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The Windward Institute Launches with Mission to Increase Childhood Literacy

A division of The Windward School, The Windward Institute builds leading-edge education-research partnerships, offers professional development based on the latest research, and advocates for the rights of dyslexic students

White Plains and New York City, New York—January 8, 2020—Today marks the official launch of The Windward Institute, a division of The Windward School. Dedicated to increasing childhood literacy and disrupting the status quo in education, The Windward Institute advocates for the rights of students with language-based learning disabilities, builds leading education-research partnerships, and provides a comprehensive array of professional development offerings on research-based instructional practices to an international audience of educators and clinicians.

Dr. John J. Russell, Executive Director of The Windward Institute.

“The Windward Institute is committed to driving meaningful change in the education of students with language-based learning disabilities. Importantly, we are translating research into practice through partnerships with universities and research institutions while leveraging relationships and technology to expand the reach and impact of the proven Windward methodology,” said Dr. John J. Russell, Executive Director of The Windward Institute. “At the same time, we are actively participating in advocacy efforts to help promote early identification and appropriate remediation for students with dyslexia.”

Research, Outreach, and Education 

The Windward Institute plays a critical role in fostering communication and collaboration with all of The Windward School’s external constituents such as alumni, institutions of higher learning, research centers, and secondary schools that may provide post-Windward placements for the school’s students. It also leads a variety of external-facing programs and outreach including high-profile lectures, courses, and seminars for teachers, parents, and the broader educational community. 

The Windward Institute spearheads research-education partnerships including The Windward School/Haskins Laboratories Collaborative Project, which kicked off a three-year research study in September 2019 entitled Predicting Literacy Outcomes at The Windward School. This collaboration between Haskins researchers and Windward teachers uses neurocognitive measures to better understand which instructional strategies work best for students, a critical step in moving toward individualized brain-based instructional programs. Other partners include the Child Mind Institute, Manhattanville College, Tufts University, and University of California San Francisco. Faculty from these institutions present lectures, workshops, and seminars to Windward parents, teachers, and the broader educational community, and collaborate with Windward on other jointly sponsored initiatives. 

The Windward School has partnered with Haskins Laboratories on an in-school neuroscience study.

The Institute’s relationships with colleges, universities, and research institutions allow The Windward School to have access to the most current research findings and to use this research to continuously update the professional development offerings. This creates natural synergies to ensure that Windward educators and outside educators are always equipped with the latest, most advanced research to support best practices in instruction.

Additionally, The Windward Institute together with The Windward School has launched READ, a podcast focused on Research Education and ADvocacy. READ Podcast connects listeners with leading researchers, thought leaders, and educators who share their work, insights, and expertise about current research and best practices in literacy, teacher training, and child development. 

Windward Teacher Training Program Launches

Along with the official launch of The Windward Institute, today also marks the launch of the Windward Teacher Training Program (WTTP), led by Sandra Schwarz. The WTTP will focus specifically on the critical tasks of recruiting, hiring, mentoring and training teachers for The Windward School.

Previously, the responsibilities of the WTTP and the WI were the charge of the Windward Teacher Training Institute, which provided professional development and workshops for educators since its founding in 1988. Splitting the Windward Teacher Training Institute into two distinct entities, each with its own clear objectives, will enable The Windward School to more efficiently and effectively manage its numerous initiatives to improve education for all students with language-based learning disabilities.

“The Windward School, The Windward Institute, and the Windward Teacher Training Program are guided by a shared vision of a world where every child with a language-based learning disability is empowered to achieve unlimited success. The Institute’s work, which directly supports the School, reflects The Windward School’s commitment to providing greater access to its expertise and research on proven ways to remediate language-based learning disabilities,” said Jamie Williamson, Head of The Windward School.

About The Windward Institute

The Windward Institute is dedicated to increasing the recognition, understanding, and remediation of dyslexia and language-based learning disabilities among the broader education community by sharing The Windward School’s expertise in current, scientifically-validated research in child development, learning theory, and pedagogy. The Institute spearheads research/education partnerships; leads a variety of external-facing programs and outreach including high-profile lectures, courses and seminars; and advocates for the rights of students with language-based learning disabilities. Stakeholders across education, including practitioners, parents, policymakers, and researchers, can get involved with The Windward Institute through its variety of courses, workshops, local events, and partnerships. Learn more at www.thewindwardschool.org/wi.

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