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The Gateway School, Mumbai

The Gateway School of Mumbai is a non profit school for students with learning disabilities. The school aims at providing greater access in helping students develop their knowledge, sense of understanding, creativity, skill and attitude required for them to grow as responsible citizens of tomorrow.

Students are taught to find their strengths, own their weaknesses as areas for growth, and to see the beauty in all others. In one example of how this is done, when students are proud of themselves, they are encouraged to write it on a paper and put it in their special jar to read when they feel powerless.

Students own their learning. They have a weekly self reflection discussion, named “Me As A Learner”. For example, the topic of one session was respect: who do we respect? How do we show respect? How do we know if we’ve been disrespectful, even when we didn’t mean to? Children are asked about their feelings and their actions so they can make changes to their learning and choices.

One homeroom teacher serves as a child’s advisor who oversees the child’s individualized program. The advisor, along with a multidisciplinary team of parents, teachers, therapists and students themselves, is responsible for identifying and prioritizing goals for the student. Every learner in the school has an Individualized Education Plan that includes the child’s academic and behavioral goals, one on one therapy sessions, and group placements thus ensuring that every student is able to acquire success in their academic life.

At Gateway, therapies are integrated with academics. The programs are designed to be developmentally appropriate and strategic for the future path of each child. In addition to a core curriculum, there is a homeroom specific curriculum. The homeroom curriculum is tailored to the needs of students in a particular homeroom. It addresses the foundational areas of Socio-emotional, Adaptive Skills development, Speaking and Listening, and Executive Function skills. Gateway proactively and explicitly teaches students age-appropriate skills related to self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making as these areas are pivotal to be successful in day-to-day lives.

At the core of the school culture lies the belief that all individuals have the capacity to learn and grow. Gateway uses a Circles of Support model where every single member of the community is essential. Gateway also extends care to learners and family that goes beyond the traditional charge of school. For example, during a very special “Bring a relative day” teachers, parents, students, all planted a tree in memory of a learners dad who died the past month and would have celebrated his birthday this same day.

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