Arrowsmith Program

The Arrowsmith Program helps students strengthen the weak cognitive capacities underlying their learning dysfunctions. This helps to enable them to become effective, confident and self-directed learners for life. Our educational approach empowers our students to pursue their academic understanding with dedication and originality.

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Our students at The Arrowsmith Program at Alliance Charter Academy are ideally ages 9 -18 year old.

Class time: Monday - Thursday 8:00am - 2:30pm, 6 periods.
AM - (4) periods of the cognitive Arrowsmith classes will be offered in the morning.
PM - (2) periods in the afternoon Math and Language Arts support.

Suitable Children: Students entering Arrowsmith School have ordinarily been experiencing a range of problems including

  • Reading, writing, mathematics
  • Comprehension and attention
  • Visual and auditory memory
  • Auditory processing
  • Dyslexia
  • Non-verbal learning

The program is appropriate for students who have learning difficulties ranging from mild to severe, including those who are experiencing difficulty with just one or with several subject areas and those who have been identified with a learning disability as well as those who have not been formally identified. The Arrowsmith Program Cognitive Profile Questionnaire is a useful tool to help parents and students determine whether the learning issues experienced are those addressed through the Arrowsmith Program.

The Arrowsmith Program is a suite of cognitive programs designed to address a range of specific learning difficulties. The programs target 19 areas of cognitive functioning involved in learning.

The Arrowsmith Program is designed for students who are of average or above average intelligence and who have one or more of the learning dysfunctions that are described in the Chart of Learning Dysfunctions and Learning Outcomes.

Denise Dille has a bachelor's degree in elementary education from Western Oregon University. Denise worked at John McLoughlin as a reading specialist assigned to students with autism, has multiple years of experience working with EDS and was an Education Specialist for Alliance Charter Academy. Her interest in the Arrowsmith program began with her own personal research seeking help for children with neurological deficits.This came about after several years of supporting her son through his neurological challenges, and identifying alternative ways to best facilitate his emotional and academic growth.As an Arrowsmith teacher and a parent, Denise is dedicated to this unique approach in neuroplasticity and brain development.

Kristin Meier has worked with students in the Arrowsmith Program at Alliance Charter Academy since its inception in 2014. For two years, she was an instructional July of 2016 received her certification as an Arrowsmith teacher. Kristin has worked within the Oregon City school district as an assistant in the resource rooms in addition to acting as an individual assistant to students in standard classrooms. She home-schooled her own children for 12 years, providing an individualized tailored education to meet the needs of each of her children.

New Hope: 60 Minutes Video. Many times parents have exhausted their search and support for a program to help their child with specific learning disabilities.This broadcast is a great introduction to Arrowsmith Program and how it can help their child who may struggle in areas as visual and auditory memory, non-verbal learning, logical reasoning, executive function, attention, or dyslexia. This broadcast lets you see inside the classroom of an Arrowsmith classroom, hear testimonials from parent and child who were grateful to find Arrowsmith Program. Founded in Toronto Canada in 1978, Arrowsmith Program now reaches across the globe. Schools in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and USA and still growing. We are proud to provide this program to the Pacific Northwest and bring Arrowsmith Program to Alliance Charter Academy in Oregon City, OR.

Barbara Arrowsmith Young, founder of Arrowsmith Program established in 1978 out of Toronto Canada. Arrowsmith Program is a cognitive learning program for children with specific learning disabilities, addressed on our website Barbara holds a B.A.Sc. in Child Studies from the University of Guelph, and a Master's degree in School Psychology from the University of Toronto (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education).

Video from April 21, 2016. Barbara Arrowsmith talks at Google discussing her book "The Woman Who Changed Her Brain". She also shares about Arrowsmith Program and how it strengthens areas of cognitive weakness that affect learning.

"Keegan has always been a thoughtful boy, but didn't really relate to his surroundings, almost in his own little world. He would communicate, but now he communicates non-stop. When in a room with others he is present and now aware of his surroundings. He even initiates conversations and holds them, which he hadn't done before. Keegan is improved in all aspects of his education, but mostly has found his identity. Specialists said Keegan may not read, do long division or excel but he has; he has proven them all wrong. We love the results we have seen and continue to see and we give much of that credit to The Arrowsmith Program. It has changed our life and the life of our son" ~ Cary (Keegan is in his 4th year and will graduate The Arrowsmith Program 2018)

"Our son has been part of the program since it came to Alliance Charter Academy in 2014. We became aware of the program when we were seeking options to help our son with school. He had been on an IEP since Kindergarten. He was on an IEP due to autism, speech and language disorder, until finally labeling him SLD (special learning disorder). Upon our research of the Arrowsmith program, we quickly identified where he was struggling and how the Arrowsmith Program could help.

He suffered from an inability to participate or follow along with conversations, difficulty putting words to paper, and low reading comprehension. He had difficulty speaking and spoke very little because his speech was slow and labored. He hated reading and struggled in math. We were told we needed to start planning life skills for him and his potential to be self-sustaining was low.

Today, our son is completing his 4th year. He talks non-stop. He tells stories from events years ago when we thought he wasn't mentally aware of his surroundings. He's now able to read and learn from reading and can write basic stories. He's happy and finally able to express himself verbally and in written form. We are working on getting his driver's license and already had his first job. He can handle multi step instructions, which his ability to do that was nonexistent three years ago.

Additionally, we would like to share two of our favorite stories since enrolled in The Arrowsmith Program.

We were all siting around the dinner table one night and our son started to chime in on the conversation. He was able to contribute to the topic being discussed, laugh when we did, and actually share memories from the time we were discussing. My husband and I were so moved, we didn't realize that even through the years he couldn't talk with us, he was listening and present. His brain just wasn't able to communicate his memories. This was six months after being in the program.

We were standing in line at Starbucks, our son asked me about the topic on the front page of the newspaper. He gave me his opinion of what he thought, we shared comparative ideas, and then he came to his own conclusions regarding the topic (which was about motorcycles and safety). The whole time we were talking I was holding back tears. He was reading, he understood what he read, he showed interest in the topic, and he wanted to talk to me about it. This was the day I was completely sold on Arrowsmith and what it can do for students struggling to learn. This happened in year two of the Arrowsmith Program." ~ Parents (Their son is in his 4th year and will graduate The Arrowsmith Program 2018)

Michelle McHone
Program Administrator

Michelle McHone is the liaison between The Arrowsmith Program and the Arrowsmith classroom teachers. Michelle is an amazing advocate to have for a child who may struggle with learning disabilities and can help find solutions to further their education.

The Arrowsmith Program at Alliance Charter Academy believes education is not "one-size-fits-all". The Arrowsmith Program provides students with an individualized cognitive program to address their unique needs. Students participate in exercises that strengthen the spectrum of weak cognitive capacities associated with learning difficulties.

Our staff at The Arrowsmith Program have a mission to provide a classroom experience which supports a positive and nurturing environment in which students feel safe and comfortable as they work through their own challenges. Our goals as Arrowsmith teachers are to help develop creative ways in which students stay focused and motivated to complete the repetitive workload the program requires and maintaining a sense of family unity in our small classroom while empowering our students to become independent learners.

More Information

Arrowsmith Program
Arrowsmith Program
16075 Front St
Oregon City, OR 97045





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