An Arete Update
Allow us to reintroduce ourselves... and hopefully, kick off a habit of publishing regular blog posts! In an effort to publish content more frequently, this blog post has not been formally edited. Any typos, grammatical errors, or formatting mistakes can be considered easter eggs.
It's been a long time since we've written about what's new at Arete... it turns out that things don't actually get less busy as the school year goes on. Weird.
It's the time of year that we're seeing a spike in enrollment inquiries and we've got some cool things on the horizon... whether this is your first time learning about Arete or you're returning visitor, consider this a reintroduction!
Quick Summary of Who We Are
Arete Academy was founded in 2014. Our first building was in Hopkins and now we're in St. Louis Park (in the Barry Family Campus- some of you may know it as the Sabes Jewish Community Center). Our namesake, “Arete”, is a Greek term with several definitions and interpretations... our founder Leah, choose the interpretation that Arete is a person’s full realization of their potential; the truest and highest version of self. Leah set out to build this school to be a place where twice exceptional (2e) learners could have a better chance to reach that highest version of themselves (you can read more about our founding story here).
2e students are those with exceptional gifts in academic and/or creative realms as well as one or more learning differences. Many 2e students struggle to find a school that actually understands them- to find teachers who see just how capable they are. It's not uncommon for a 2e student's gifts and talents to go unnoticed because they're overshadowed by unmet learning needs as a function of learning differences- ADHD, dyslexia, anxiety, dysgraphia, and more. Likewise, these students often go without appropriate support for their learning differences because they're "too bright" and they score well on many tests/assessments.
2e students are not a “new” type of student, but the last decade has seen enormous growth and awareness of the complex learning profiles and academic needs of neurodiverse gifted students.
Not Gifted Programming, Not Special Education Programming
Many of our students have been enrolled in gifted programming in the past and many of them have received learning supports through 504 plans, Individualized Educational Plans (IEPs), or some Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). Despite the best efforts of everyone and all of the resources implicated in those approaches, our students have generally struggled to find success or to reach their full potential.
We're not trying to develop some new type of gifted school and we're not out here to execute IEP or 504 interventions. It's not just acceleration and it's remediation- it's 2e programming specifically.
Our goal is to target students' gifts and passions while providing individualized support in the areas where they need support. We are committed to partnering with parents to educate and support 2e students so that they might reach their full potential and apply their gifts to make lasting contributions to their community.
Why Haven't I Heard About Arete?!
Well, we've been really busy building our program! There aren't a lot of schools like ours in the world... we're talking about a few dozen in the United States. We've stayed small so we can make good on our intentions to provide a transformational program and so we can grow carefully. We are starting to spread out a bit and market ourselves to the world, but we are very intentional to make sure that we don't get out over our skis.
We're small, but we're not insular. If you have attended any 2e or gifted conferences- professional and/or parent- we were probably there too! Professional networks are growing and new opportunities are brewing in the gifted and 2e worlds. Graduate programs targeting neurodiversity are maturing and undergraduate programs are getting going... we're honored to have played a small role in this growth.
Wrap it Up, This Post is Running Long
This is an exciting time in 2e education. Although our program is small, our impact is mighty. We'll tell you more about that in a future blog post.
If you're interested in learning more about Arete, please reach out to our Director of Operations, Molly Dunnigan (email@example.com). She can answer plenty of questions or at least get you to the right person.
Max Melby is the Head of School at Arete Academy and has been on staff since 2014.