic careers. The methodology at The Child School is time-tested as former students visit after graduating and come back to share the challenges they transcended and accomplishments they have achieved."
Katia Genes Teacher, Legacy High School
Dear Child School/Legacy High School
As a teacher at The Child School/Legacy High School for the past 11 years, I have the inside story - straight from the horse's mouth, as they say. When I first came here, I thought I was going to be working at a school like any other school. My outlook, my attitude and my life changed after joining The Child School. I got the chance to work with the team of highly educated, professional and dedicated pedagogues and I became the part of the team. They provide a caring and nurturing environment for the group of special education students that is unparalleled. They are specialized in their fields and are truly invested in the success of their students. Students get the opportunities to blossom socially, emotionally and academically. The programs offered at the school cater to the academics and co-curricular needs of the students. Needless to say, our gym department provides rigorous and exciting programs for our students all year round. Our Elementary, Middle and High schools work independently under the supervision of a highly professional Executive Director. I am very proud to have been a part of this wonderful team here at The Child School/Legacy High School.
Rashmi Gupta, Teacher, Legacy High School