The Fishburne Learning Center, named in honor of Junius Fishburne and initially funded by The Perry Foundation, opened its doors in 1994 under Headmaster Edward M. McFarlane. From its inception, the Fishburne Learning Center was charged with serving as a resource for all Blue Ridge School and faculty. This charge is based on the assertion that all students, including those with a learning difference, need and deserve an interactive, multisensory and considerate learning environment.
The Fishburne Learning Center sets Blue Ridge School apart from other boarding schools for boys with learning disabilities. We work best with boys who have mild to moderate learning disabilities and or ADD/ADHD, particularly when the differences are linked to memory, executive function, reading comprehension and processing speed. The student doesn’t have to understand his difference but has to realize that he is a non-traditional learner and will thus benefit from non-traditional methods. The successful student from this category comes to BRS to achieve academic success by using strategies specifically tailored to that individual.
Soon after he arrives, each boy is presented a learning profile that is based on evaluation data and file information compiled by Dr. Miller and the staff in the FLC. This profile notes individual strengths and needs, and suggests classroom and study approaches suited to those strengths and needs.
The FLC faculty includes highly qualified teachers and experts in learning differences. They offer:
• a visual interpretation of each student’s educational testing, augmented by a written summary of each student’s learning strengths and needs
• extra help to any boy with a particular subject or study skill
• an environment in which each student may recognize, understand and come to “own” his unique learning profile with emphasis on tapping his academic strengths.
In my years at Blue Ridge, I watched Mr. Cory Woods change boys by showing them that they could in fact jump farther or climb higher. It was incredible to see boys who had never been exposed to the outdoors jumping off rock ledges into swimming holes or taking a tough mountain bike trail and then excitedly telling their friends what they had accomplished.
Both he and Mrs. Carrie Woods are a huge part of the reason I am a freshman at UC, Boulder!
- Max Koneff ’14