Next year, our students will begin the 2018-2019 school year in a brand new, state of the art facility, a new building designed with the unique needs of our student body in mind. A beautiful space filled with natural light, space to play, learn and continue getting the individualized attention they have come to expect from our Spero staff.
Sometimes, we have to pinch ourselves when we think about how far we have come since our humble beginnings in 2004 under the name Fraser Academy.
How it All Began
Prior to 2004, Fraser was an existing program offering inclusive preschool and early interventions, however, after preschool, these kids had minimal options for grade schools that would support the style of learning they had grown accustomed to.
Parents and faculty put their heads together to establish the concept of Fraser Academy, they applied for the charter and it was accepted. On September 4, 2004, Fraser Academy was officially in session for its first year.
Fraser Academy operated for ten years until July of 2015. On July 1 of that year, Spero Academy was born. In addition to the fact that Fraser no longer wanted to authorize any charter schools, we had the desire to make Spero its own entity. While Fraser was focused on children with autism, specifically, our goal became to serve all students with special needs.
Spero is Latin for “I hope,” and this felt like the perfect name for our school. “At Spero, we are full of hope for what we can give our students,” says our Operations Coordinator, Diane James. “We’re confident everyone can have a great learning experience here.”
Beyond changing our name, we have seen other significant changes in our nearly fourteen-year history. In the beginning, Spero only offered education through third grade. However, parents of our students were expressing concern that they did not have anywhere they felt comfortable sending their students until junior high that would offer them the support they received at Spero. We’re now happy to offer education through sixth grade.
Additionally, in the early years, we got by with just one resource room for the entire school. Since then, our program expansion has quadrupled. We have three onsite speech language pathologists, 3 occupational therapists and one music therapist. We truly believe that we have some of the most highly qualified staff available, and their passion for the students is unmatched.
Going Beyond the Books
Another aspect of how we support our students that has evolved over the years is offering a focus on students’ social development. As our staff has grown, we have been able to support this crucial area of growth for our kids that goes beyond what we’re “required” to teach them in a text book.
We offer weekly classes run by our speech language pathologists that focus strictly on social skills and development. These classes help our students regulate their emotions and behaviors, helping them ground themselves when they may be feeling anxious or out of control.
These are the types of offerings that set Spero apart and make it a truly special place for your child. As we look towards the future, we are so excited for everything that’s yet to come, starting with our big move in August!