The Board of Directors and Headmaster Dr. Benjamin N. Powers of Eagle Hill Southport School announced at an all-school, all-community event on campus that the school is changing its name to The Southport School effective immediately.
“The Board of Directors unanimously voted to change the school’s name to The Southport School as a reflection of its long history in and support by the Southport community, its state-of-the-art programming, which empowers the transformative work the school is doing for its students and families, and the larger leadership role the school is filling in the learning differences community,” says Chair of the Board Virginia Cargill. “As a representative of the Board and the Southport community, this is an exciting time to be a part of the school and there are big things on the horizon.”
“Since my first day in 2012 as the school’s second headmaster, enhancing the impact of the school’s program and the experience for our students have been at the core of our decision making, which led us to develop a bold strategic plan focused on implementing the best evidence- and research-based programs for students with language-based learning disabilities, like dyslexia, and ADHD, and to empower educators, students, and families in the LD/ADHD community,” says Dr. Powers. “I hold a strong sense of optimism for the future of children who struggle with reading , comprehension, and attention issues, and the leadership role our school will play in the
field. Through early intervention, evidence-based instruction, and supporting whole-child development, we can help unlock their significant untapped potential. The adoption of our new name celebrates our historic roots in the village of Southport, speaks to a future of great possibility, and recognizes our growing role in the field of LD/ADHD education.”
The decision to change the school name was a unanimous one by the Board of Directors. The Southport School is for children in kindergarten through 8th grade with language-based learning differences and ADHD. The Southport School student struggles with core deficits in language including dyslexia, auditory processing, and comprehension issues as well as ADHD. Every Southport teacher is trained in the same foundational evidence- and research-based approaches that are used across the curriculum, including the Orton-Gillingham Approach, Lindamood-Bell’s Visualizing and Verbalizing®, Executive Function Coaching, Assistive Technology, Responsive Classroom, and a holistic approach through proactive social and emotional learning and co-curricular opportunities.
“Since our inception in 1984, Eagle Hill has been part of our name, history, and philosophy with our connection to the schools in Greenwich and Hardwick, Massachusetts. We will always recognize this historical piece of the school, yet The Southport School will be wholly unique with its new name, brand, and identity,” reflects Dr. Powers. “The village of Southport and its generous supporters represent a significant connection to our past, present, and most importantly, our future. Three decades of time-tested friendships in the community have solidified for us that we are the school of this community, the Southport school.”
The Southport School continues to reach out to the greater community as an expert and resource with the ongoing development of strong partnerships and programs for educators, professionals, students, parents, families, and the greater community. We have trained over 100 teachers in Orton-Gillingham, we have trained over 135 teachers in our approach to Executive Function development, we collaborated with Fairfield University and Sacred Heart University in graduate course development and implementation, we have provided over 250 families with free reading screenings for children pre-kindergarten to third grade, and we established an ongoing Community Lecture Series offering presentations on LD-related topics with experts in the field (all open to the public and free of charge).
“The Strategic Planning Committee deliberated for months on this historic change for the school and in conclusion with the support and approval by the Board of Directors, agreed the time was right. It is a critical and important moment in our school’s history, and presents a new chapter of opportunity,” says Cargill. “This next phase delivers on our school mission and helps us expand our role in changing the conversation for children with learning and attention issues. It also gives us a bigger presence and stronger voice in research, training, and advocacy in the LD community. The Southport School name change directly benefits the school and our unique population of learners and thinkers.”
Since its inception in 1984, The Southport School is dedicated to creating an environment for students with language-based learning differences, like dyslexia, and ADHD that recognizes individual strengths, promotes independent thinking, develops self-esteem and self-advocacy, and supports a successful transition for continued academic achievement. In our coeducational elementary, middle, and summer school programs, students can safely take risks and are championed by an expert faculty that is student-focused and uses research and evidence-based approaches. In the last 34 years, The Southport School has grown from serving 20 students to 110, in kindergarten through 8th grade, across more than 30 communities in Connecticut and New York. The school’s two buildings – home to the original Pequot School and Southport Savings Bank - are located at 214 Main Street in the historic harbor of Southport, Connecticut. To learn more about The Southport School, visit www.SouthportSchool.org.
Pictured left to right: CT Senator Tony Hwang, TSS Board of Directors Chair Virginia Cargill (of Southport), TSS Headmaster Dr. Benjamin N. Powers (of Madison), TSS Director Emeriti Dick Ferguson (of Westport), and TSS School Psychologist Dave Sylvestro (of Easton)