In bright, sunny studios of Areté Music Academy, pupils take part in intensive curricula taught by professional musicians, discovering their abilities and dreaming of their futures. The school culls its faculty members from schools including the Juilliard and Yale. Students—as young as ages two or as old as a cave painting of a drum set—take part in specialized courses and camps. Private and group programs focus on topics such as a particular composer, an instrument, or a specific genre. Performance opportunities abound, too, in the concerts and ensembles fostered by the school.
With state certifications in students with disabilities, early-childhood, and childhood education as well as a master’s degree in education with a specialization in literacy, Stephen DeSerio puts his skills to use to help kids boost their confidence when it comes to learning. Using everything from one of 11 research programs to simple diet suggestions, he can help them improve test scores and study habits. In addition to his comprehensive tutoring services, he works as an applied-behavior analyst to assist parents in solving problems such as tantrums and communication skills, and helps minimize stress in the household.
Amid the school system's flurry of standardized benchmarks and test scores, it can be easy to forget that an education’s mission extends far beyond Scantrons and multiple-choice questions. Milestone Institute’s state-certified educators have this mission in mind every time they welcome a new student for tutoring. After a diagnostic test assesses each student's capabilities, educators craft a customized tutoring plan focused on coursework that's neither too easy nor too difficult. Students also receive focused attention in each intimate group session, learning about reading and writing and using that knowledge to understand why they should never say "'rithmetic.” Interim reports help instructors, parents, and students keep an eye on progress, highlighting achievements and identifying which academic areas still need work.