For 10 Consecutive Years, Groves Academy Achieves 100% High School Graduation Rate

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St. Louis Park students overcome complex learning disabilities to earn diplomas

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We help them get on the right path in the classroom so they can graduate.

Groves Academy in St. Louis Park announced today, eleven high school students will help mark a big milestone next week. For the tenth year in a row, the grades 1-12 school designed specifically for students with learning and attention disorders will celebrate the 100% graduation rate of its senior class at a special ceremony. Since 2004, 139 students have successfully completed their high school education at Groves in the last decade and graduated on time.

“Year after year, many of Groves Academy’s seniors not only earn their diploma but they go on to college,” said Head of School John Alexander. “This is after they’ve overcome many doubts, challenges and misperceptions in their early school years.” Alexander is a national expert and Minnesota leader in reading reform with a Master of Education from Harvard University specializing in reading and language disabilities. “Students of all ages—even high school students--come to Groves with learning disabilities that have not been correctly diagnosed or addressed,” he said. “We help them get on the right path in the classroom so they can graduate.”

One of the 2014 success stories
Eighteen-year-old Maddy Green of St. Cloud will walk onto the stage with her classmates in her cap and gown on Wednesday. When she transferred to Groves in her sophomore year, Maddy’s mother Ginny Green says her adopted daughter was skeptical that Groves would even feel like high school, but soon changed her mind. “They have Homecoming Week, they have prom—they have the traditional things that other high schools have,” she said. “It’s just that the numbers are a lot smaller so that your son or daughter can have the attention they need in the classroom. And that makes their self-esteem soar.

”Maddy’s rocky journey to success began in second grade, her mother says, when she and her husband Rick noticed their daughter struggled with the simplest memorization exercises. Many doctor appointments later, Ginny says Maddy was diagnosed with a long-term sleeper disorder, as well as learning disabilities caused by fetal alcohol syndrome. “Her IQ is normal,“ said Ginny. “The testing would show she had the ability to do the work, but yet she would be unsuccessful in class. She felt she was stupid.” After years of floundering in the school district’s special education classes which are designed primarily for kids with behavioral issues, Maddy was forced to drop out of high school to work with a tutor and be home schooled. But that wasn’t working either. “We found Groves through a doctor in the Twin Cities,” Ginny said, “after searching so many different places to find the right spot for Maddy.”

Maddy moved in with her aunt in Edina, just so she could attend Groves in St. Louis Park. Starting next fall, she’ll get help through special transition services in her home school district, so she can take college courses through St. Cloud State and St. Cloud Technical College. “For Maddy, I think that Groves has opened up a world of learning,” said her mom.

Among the 11 students who will graduate next Wednesday, June 4th, six will go on immediately to attend two-year and four-year colleges including: The University of Minnesota, North Hennepin Community College, St. Cloud Technical & Community College, and Dunwoody College of Technology. Three students will return to their home school districts for special programming to help them transition to college, while two students plan to work.

What: Groves Academy 2014 Commencement, open to all media outlets. **Great photo opportunities: a designated camera platform will be provided.

When: Tuesday, June 4th, begins at 8:00 p.m.

Where: Groves Academy, 3200 Hwy. 100, St. Louis Park

About Groves Academy
Groves Academy is a national leader and pioneer in educating students with learning disabilities and attention disorders, and is the only school of its kind in Minnesota. This premier 1-12 school in St. Louis Park was founded in 1972 and currently enrolls 240 students from Minnesota and across the U.S. Through research-based curriculum and personalized instruction, Groves Academy helps students with learning and attention disorders succeed in the classroom.

The school also functions as a key resource center in the Midwest, providing literacy training for teachers in more than 50 school districts and holding dozens of workshops annually for the public, attracting 5,000 attendees. Groves Academy provides diagnostic assessments for students from preschool-age to college, tutoring for 1-12 students, a summer school program for students from other districts and specialized college counseling for high school students and adults with learning and attention disorders.

John Alexander has been head of School at Groves Academy since 2005, and has expanded the school’s programs and community outreach to increase awareness of reading and learning disabilities. He was the 2009 recipient of the Star Literacy Award from the National Association for Reading First. Alexander also writes a weekly literacy blog, loaded with information about the latest research.

For more information about the innovative work at Groves Academy, visit To schedule interviews, contact media liaison Robb Leer 612.701.0608.

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