About the Kildonan School

Our mission is to reveal and illuminate the strengths of individuals with dyslexia or language-based learning differences.

Headmaster Welcome

Dear Kildonan Friends and Family,

Six years ago, at Oregon State University, a team of scientists was trying to create a new substance that would be useful in making electronic devices. They combined the chemicals Yttrium, Iridium, and Manganese. When they heated up the combination, it didn’t remain its original brown color but unexpectedly yielded a brilliant, vivid blue color that the human eye had never seen before. They have named it YinMn Blue after those three elements: a completely new color that can’t be readily recognized in a photo and must be seen in person to understand its wholly novel quality. Read More

Our Campus

Nestled at the foothills of the Berkshires, situated on 150 beautiful acres 90 miles north of New York City. After exploring our campus, there are many other interesting places to discover within the area. We hope you enjoy your stay in and around The Kildonan School!

HOW we do it:

• In daily, one-to-one, diagnostic-prescriptive Orton-Gillingham tutoring sessions, we address students’ individual language needs.

• In small classes, we support students’ unique learning styles in all areas of the curriculum.

• Through being mindful of our interconnectedness with the planet and its inhabitants, we connect the present with the future, creating peaceful solutions to complex problems.

• Through challenging dyslexics of adventurous intellect to think critically and creatively, we prepare them for active, responsible citizenship in a democratic society.

WHO does it:

• A circle of students, faculty, staff, administrators, trustees, and parents who value PERSONAL GROWTH, RESPONSIBILITY, and INTEGRITY in order to engage constructively with the world.

WHY we do it:

• We believe in the diversity of the human brain and the vast potential of the dyslexic mind.

• We believe we can excel as human beings when we are supported physically, intellectually, and emotionally.

**The Kildonan School is a leading coeducational, independent, college preparatory school for students with dyslexia and language-based learning differences in grades 2 through 12/PG, with day and boarding options.

Our History

In 1980, Kildonan moved to its present home in Amenia, NY, in the foothills of the Berkshires. The 460 acre campus had been the site of Barlow School, and had several dormitories, a schoolhouse, a library, and an art building. In 1983 the summer program, Camp Dunnabeck, moved from Pennsylvania and became a part of The Kildonan School. Over time, with the support of the trustees, Kildonan was able to add a large boys’ dormitory, a girls’ dormitory, and an elementary building to house day students in grades 1 through 6.

In 2003, Kildonan was accredited by the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators (AOGPE) both as a training site and as a school providing the appropriate education for dyslexic students. The following year, Camp Dunnabeck was accredited as well. Read More

The Kildonan Crest

An article written by Kildonan co-founder Diana Hanbury King in 1982.
“The crest, which you will see a lot of, has been carefully designed by several of us to be a symbol of the school.

The stripe is Scottish, and has appeared on our stationary since the founding of the school. It serves as a reminder that the name Kildonan is of Scottish origin. There is a Kildonan castle — one of the few places in Scotland where gold has been found. But the school is not called after that. I actually named it after my uncle’s farm in South Africa. And the farm’s connection with the castle? For a long time, and for all I know they may still exist, there was a fleet of “Castle” ships plying between England and Capetown. The original owner of the land named it for the ship on which he had come out: The Kildonan Castle. My uncle, unable to manage the academic work at Osborne, the naval academy, was sent to Rhodesia to seek his fortune. Of course he was dyslexic, and as you might guess, became a very successful farmer.

The dyslexic K we have used for a long time, first, in a ring, then as part of a stained glass window some students designed. I hope that the reversed image will remind people that switching things around is an advantage in many activities, including art, architecture, engineering, photography, and design.

But what we want most of all for our students is that they should develop confidence and courage. We wish them to set forth confidently, flying high, and in charge of the lives and destinies.” 

Meet Our Faculty, Staff & Board of Trustees

It’s our faculty, staff and Board of Trustees that make our mission to build the strengths of our students a reality. Their commitment and dedication to the Kildonan School is what makes it a special place to be.

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