A parent alumnus at The Winston School shares story of her son’s success

Michelle DeMond with her son Robby at his graduation from The Winston School.

On Nov. 29, 1975, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was signed into law, giving all children with disabilities access to free and appropriate public education. The Education for All Handicapped Children Act protects children with learning disabilities, stating that they could not be denied due to their exceptional capabilities.

Though IDEA has since been revised many times, it is still the basis for special education law in the United States. IDEA defines disabled school children and their caregivers’ rights, provides guidelines for schools and families to work together, and ensures access to the supports and services that each child needs to succeed.

The Winston School in Del Mar offers hope to its students and families, many of whom have been discouraged by their efforts in the past. With The Winston School’s highly educated and experienced faculty’s guidance and support, 95% of its students pursue higher education after graduation.

Michelle DeMond is a Winston parent alumnus and is a true attestation to The Winston School program and its success. Michelle’s son, Robby, attended Winston from grades 7-12 grade and grew as a student into an exceptional young man.

When speaking about Robby, Michelle stated, “I had always heard that The Winston School was a great program for kids with learning disabilities and challenges. Other students that my son previously attended school with transferred to Winston and were thriving.”

Michelle continued by saying, “The Winston School provides each student with the necessary tools and opportunities to apply to college or go on to do whatever may be their interest. Robby was accepted to a California State University college.”

At The Winston School, each of its teachers has a masters of education in special education, making them, as Head of School, Dr. Dena Harris says, “exceptionally qualified.”

Michelle said, “I was in awe with the group of staff members The Winston School had put together. We received onsite occupational therapy, physical therapy, and counseling services from highly-experienced staff that my son knew he could always count on to be there for him.”

Mary Sterling-Torretti, assistant Head of School, helps students with SAT prep, college and post-secondary school counseling, and navigating the daunting school application process making sure the students reach their full potential while pushing them always to try harder.

“My student is now attending college and is doing great. He has a lot of self-confidence due to his years spent at Winston,” said Michelle. She continued by saying, “My student’s greatest success was the ability to learn how to adapt to different social situations so that he is now able to have healthy friendships and relationships.”

The Winston School staff is a group of caring and passionate individuals with one goal in mind; to help students succeed.

Michelle ends with, “I really appreciated the relationships we had with each staff member to ensure the success of our students. Our student overcame a lot of challenges that I never thought he could.” Visit www.thewinstonschool.org. — News release