The Piedmont School & John Yowell Academy: A Fresh Take on Hands-On Learning

For the nearly 37 years of The Piedmont School’s existence, it has dedicated itself to providing a quality education to students with attention deficits and/or specific learning differences such as dyslexia. A small, private, non-profit school with just under 100 students, The Piedmont School serves students in grades K-12 who find themselves needing an environment that can accommodate their unique learning styles. Located in High Point and conveniently located near Highway 311 and Interstate 40, The Piedmont School serves students from six counties in the Triad and central North Carolina region. Through the years, The Piedmont School has grown exponentially not only in enrollment but also in program offerings, making it a community resource for students, parents and educators in the Triad.

With the addition of The Piedmont School’s high school program, the John Yowell Academy, just five years ago, The Piedmont School has seen just how important hands-on learning strategies prove to be for students with learning differences in all grade levels. Walking the halls, visitors see no lecture-style classrooms but instead, students who are up and moving, constantly engaged and changing the modes of instruction several times within an hour. The experienced faculty members go above and beyond to learn each student’s learning style and adapt their delivery of instruction to be sure each child remains engaged and finds success. Keeping up with current research and best practices, the faculty of The Piedmont School and John Yowell Academy has the special ability to keep all students engaged and excited about learning. Visitors will often see students on the go completing science experiments, combining math and science skills to build and program robots. They will see students not just learning about budgeting but taking field trips to local stores to put their knowledge into action. They’ll see students not just learning about history, but transforming into historical figures in the school’s popular living wax museum showcase. No matter where you look, you’ll see students in action.

In addition to experiential and hands-on learning, The Piedmont School values a well-balanced education that includes a robust arts department and a booming athletics program. All students participate in art, drama, music and physical education while at The Piedmont School. Students in grades 5th-12thhave the opportunity to participate in the school’s popular athletics program competing against area independent school leagues in cross country, soccer, flag football, volleyball and basketball. For students who may struggle in the classroom, they often find success in the arts or athletic programs often leading to a restored sense of confidence, which carries over to their perseverance in the classroom.

Hands-on learning has been at the root of much of The Piedmont School’s success through the years giving students not just the chance to hear and memorize content, but the opportunity to do, to feel, to see and to experience the content. The John Yowell Academy high school program introduced a Life and Learning elective for high school students to gain real-world skills and experiences such as building a resume, planning and cooking a meal, setting a budget, completing a job application, etc. Through the years, it seems education has forgotten not just about the importance of academic success, but also the importance of basic life skills needed for navigating life outside of the classroom walls. The Life and Learning elective has continued to grow and helps guide high school students towards not only achieving academic success but with the goal of being confident young adults upon graduation as well.

The Piedmont School recently announced the exciting addition of a new makerspace and woodshop building coming to campus early this fall. These buildings, being constructed offsite to be brought in by Fourth Elm Construction, will provide innovative spaces for students to create, build and gain skills such as woodworking, sewing, and 3D printing while providing amazing opportunities for project-based learning. This amazing addition is only the beginning of facilities additions planned for The Piedmont School and John Yowell Academy in the coming years. The school, currently in a capital campaign for campus expansion, has plans to add on to its current facilities by adding several new middle and high school classrooms, teacher workrooms, art/music rooms, a gymnasium and auditorium, a new dining facility and two science and technology labs. The project will nearly triple the size of the current campus; however, The Piedmont School has no plans of compromising its small class size ratio but instead, improving and expanding facilities to best serve its current students and allow for its high school program to continue to grow.

To learn more about the innovative and great things happening at The Piedmont School and John Yowell Academy, visit www.thepiedmontschool.com. Tours can be individually arranged by calling the front office at 336.833.0992.

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