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The Anne Ford and Allegra Ford Thomas Scholarships

The Anne Ford and Allegra Ford Thomas Scholarships offer financial assistance to two graduating seniors with documented learning disabilities (LD) who are pursuing post-secondary education. The Anne Ford Scholarship was first awarded in 2002; in 2009, with a generous donation from Anne’s daughter, Allegra, the award was renamed the Anne Ford and Allegra Ford Thomas Scholarship and granted to two students.

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Pete & Carrie Rozelle Award

NCLD’s Pete & Carrie Rozelle Award was created by NCLD’s Board of Directors in 2000 to honor the organization’s founders by recognizing schools that are successful in addressing the learning and social/emotional needs of students with learning disabilities (LD) and other students who struggle with learning. This award is intended to help the recipient school expand programmatic and staff development activities that incorporate effective data-based decision-making practices and progress monitoring activities into classroom and school-wide practice. As of 2010, both public schools and independent schools are eligible for recognition with an award. Eligible public school programs must have met Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for the most recent school year. Preference is given to schools that serve underprivileged and under-served communities, and programs that have demonstrated unique impact on students with LD.

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The Anne Ford and Allegra Ford Thomas Scholarships FAQ

Which one of the scholarships should I apply for? Can I apply for both?
Apply for the one scholarship that best fits your post-high school plans. If you are planning to attend a four-year college, apply for the Anne Ford Scholarship. If you are planning to attend a two-year community college, vocational/technical training program, or specialized program for students with LD, apply for the Allegra Ford Thomas Scholarship. Do not apply for both scholarships.

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2013 “LD Superheroes and Superpowers” Art Competition: Children Category

The Avengers better watch out…because there’s a new gang of superheroes in town! With powers ranging from super speed to super math abilities, this crew consists of some of the most powerful superheroes we’ve ever seen. And they’re only ages 4–12! NCLD presents the magnificent superheroes and superpowers of our youngest competitors; kids who fight the obstacles presented by LD everyday. Don’t let their age fool you—these superheroes will change the world one day. Make sure to check back on LD.org everyday for new submissions.

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2013 “LD Superheroes and Superpowers” Art Competition: Adult Category

Who said superheroes were just child’s play? Our contenders ages 18 and up prove that you can have superpowers at any age! These inspirational adults persevere through the daily challenges of having LD, so let’s honor them by checking out their art submissions everyday on LD.org. Regardless of who ends up winning the prize money, all of these artists are fantastic real-life superheroes.

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2013 “LD Superheroes and Superpowers” Art Competition: Teen Category

What makes Bernard a superhero? Well, you’ll have to check out our art competition submissions to find out! Forget what you already know about teenage superheroes. These teens (ages 13-17) are so powerful that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are weeping with jealousy. From dealing with the daily drama of high school to conquering college admissions, these teens display what the powers of determination and perseverance can do for people with LD. And best of all, new submissions will appear daily on LD.org. We hope you enjoy these teens’ creativity as much as we have.

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2008 Bill Ellis Award Winner

Judy Elliott, Ph.D., Chief Academic Officer
Los Angeles Unified School District

Dr. Elliott is the Chief Academic Officer for the Los Angeles Unified School District. Some of Dr. Elliott's many interests include effective instruction for students with diverse learning and behavior needs, IEP development and its alignment with standards and assessments, decision-making for accountability, and accommodation and assessment of special populations.

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2010 Bill Ellis Award Winner

Thomas Komp, Principal
Boulevard Elementary School
Gloversville, New York

According to Principal Tom Komp, "my day starts by meeting and greeting students and faculty, and after ‘good morning’ I ask them about their progress data!”

Gloversville may be a small, struggling city in upstate New York, but times have never been better for the students of Boulevard Elementary School. Tom Komp has been part of the school district community for 15 years and he remembers watching capable students slipping through the cracks, becoming casualties of well-intended but ineffective instruction. He and his fellow faculty members recall their feeling enormous frustration knowing that they could be doing more to accelerate learning, but not having the tools to gauge progress or to make decisions that would improve the effectiveness of instruction and result in higher achievement and improved behavior. Twelve years ago he started collecting data on student performance. It took a lot of time and energy, but he knew it would make a difference: a better educational experience for the students (and faculty) of Boulevard Elementary School.

