Maddux School a Springboard for Young Students

Parents and staff alike often talk about something they call “the Maddux Magic.” It’s a special set of qualities that have made The Maddux School such an important place for young students starting out on their educational and life journeys. “Each of our students is really a unique and special individual and we look carefully at each one to think about how we can highlight their talents and gifts, and then also support what they need to work on so that they can be successful here and at future schools,” says School Director Jenny Engel.

The thoughtful “whole child” approach of The Maddux School came about when in the early 2000s, Ivymount educators noticed a significant number of young children struggling in mainstream early childhood programs. “We knew there was a niche in the community for young children who were in school programs, and those programs weren’t working for these children and families,” says Andrea Mullins, Founding Maddux School Director. “When we started this school we started it for children who had vulnerabilities, and they were falling between the cracks at some of the schools.” Andrea realized the early educational challenges of these children were putting them at risk for years to come and there were few alternatives available.

Pairing Social Learning with Academics

The philosophy behind The Maddux School was a simple one: With early intervention in areas such as speech, socialization, and motor development, coupled with grade-level academics, Maddux students would be ready for successful integration back into general education settings. Ivymount began to lay the groundwork for a program that would meet these students’ needs and in 2004 founded the program with a handful of preschoolers, going on to reach important milestones such as adding kindergarten and then extending programs through the second grade.

“I don’t think there’s any other school that could have done for him what Maddux did,” says one parent of their student. “I mean socially, academically, emotionally. Just ‘getting’ him. Pushing him at the right times, doing it all compassionately, helping him make friends. They really helped change his path in life.”

As it looks forward to celebrating 20 years in 2024, The Maddux School’s mission to promote strong academic, communication, and social foundations in a safe and caring setting remains. Maddux has carefully honed its approach, which integrates social learning and therapies across the day and into its well-known science, arts and literacy programs via a collaborative team of highly trained teachers and therapists.

“My child’s challenges were really in communication and organization of almost all things – how she organizes language, relationships, communicating and making friends. Maddux really targeted that for her,” says alumni parent Lauren Eskovitz, who went on to join the Maddux board of directors. “We were looking for this magical, special place that I thought probably would not exist and to my surprise and delight, it does!”

Watch the “Power of Play” video to see Maddux staff expertly facilitate meaningful play-based experiences.

To support Ivymount in moving forward with momentum and transforming the lives of students and families, click here.

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