Gail Swift, a talented, passionate educator of dyslexic students founded Swift School in 1998 after a long teaching career at the Schenck School in Atlanta. Gail was encouraged to start the school by Josie Redwine, an adoption lawyer and mother of a dyslexic daughter who became Gail’s partner in the enterprise.
Swift School began modestly with Gail teaching five students in a rented basement room in a church in Marietta. While Gail taught, Josie worked to expand enrollment and formed the corporate structure that Swift operates by today.
Word spread about what this amazing school was doing and other teachers and students came to join Gail. The school grew quickly—from five students in 1998-99 to eight in 1999-2000, 10 in 2000-2001, and 20 in 2001-2002. Today, 20 years after its founding, Swift School serves approximately 180 students annually.
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.
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 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.
Swift School currently serves students in 1st through 8th grade in two divisions, lower and middle. 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.
Scott Frank, Chairman of the Board
Scott Conner, Vice Chair
Josie Redwine, Secretary
Michael Wright, Treasurer
John F. Green
Linda van den Berg Herndon
G. Scott Kilburn
Sue M. Straeter, Ed.D
Robert Gray, Emeritus
Jeff Kudlata, Emeritus
Richard Phillips, Emeritus
Gail Swift, Emerita