Mission & History

Mission

The Swift School prepares students with dyslexia and related language-based learning differences to be successful in life.

Swift's Five-Point Promise

1. Students are embraced for who they are and the potential they possess.

2. Dyslexia is viewed through the lens of leading-edge brain-science and seen as a brain-type with great advantages.

3. Teachers use multi-sensory methods, customized to each student’s learning style and proven to achieve success with dyslexia.

4. Swift is a collaborative community of nurturing teachers, therapists and families working together to guide each student’s journey.

5. Students emerge as academically prepared and confident individuals, enthusiastic about learning and skilled in self-advocacy.


History

A Passion for Dyslexic Students

Gail Swift, a talented, passionate educator of dyslexic students founded the Swift School in 1998 after a long teaching career at the Schenck School in Atlanta.

Swift School began modestly with Gail teaching five students in a rented basement room in a church in Marietta. Word spread about what this amazing teacher was doing and other teachers and students came to join her.

Focused on the Whole Child

Gail's philosophy was simple—build a school for teaching students with dyslexia and language learning differences that addressed the whole child. She envisioned a school with a nurturing learning environment, a compassionate teaching style, small class sizes and proven instructional techniques including Orton-Gillingham. As a result of this approach, the school experienced sustained and steady growth educating dyslexic students.

In 2006, Swift School relocated to its current location in Roswell. The move provided room for expanded programming and the needed space to keep pace with the growing numbers of students Swift School was serving.

Strengths-Based Approach

From its founding, Swift School has been dedicated to the mission of teaching students with dyslexia and language-based learning differences. The educational philosophy that supports this mission is programming that encourages the development of the whole child – academically, socially, emotionally, and physically. This holistic approach includes a comprehensive learning environment that systematically addresses a student's individual language needs within a rich and stimulating academic program which seeks to identify and develop strengths.

Present

Swift School currently serves more than 260 students and includes both a lower and middle division. Swift's tremendous growth over the past two decades stems from both an increased awareness of dyslexia, which affects up to 20% of students and is the most common language related learning difference, as well as an increased awareness of how a school solely dedicated to teaching students with this difference can improve academic outcomes. More is known about dyslexia and the dyslexic student’s educational needs than ever before. Current research points not to just the weaknesses but also the incredible strengths of the dyslexic mind. Dyslexia is not a deficit, but in many ways, can be an advantage in thinking.

"We know that many of the world’s greatest thinkers are dyslexics; we also know school was not easy for most of them." - Gail Swift

Swift educators understand and appreciate the struggles and challenges of dyslexia. They are trained to unlock the mysteries of language while also recognizing the unique strengths of the dyslexic mind. At Swift, students gain the keys to unlock language, build courage, and are prepared for the next step in their educational journey. Swift School is a joyful place where courage and success are crucial outcomes.

Gail Swift’s legacy is seen daily in the smiling faces of Swift’s students.

Swift Timeline

1998

Founded with 5 students in Marietta by Gail Swift.

2006

Relocated to Roswell.

2006

Gail Swift retired.

2009

Received $100,000 marketing grant from Matchstic for rebranding.

2010

Roswell Campus renamed (Manley Campus) in honor of long-time supporter Cindi Manley.

2011

Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and the Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS).

2011

Gained membership in the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS).

2011

Middle Division launched for grades 6-8.

2012

Fine Arts building opened on the Manley Campus.

2013

Graduated first 8th grade class.

2014

North Star Strategy Plan launched to guide Swift School to 2020.

2016

Acquired 18 acres for a second campus in Roswell.