High Road Academy (Laurel, MD)

9705 Washington Blvd.
Laurel, MD 20723
Phone: 301-483-8605 / 301-483-8606
Fax: 301-483-3182

Executive Director
Ellen Gaske

Educational Director
Matt Cooper

Ellen Gaske Matt Cooper

Located in Howard County, High Road Academy began in 1998 as a tiny program of two students and has now grown to a thriving school enrolling approximately 90 students in grades 3–12, aged 7–21. Given its location in Laurel, MD, students come not only from Howard County, but also from Montgomery, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, and Calvert Counties, as well as from the District of Columbia.

High Road Academy specializes in individualized, remedial programs primarily for students with learning disabilities. Staff is trained in a variety of methodologies designed for students with severe reading disabilities, such as Orton-Gillingham, the Lindamood Phoneme Sequencing Program (LiPS), Phono-Graphix, LANGUAGE! and others. In addition to implementing specialized strategies, High Road Academy is committed to the integration of computer technology into all aspects of the program. As a result, High Road Academy maintains a large repertoire of software programs specific to the remedial program. We're significantly invested in the Fast ForWord/Gateway family of products, for example, based on the notable improvements in auditory-processing skills we've witnessed among certain students who have utilized these programs.

Whereas the majority of students attending High Road Academy require intensive reading and language arts remediation, we also serve a significant number of students with varying LD profiles, as well as those with Nonverbal Learning Disabilities and Asperger's syndrome. Still other students are coded with Multiple Disabilities. Since many students with learning disabilities also have coexisting disabilities (e.g., Other Health Impairments or Speech-Language Impairment), the program includes a strong emphasis on executive function and language-processing skills.

Each student accepted into the program undergoes an intensive evaluation to determine present levels of performance. A careful analysis of sight word recognition, word attack skills, comprehension, fluency, written expression, and math skills is conducted on each student in order to build a remedial plan. Methodologies and strategies are selected based on the student's profile. Ongoing evaluation and monitoring of student performance and achievement ensures that adjustments in programming are made as often as needed.

The main focus at High Road Academy is the mission of remediation; and the main goal, whenever possible and applicable, is to return students to the LRE (least restrictive environment) at their home schools. We take great pride in the fact that we've been able to maintain an average annual return rate of 30% of our total school population—an industry high. Better yet, follow-up data indicates that HRA students who have returned to their home schools are continuing to achieve and meet the challenges in their mainstream classrooms.

Staff at High Road Academy are dedicated to educating the wider community on issues related to learning disabilities. The staff actively presents seminars and trainings at annual conferences, at parent meetings, and for other organizations. Sample training topics include: Study Skills & Organizational Strategies; Reading Methodologies; Counseling Students with Learning Disabilities; and Strategies for Written Expression.

High Road Academy is under the direction of Dr. Ellen Gaske (Executive Director) and Matt Cooper (Educational Director).