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2007 Bill Ellis Award Winner

Kimberly Weber
Principal of Chavez Elementary School
Long Beach, California

Before moving to Chavez, Ms. Weber implemented a successful Response to Intervention (RTI) model, a multi-step approach to instruction that provides intervening services for students who struggle with learning, at Kettering Elementary School. Kettering, despite limited resources, was successful in meeting its Annual Yearly Progress goals, an index of how well schools are doing to provide high quality, effective instruction to all students under No Child Left Behind.

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2011 Bill Ellis Award Winner

Karin Lewis, Reading Specialist
Hill Elementary School
West Aurora, IL

Karin Lewis exemplifies the value that Bill Ellis placed on schools as vibrant learning communities. A 20-year veteran of the education field, Karin began her career as a classroom teacher in New Hampshire. After completing her M.Ed. at Notre Dame College in Manchester, New Hampshire, Karin shifted her focus to specialize in providing a wide range of reading interventions for K-5 students as a Reading Specialist. In 2001, Karin moved to Illinois with her family and worked in the LaGrange and St. Charles districts before landing in her current role at Hill Elementary School in West Aurora.

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The Gateway Schools

One of the 2010 Pete and Carrie Rozelle Award winners is The Gateway Schools, located in New York City. Families who arrive at Gateway feel a profound sense of relief as they come to know a school that is committed to addressing a student’s learning challenges while allowing her abilities, interests, and passions to shine.

For nearly fifty years, Gateway has trained educators to follow a personalized academic approach to meeting students’ educational needs; this policy compels students with learning disabilities to become self-sufficient problem solvers who understand themselves better as learners and who can work successfully to achieve personal and academic goals. The school also maintains a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary academic style in which arts and technology are emphasized along with traditional academic disciplines, allowing students to consider learning situations from many perspectives. Gateway’s healthy teaching environment serves to complement its innovative curriculum.

Gateway strives to raise awareness about providing education for children with learning disabilities. Through parent and professional workshops, a network of charter and traditional public schools, professional development support for individual charter schools in Harlem, and the establishment of NYC’s first bilingual, collaboratively-taught kindergarten program at a public school in Queens, Gateway is able to reach hundreds of teachers and students in New York City each year. In addition, by developing academic and professional partnerships with schools in Puerto Rico, Denmark, Japan, India and Mexico, the impact of Gateway’s outreach is felt well-beyond the classrooms of New York City.

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2012 Bill Ellis Award Winner

Dr. Lydia Carlis, Chief of Research & Innovation

AppleTree Institute and AppleTree Early Learning Public Charter Schools

Washington, DC

Dr. Lydia Carlis, the 2012 winner of the Bill Ellis Teacher Preparation Award, exemplifies dedication to the art and science of teaching in a truly inclusive environment. Dr. Carlis currently serves as Chief of Research and Innovation for the AppleTree Institute, which provides accelerated early language and literacy programs to the underserved preschoolers of Washington, DC, to raise the trajectory of their future learning success. In her current role, Dr. Carlis is responsible for development, deployment, and validation of AppleTree’s instructional model, Every Child Ready. She also oversees policy development on implementation protocols for AppleTree Early Learning Public Charter Schools instructional activities including academic programs, student support services, assessment and evaluation, and professional development.

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Public School 164, The Caesar Rodney Elementary School

One of the 2010 Pete and Carrie Rozelle Award winners is Public School 164, The Caesar Rodney Elementary School, located in Brooklyn, NY. Public School 164 is one of the most forward thinking schools in New York City. As a Title I school, PS 164 has received an "A" on their annual progress report for the last four school years by providing an exceptional education for its 515 students.

Realizing the importance of literacy in the early grades, the teachers and administrators of P.S. 164 have successfully improved instruction for all students. P.S. 164 now embraces 13 Special Education classes that support struggling learners at various stages. These classes maintain an “integrated” approach by holding all students to the same academic expectations. This high-accountability model promotes a culture of responsible inclusion while demanding all students understand and respect each others’ differences, in and out of the classroom.

