Welcome to AIM Academy, where learning stretches far beyond just coming to school each day. Our story began in 2006 when our founders, Pat Roberts and Nancy Blair, assembled a small team of inspired educators looking to make a significant impact in the lives of children with language-based learning differences. Each of us were drawn to the work of AIM for our own personal reasons, but we quickly united under a powerful mission and we have not lost focus on that mission ever since.
AIM’s mission has always been to provide extraordinary opportunities to children with learning differences through a research-based lab school while also developing a center for excellence in teaching in order to transform the way students are taught outside of our school. In 2006, we had our mission and vision, a few rented classrooms in an old parochial school, and two dozen families who could see the future as we saw it. Today, we are fully enrolled approaching 350 students in grades 1 – 12, have graduated over 100 alumni, and developed a reputation that has attracted attention to our work from across the globe.
AIM is an exceptional community and our students have the chance each day to develop a love of learning. At AIM, I have watched hundreds of students have their fires for learning lit where they may have struggled to find a spark elsewhere. This happens because AIM is a magnet for some of the most gifted educators and because our Institute for Learning & Research ensures that every faculty member is far ahead of the curve putting the science of teaching to practice in classrooms. Our faculty does not just engage in special education; it makes education a truly special experience for children. The teachers at AIM develop student-centered programs that go far beyond rote learning and challenge children to think deeply, explore passions, and work hard to achieve goals. They seek creative ways to reach each child as an individual and recognize that classrooms are important vehicles for developing tenacious and resilient self-advocates.
Our students are talented beyond belief. When I bring friends through AIM to show off the latest robotics project, theatrical performance, or athletic event, I am invariably asked, “Is this a school for the gifted?” I unfailingly say, “Yes.” AIM students are impressive and because we are not deficit-minded, our students are able to explore their passions and interests while also having strong research-based academic instruction.
Whether it be watching 1st graders learning phonics, 5th graders reenacting the Renaissance, 8th graders as they return from their annual trip to Wyoming, or seniors coming back from Dual-Enrollment courses at Drexel, UArts, or Cabrini, I find so much joy in shepherding our mission. There is so much to see here and I hope you’ll come visit us soon to learn first-hand about the magic happening at AIM Academy.
Christopher F. Herman
Head of School