A 50-Year Legacy of Expertise in Instructing Students Who Learn Differently

Team Spotlight: Team 8

Unique. Individualized. Customized. Proven. Those are words that best describe The de Paul School approach to teaching and learning. Each teacher at The de Paul School believes that there’s no other way to dignify children more than to help them understand what they are truly capable of no matter what grade they are in. 

The 8thgraders at The de Paul School develop leadership skills and serve as the mentors for the younger students. Team 8 students participate in many of similar activities as other area eighth graders such as overnight trips and elementary school buddies. Most importantly though, our Team 8 students spend their final year at The de Paul School strengthening academic abilities with the lifelong skills they’ve practiced each day, all while preparing for the next stage in their school career. Students continue building independence while developing strategies, stamina, and content area knowledge.

“The de Paul School’s unique approach to educating students with different learning styles is truly what helps our students be successful beyond the time they spend in these halls,” states Team 8 Teacher, Mary Balthaser. “Knowing that we are making a lasting impact on each student as they prepare for high school is something I look forward to every day.”

The Team 8 teachers bring a wealth of experience to The de Paul School and regularly collaborate to incorporate de Paul’s foundational pillars: multi-sensory instruction, attention, practice/review, and structure into the daily lessons. Students receive explicit instruction in note taking strategies, and they continue to develop critical thinking skills through participation in History Mysteries, electronic field trips, and science experiments. Team 8 also learns to use accommodations and resources that will be essential once they reach high school, such as digital textbooks, audiobooks (through Learning Ally), and/or speech-to-text (Dragon Naturally Speaking).

As graduation time nears, Team 8 students will be fully prepared to embark on their next adventure. As they receive their diploma from The de Paul School in May, each student can be confident and knowledgeable about their strengths and needs as learners, and they will know how to organize and advocate for themselves in high school. Nearly 95% of Team 8 students are accepted into the high school of their first choices. They are confident and successful individuals who are ready to meet the challenges high school will present to them.