Our Mission

Unlock the Potential. The Pilot School's mission is to uncover the unique educational challenges of each student and to give each child the specific developmental tools, guidance, and attention needed to learn, achieve, and ultimately to feel comfortable and be successful in the academic environment that is most appropriate.

Pilot's Belief Statements - Unlock The Potential

  • Each student is a valued individual with unique physical, social, emotional, and intellectual needs.
  • Students learn in different ways and should be provided with a variety of instructional approaches to support their learning.
  • Curriculum and instructional practices should incorporate learning activities to accommodate differences in learning styles.
  • A small group setting is fundamental in meeting our students’ learning needs.
  • Students’ self-esteem is enhanced by positive relationships and mutual respect among and between students and staff.
  • Students who participate in service-oriented activities within the school and world community develop a greater sense of compassion for others and a better understanding of their roles in society.
  • Students learn best when they are actively engaged in the learning process.
  • Students benefit from the understanding of their individual strengths and weaknesses.
  • Appropriate placement, upon transition from The Pilot School, is an important factor in our students’ continuing educational experiences.
  • A collaborative community of home and school fosters a safe, supportive environment where children can thrive.
  • A commitment to continuous improvement is imperative if our school is going to enable students to become confident and independent lifelong learners.

The Pilot School Difference: Learning How To Learn

Just as every human being is unique, so are the programs designed for intellectually capable children who need an individualized, therapeutic learning environment to build basic academic skills, independence, and age appropriate problem solving skills.

In 1957, the Pilot School began as an educational experiment. A class of five young boys and two teachers met in two rooms at the Christ Church Sunday School in Greenville, Delaware. They started with an innovative program that proved to be so successful that teachers and parents recognized this "pilot" program must become an established, ongoing school. Pilot has grown into a teacher-designed facility with 50 staff members educating approximately 160 students yearly, ages 4-14 years.

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The school was founded to provide custom designed, flexible curricula for children with language-based learning problems. With a student-to-teacher ratio of five to one, Pilot has created and constantly improves its programs to help children with reading, writing, spelling, mathematics, speaking, and listening skills. Speech, language, mathematics, reading, occupational, physical, and music therapies along with adaptive and regular physical education, counseling, social skills programs, technology, assistive technology, science, and social studies are offered. Individualized, small group, and some larger transition level group settings are part of the custom designed approach for every child. Character education is a fundamental emphasis in the overall program.

Research based educational materials are chosen according to a child's strengths. Because we all learn best through our stronger channels, they serve to anchor the hard work necessary to build basic foundation skills in areas of weakness. Pilot is about what is right with a child, and beginning with positive focus on what a student is able to do, the starting point for work in different areas is determined. Confidence and self-esteem are byproducts of success. Therefore, under the non-judgmental protection of an ungraded setting, beginning where the child is solid means building on bedrock. Then, step by step, each child is given the time and the help needed to move forward at his or her own pace. A multi-sensory approach helps to reach all learning channels and builds the strong foundation that can be relied upon through thick and thin, along with realistic self awareness.

Using a holistic educational model, each child's program is custom designed and is regularly adapted to reflect and support a child's growing skills and needs. Ongoing communication among teachers, parents, and students is essential to maximize the Pilot School experience. It is vital to the mission of the school to challenge areas of strength that our students demonstrate. It is not uncommon for children in our program to become successful above their actual grade level in certain subjects. Talents and abilities discovered are areas to foster continued growth and to celebrate.

A fully developed placement program that includes psychological, educational, and two types of yearly standardized testing allows us to document any ongoing needs and helps us to make recommendations for a child's next school. Please refer to the placement section of this website to see the lists of schools Pilot School students have successfully moved on to over the past ten years and to learn more about the function of this vitally important program.

We hope you are inspired to learn more about Pilot School and will not hesitate to contact us at any time to discuss the needs of your child.