As a school, our focus is independent, academic success as well as social, emotional and independence skills. Our goal for ALL students is to get them to a place where they do not need this small supportive environment and can move on to larger, more traditional settings ― be that another private or public school, vocational program or real choice in living situation and work as an adult.
As a school, we do not do any particular programs such as Orton-Gillingham, Wilson, Linda Mood Bell or others. While you may have a teacher who has this knowledge, it is not the foundation of our school. In fact our tag line says "Programs don't teach children - people do." This means at Alexsander Academy we feel that the relationships teachers build with their students and the knowledge they gain from them as individuals allow teachers to use different strategies to help their students move forward in all areas. At Alexsander Academy flexibility to meet the individual student where he or she is, as much as possible, is our foundation and one of the things that makes us unique as a school. This can only be done when teachers are not locked into a particular way of teaching. They then have the ability to adjust from student to student as well as year to year, as needed, depending on how and when a student's needs change.
Alexsander Academy was founded by Stefanie Smith, our Executive Director and our first Education Director, Maya Mehanna. Stefanie met Maya many years ago when she began working with Stefanie's son, Ben, who was four years old at the time. They worked together for many years and often wished to start their own school. Stefanie, as a parent, felt her children were not getting all they should in their many school experiences and Maya was frustrated by the lack of flexibility she had as a teacher to meet each of her students where they were academically as well as socially and emotionally. In 2008 their wish became a reality when they teamed together to start the school.
Alexsander Academy first opened it's doors for the 2008-2009 school year. The hope was to have a program that saw each student as an individual and as a child first — not as his or her disability. Ten years later, Alexsander Academy has thrived with this philosophy, helping so many children and families along the way.
In Memory of Alexsander Smith
Alexsander Academy is named in honor of Stefanie’s nephew, Alexsander Riley Smith, who died at the age of twenty-three during Christmas time in 2003. He had ADHD and was in special education classes while growing up. He was very close to Stefanie’s son and had a strong affinity for children with special needs.