Headmaster’s Welcome

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

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.

What a perfect metaphor for what a Kildonan education yields for its students and families. You have to experience it in person to see what our three elements produce when combined: 1-to-1 Orton-Gillingham tutoring, an IB college-prep curriculum, and confidence-building athletics and community service programs. Kildonan, the only boarding school in the world dedicated solely to cognitively strong students with dyslexia, has become a model for day and boarding programs not just in the U.S. but abroad as well. The expert training that our teachers receive from the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators and from International Baccalaureate distinguish them as a team of professionals uniquely prepared to change your son or daughter’s life for the better. Along the way, the student receives expert training in how to use assistive technology and preparation for the SAT and ACT by practitioners well-attuned to the needs and possibilities of the dyslexic mind. All of our staff, including our equestrian faculty and certified skiing instructors, help draw out and further the talents that each of our students possesses, but may not be aware of, upon arriving. As students gain more confidence in the later grades, many of them pursue the option of the Edge Program, in which they select research topics of great interest to them and of their own choosing, gaining credits in Literature, Science, and History for that faculty-guided independent course of study. In those same last two years, students also benefit from a dedicated, in-house college counselor who gets to know them well and who links them to college programs that match their abilities and goals, yielding a 100% 4-year college acceptance rate for our graduates.

This welcome to our school and to our campus, which includes 150 acres of forested land on which our students ride mountain bikes and horses, may seem to promise more than one school could deliver, and so I strongly encourage you to visit and see for yourself. As in the case of YinMn Blue, you have to witness it personally to see how extraordinary it is.

—Kevin Pendergast
Head of School