Wolcott School Winter 2013 Newsletter
An Update from Wolcott School

Exciting New Developments

The Pearl H. Rieger Scholarship Fund 
Wolcott School is honored to announce the formal dedication of The Pearl H. Rieger Scholarship FundA passionate, tireless advocate for children and adults with learning differences and educational challenges, both her guidance and wisdom have been instrumental in shaping the vision and mission of Wolcott. We are thrilled to honor Pearl in this way.

Gifts to the fund will help ensure the diversity of Wolcott's student body, a central tenet of our mission. Thanks to our generous supporters, close to $650,000 of our $2 million goal for tuition assistance has been committed thus far.
The Pearl H. Rieger Scholarship Fund will be dedicated at our Founders Celebration on April 30. To learn more about the event or to make a contribution to support tuition assistance, please contact

Now Accepting Applications for 9th and 10th grade students
"We were very impressed with what we learned about the school, its curriculum and its approach to students...most importantly, we appreciated hearing about the mission - there is nothing more important...than our children and sharing with them all the tools to be successful in life."
~ Michael S., parent of prospective 9th grade student

We encourage you to begin the application process today in order to meet the priority deadline of March 20. Download the application at and schedule a visit. Make sure to check out the Chemistry Lab- you'll love it!

Head of School Happenings-
Dr. Miriam Pike

As I walk through our school, I see our beautiful facility nearing completion. Next month we will be moving the Wolcott office into the school building! We hope you will join us on March 10th for our Open House.
Recently, I attended the ISACS Heads of Schools Conference in Chicago. As I listened to Yong Zhao’s keynote presentation, Catching Up or Leading the Way: American Education in the Age of Globalization, I could not hold back my smile when he described individual differences as valuable assets in the age of globalization. So, how do you design a college prep literacy curriculum that incorporates the common core and college readiness standards while promoting creativity, innovation and confidence for students with learning differences? That is a question being answered by the Wolcott School Literacy Curriculum Team. Our core team members include Dr. Doris Johnson, JoAnne G. and Peter F. Dolle Professor Emerita in Learning Disabilities at Northwestern University; Dr. Joe Ruggiero, Head of the Upper School at Francis W. Parker School and member of the Wolcott School Professional Advisory Council; Beth Ahlgrim, current English Department Chair at Deerfield High School and former faculty member at Stevenson High School; and Dawn Bryson, Learning Specialist and Special Education Department Chair at Deerfield High School.
The admissions committee is delighted by the feedback we are getting from families of our inaugural class. One family described receiving their acceptance letter as a “You Tube moment” while another shared, “You have no idea what this means in our house…tears and smiles abound!" Wolcott School is changing lives already. 

Transition Planning for Wolcott Students: Q & A With Marybeth Kravets, Wolcott's College Counselor

Marybeth Kravets is a well known and respected professional in the world of college counseling, post-secondary planning and educational consulting. She is the noted co-author of The Princeton Review/Random House book The K&W Guide to College Programs & Services for Students with Learning Disabilities or AD/HD, 11th edition 2012 and was Past President of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC). Ms. Kravets brings her extensive network and years of experience and passion to Wolcott School as the College Counselor and an integral member of the Wolcott team. 
Q: Wolcott is admitting 9th and 10th graders in the fall. Is that too soon to start working with a college counselor?
A: Wolcott's mission is to prepare its students for success in college and beyond. Transition planning, the foundation for such success, begins the first day a student walks into Wolcott.

Q:How will colleges know about Wolcott? 
A: Through my 35 years of experience, I am familiar with innumerable colleges. Starting in fall 2013, I will introduce colleges to Wolcott and invite them to visit the school, attend classes, meet students and view first hand the amazing education and extra-curricular opportunities available to Wolcott students. 

For more information, please contact Marybeth at

James Tyree Community Resource Center

The James Tyree Community Resource Center is a premier resource for developing and sharing strategies, best practice and research in the field of learning disabilities and differences.

We are pleased to announce our first event as host of a highly regarded program for college students with learning differences.

April 19: Host for the University of Arizona SALT (Strategic Alternative Learning Techniques) Program
Attendees will learn about college support programs and meet with SALT program and admissions staff. 

Wolcott Events

Wolcott Preview Tour for Professionals   
During the month of January, close to 100 educators and therapists visited Wolcott School for an informational session and tour. Professionals from Chicago and suburban communities learned about the academic and extra curricular opportunities available to students, viewed a demonstration on Promethean Boards and even tested out the new furniture! It was a great opportunity to connect with colleagues and share in the excitement.

Upcoming Events

March 10: Wolcott Open House, 2pm
For admitted and prospective families and professionals; contact 

April 30: Founders Celebration
Announcing the dedication of The Pearl H. Rieger Scholarship Fund;

May 7: The Big Picture, Movie Screening and Discussion

Links From Around the Web

Thank You To All of Our Generous Donors
Click here to view our donor list

School Leadership

Dr. Miriam Pike
Founding Head of School

Dr. Shelley Clark
Business Manager

Rachel P. Spiro
Director of Admissions

Marybeth Kravets
College Counselor

Board of Trustees 

George Gaines, President
Jeff Aeder
Heidi Albert
Sheryl Bellick
Bruce Halbeck
Eric Henschel
Jennifer Levine
Don Monroe
Conor O'Neil
Jamie Diamond Schwartz
Howard Sharfman
Nancia Shawver
Eve Tyree

Professional Advisory Council 

Pamela B. Adelman, PhD
Former Executive Director
Hyde Park Day School

Mary Ellen Caron, PhD
Chicago Department
of Family and Support Services

Jane Herron, MEd
Former Head of School
Bernard Zell Anshe Emet
Day School

Ghita A. Lapidus,

Speech, Language and Learning Disabilities Specialist;
Independent College Consultant

Josh Price, EdD
School Psychologist;
Psychoeducational Diagnostician 

Peter Rastrelli, EdD
School Psychologist

Pearl H. Rieger, MA
School Psychologist;
Psychoeducational Diagnostician

Warren D. Rosen, PhD
Clinical Psychologist; Assistant Professor in Pediatrics and
Behavioral Sciences,
Rush Medical University

Joseph J. Ruggiero, PhD
Head of Upper School
Francis W. Parker School

Alyse R. Siegel, MEd
Private Learning Specialist

Carol Sonnenschein,

School Psychologist
Psychoeducational Diagnostician

Joanne Steinbeck, MEd
Former LD Teacher
Board Member 
Hyde Park Day School and
The Sonia Shankman Orthogenic School


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