Teachers at P.S. 164 empower their students to understand their strengths as learners while monitoring their learning progress and encouraging them to take charge of their own learning styles. Special education and general education faculty meet regularly and collaborate on how to best support each other and meet the unique needs of individual students. At P.S. 164, all students are expected to succeed and each child is entitled to and receives an exceptional education. With its integrative learning models and collaborative academic approaches, P.S. 164 raises the bar for public school education.




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The Stephen Gaynor School

NCLD is proud to announce the 2011 Independent School Recipient of the Pete and Carrie Rozelle Award: The Stephen Gaynor School, in New York, NY.  Head of School, Scott Gaynor proudly accepted the award at NCLD’s 2011 Celebrating Our Schools Luncheon, which was presented to him by Cassidy Kahn, a Stephen Gaynor School alumna.

The Stephen Gaynor School is an independent, nonprofit elementary and middle school for bright students with learning differences. Students facing learning challenges, from Attention Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) to speech, language, and motor delays, learn in a comfortable, nurturing environment and with an unparalleled level of personal attention from the Gaynor School’s experienced and expert staff.  Students at the Gaynor School break down barriers to learning, build self-esteem, and bridge the gap between their intellect and performance.

The Stephen Gaynor School prides itself in taking a “whole-child approach,” giving students every opportunity to explore their interests and nurture their talents. In addition to general subject areas, they offer strong programs in computer literacy and physical education and exceptional experiences in the arts including drama, photography, music, and sculpture. The average class size is just 11 students, taught by two teachers who are able to get to know each child individually and design a curriculum ideally suited to each student’s needs. Challenged to perform at their best while advancing at their own pace, Gaynor students are joyful learners.

Founded when the field of special education was in its infancy, the Stephen Gaynor School pioneered the highly individualized, multisensory approach still used today. With an ongoing commitment to research, adopt, and develop the most effective teaching methods, the Stephen Gaynor School remains one of the most highly regarded schools of its kind in New York City and beyond.

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Public School 380, The John Wayne Elementary School

NCLD is proud to announce the 2011 Public School Recipient of the Pete and Carrie Rozelle Award: Public School 380, The John Wayne Elementary School, in Brooklyn, New York.  Principal Diane Vitolo proudly accepted the award at NCLD’s 2011 Celebrating Our Schools Luncheon, which was presented to her by Jillian Fortuna, a P.S. 380 alumna and current parent.

P.S. 380 is an exceptional New York City school for all students, but especially for struggling learners. Students identified with learning disabilities have their progress closely monitored and receive the additional time and support that they need to be successful.  P.S. 380 uses an “integrated” model and makes no distinction between general and special education classrooms. All students work together and are encouraged to be understanding and accepting of each others differences in learning style and learning challenges.

Teachers at P.S. 380 work together in a collaborative environment and are in constant communication about their students.  A special team, the Academic Intervention Services team (AIS), works with teachers to identify students who are struggling and may require extra attention and additional instruction. AIS then works with students to support their learning and also works directly with teachers to support professional development, especially for new teachers. The entire faculty meets weekly to discuss the progress of every student.

P.S. 380 is more than a school – it is a community.  Parents of students at P.S. 380 are extremely involved in school activities and learning. The building offers a PTA gathering room, where parents visit daily to stay connected and informed.  Teachers, parents, and school leaders maintain great relationships and work together to support student success.

At P.S. 380, all students are encouraged to take charge of their own learning and are empowered to understand their strengths as learners, create individual goals to work towards, and monitor their learning progress. Every child is expected to succeed and is entitled to and receives an exceptional education.

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2013 Bill Ellis Award Winner

John Carruth, Assistant Superintendent of Special Programs and Projects for the Vail Unified School District in Tucson, Arizona.

John has worked for the Vail Unified School District for fourteen years holding several positions including the Director of Special Programs, Assistant Principal, and Special Education Teacher. Over the past seven years, Mr. Carruth has worked with a team to implement a data-based decision model that emphasizes RTI. The results include significant improvement in learning outcomes for all students on statewide assessments, as well as a 40% reduction in the number of students referred for initial placement in special education and a 50% reduction in the number of students identified as having a learning disability.

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