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The Midwest's only school solely dedicated to meeting the specific needs of twice-exceptional students.

Leah Brzezinski

Founder/Enrollment Coordinator/Team Leader

Leah was born in New York and has been living in Minnesota for the past 16 years. She has a B.A. in Elementary Education, a M.S. in Speech Language Pathology, and an Ed. D. in Child and Youth Leadership with a focus on special... (read more)

Leah Brzezinski's oldest son was struggling academically, socially, and emotionally at the end of fifth grade in a public school. Through testing and much exploration on her own she came to understand her son was a twice exceptional learner (2e). Twice exceptional students have unique learning profiles and often struggle in traditional educational settings. Many of these students have learning disabilities such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, auditory processing disorders and/or ADHD. They may also be two or three grade levels above in one subject area and/or have other incredible gifts, talents and knowledge.

Since 2e learners are above average in some subjects they may be viewed as unmotivated, lazy or not trying hard enough in the areas of their learning disabilities. As a result, they often struggle with self-esteem, self-advocacy, positive peer relationships, anxiety and a sense of belonging. These students are some of our nation's brightest and most innovative thinkers. With the appropriate support, they have the ability to reach their fullest potential and be significant contributors to their community, country and even possibly the world.

Leah is a speech pathologist and happens to have her doctoral degree in educational leadership with a focus on special education. As she explored programs for her son she found that there were only a few schools in the country that are designed to meet the needs of 2e learners. Since there were no 2e schools in the Midwest, Leah set out to start her own — and her mission was clear — provide a supportive and challenging environment for bright students who learn differently.

In 2014 Arete Academy opened its doors with four students and by January of 2015, the number of students had doubled to eight. Enrollment for 2015-2016 school year is currently at 21 students. The school is at capacity in its current space with very little advertisement and hopes to move into a larger space for the 2016/17 school year. Arete Academy provides a very low student to teacher ratio in a smaller quieter environment with individualized learning plans. Most recently, Arete secured a new space with incredible facilities and outdoor space and will be moving July, 2016.

Arete Academy's growth has been significant, especially in the areas of tutoring, evaluation, teacher training, consultation and speech/language therapy. Families are welcome to come for a tour Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10:30am.

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