It’s that time of year when schools across metro Detroit are recruiting and as WWJ’s Kathryn Larson finds out, one educational center is creating a unique learning environment to help all students thrive no matter the challenge.

It’s a typical day at Eton Academy.  Students are breaking for their next class and some are already fully involved in their daily lesson; like Brian Davey.

The senior is sitting in Chemistry class where he’s erasing the marks of his past learning disorders and labels like dyslexia and ADD.  Now the teen is creating his own bright new future  “It’s like a tree … when the tree roots find water and then all of a sudden, they just sprout up,” said Brian’s mother Jean Davey. “With Brian, that’s what it’s been like here …”

Just a few doors down, Davey speaks to prospective parents during one of the schools open houses.  The Huntington Woods mom says that without Eton, her son wouldn’t be going off to college next year.

“His last report card just came,” she said.”It was all A’s and B’s.  Just seeing his confidence grow and just his overall body language … it’s been an amazing transformation.”

So how does Eton do it?  Their Director of Advancement’s Blythe Moran knows it’s not an overnight miracle.  As she walks around with prospective parents, Moran says most stay at Eton between three and five years and a big part of Eton’s approach in the lower middle and upper school program is training self-advocacy so that students know what they need and know how to find help.  She says teaching that is what  breeds confidence.

“We’re laying the foundation for kids to succeed,” said Moran, “And really we feel the earlier that the kids come in the better because, we fill those holes of their educational needs so that they then can go on and be successful.

The other thing that happens is after a while, the kids’ self-esteem suffers because they know that their not learning at the same rate,” she said “And they know that they have a challenge.  And so that self-esteem, if we can take care of that, sometimes that’s the biggest, you know, learning difference there is.”

And the success of the program is evident on their college board.  In fact, 94 percent of those who attend Eton go onto college and Davey knows her son is a success story who’s on his way to college in the UP.   “… the rest is history,” she said, “The first year was … a little bit up and down as he got adjusted.  But this year has been just the most amazing senior year for him.  I’m very happy for him.”

The school has more than 200 students and costs $24,000 a year.  There are scholarships available.  For more information about the school click on here. 


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