Top 10 Questions

List of 10 items.

  • Who attends Armstrong?

    Students who attend Armstrong have a diagnosis of dyslexia or a Specific Learning Difference (SLD) in reading, writing or math. Other common diagnoses among our student population include dysgraphia, dyscalculia, and ADHD.

    Our program does not support students with an autism diagnosis, social pragmatic disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, or severe attention challenges. The Armstrong Admissions Team has a list of resources that serve these students.

    Up to 120 students are enrolled in the Lower School (grades 2-5) and 120 students in the Middle School (grades 6-8). Approximately 43% of our students self-identify as people of color. Approximately 30% of our families receive some level of financial aid.

  • How does the program support dyslexic learners?

    Armstrong delivers a high level of differentiated remediation within the school day for each student. Our students thrive by learning alongside classmates who learn like them, in a nurturing and joyful environment. How we do it:
    • 4.5:1 student-to-educator ratio
    • Multiple teachers in every classroom and advisory
    • Small group instruction in literacy and math (avg. 4-8 students)
    • Small average class sizes with individualized attention
             14 in Lower School
             19 in Middle School
    • Instructional coaches, counselors, learning support specialists
    • Multi-sensory and multi-model learning methods
    • A research-based literacy curriculum
             Tier 1-Grade-level literacy enrichment
             Tier 2-Read 180, Just Words, Fundations
             Tier 3-Wilson Reading System
    • Rich academic curriculum
    • Integrated Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) curricula
             Pollyanna Racial Literacy Curriculum
             Responsive Classroom
             No Bully

  • What does a typical school day look like?

     Lower School (8-day rotating schedule)

    Morning Meeting 
    30 min
    55 min
    25 min
    85 min
    45 min
    55 min
    15 min
    Rotation: Social Studies, Science, Art
    42.5 min
    Rotation: Movement, PE, Library, Design Thinking
    42.5 min

                    Middle School Day (8-day rotating schedule)
    Responsive Advisory 
    30 min
    Block 1 Rotation: History or English Language Arts
    75 min
    20 min
    Block 2 Rotation: Science, Elective, or PE
    75 min
    45 min
    Block 3: Math
    75 min
    What I Need (WIN)
    Individual student advocacy for meeting with teachers, additional counseling, homework, etc.
    30 min
    Block 4: Literacy
    75 min
  • How do you support families with the transition to Armstrong?

    It can be both exciting and daunting to enter a new school community for students and their parents/guardians. In addition to making new friends and adjusting to a new school environment, students are exposed to a very different way of learning, which will eventually lead to success, confidence, and joy in learning. Armstrong wants families to feel welcomed and supported on this journey with programs including:
    • Armstrong Summer School offers an authentic, “mini” Armstrong experience for current, new, and prospective students over eight weeks in the summer.
    • Buddy Families mentor new families when enrolled and throughout their first year at Armstrong (and often beyond).
    • New Family Orientation Events “onboard” new families with logistical information and opportunities to get to know each other.
    • Charles Armstrong Parent School Organization (CAPSO) provides parent/guardian volunteer opportunities and organizes community-building events.
  • What is the comparable value of the Armstrong experience?

    There are many different strategies that families may utilize to assist dyslexic students. At Armstrong, we believe we offer the best option of specialized and expert remediation within the school day, which also comes with a full independent school experience–inside and outside the classroom. 
    All students are dyslexic. All instruction and programs are intentionally designed for dyslexic learners.

    Armstrong students are the “5 in 5” who have dyslexia.

    Armstrong provides a safe, comfortable, nurturing environment.
    Some students are dyslexic. Instruction and programs are not designed for dyslexic learners.

    Dyslexics are “1 in 5” in the general population.

    Dyslexic students may feel and be treated differently than their peers in traditional school settings.

    Remediation with trained teachers is part of every school day. 

    Most students can pursue their interests or relax after school.

    Either no specific remediation or dyslexic students may be pulled out of regular class for some remediation.

    Remediation with trained tutors occurs after school, which extends the school day.
     $51,600 per year (Armstrong tuition)
        -32.5 hours of school per week
        -167 instructional days/33.5 weeks per year
        -$47 per hour
        -An integrated, full-school experience
          $42,000* per year (tutoring  alone)
           -8 hours per week 
           -35 weeks/280 hours per year
           -$150 per hour
           -After school/outside regular  class
           *Add tuition if your child attends a traditional independent school as well
  • How do I get my student to school?

    Armstrong is a commuter school with students coming from 36 cities and 7 counties throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. We highly encourage families to form carpools when feasible. The school shares information about where families are located to facilitate carpooling. 
  • What does Armstrong offer beyond the classroom?

    • Visual Arts, Drama, Music
    • PE, Movement, Competitive Athletics
    • Leadership Opportunities
    • Electives
    • Library
    • Design Thinking, Makerspace
    • Experiential and Outdoor Education (grades 5-8); D.C. Trip (8th grade)
    • Aftercare, after-school Learning Lab enrichment programs (e.g., robotics, chess, ceramics)
  • What does Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) mean at Armstrong?

    Belonging Mission Statement
    At Charles Armstrong School, we commit to the ongoing personal and professional work necessary to:
    • Cultivate and maintain an equitable and inclusive community where all members feel safe, valued, respected, and that they belong. 
    • Build a strong sense of identity and social justice in students and adults so that we can express ourselves genuinely and advocate for others. 
    • Recognize and celebrate diversity to prepare students to thrive in our interconnected, global community.
    • Continuously evaluate systems and practices to eliminate systemic bias and inequity.

    DEIB-related curricula and programs are listed above in how we serve our dyslexic learners. The school also hired its first full-time Director of DEIB, Annie Phan, in the 2022-23 school year. She will be building upon past DEIB work and expanding programs going forward.
  • What high schools do graduates attend?

    The Next School Placement Team at Armstrong assists families with a comprehensive high school placement process that begins mid-7th grade. This includes formal and informal meetings, a coordinated timeline, and an on-site High School Fair. Our 8th-grade students apply to a variety of schools, including public and independent options that provide continued support as needed. 

    Click here for the high schools our alumni matriculated to in the last five years.
  • What are some treasured traditions?

    • Fall Festival, Book Fair, Halloween Parade
    • Winter Music Program 
    • Talent Shows 
    • Community Picnic
    • Spring Art Showcase 
    • Spring Musical 
    • Faculty vs. Students Athletic Competitions (soccer, volleyball, basketball)
    • School Spirit Weeks
    • Graduation