Ability School is a private, independent school that treats children as unique individuals. With small classes and a proficiency-based curriculum, students work on individual programs tailored to their abilities and interests. “All students work at their own pace, so if they’re strong in a particular area they will move on to new challenges, whereas if they need a little more help mastering something they will get the support they need,” says Headmistress Joan Marrazzo.

Founded in the late 1970s, Ability School is now in its 36th year in Englewood, where it offers families an alternative to traditional teaching for children in pre-K through eighth grade. Many Ability School students begin reading at age four thanks to its robust reading, vocabulary and comprehension curriculum. The curriculum grows with students throughout the program in all subjects, and focuses on both competency and study skills.

“Our goal is for students to master their material—not memorize it—so that they can articulate what they’ve learned and apply that understanding to real-life situations,” Marrazzo says. “Our approach creates self-determined and independent students with a love of learning.”

The school continues its efforts to give back to the community, from organizing food drives to hosting park cleanups. Ability School also partners with local non-profit organizations to help benefit community members in need.

“We have a strong sense of community here, and that extends beyond the walls of our school,” Marrazzo says. “But the relationship forged between the parent, student and school is of the utmost importance to us.”

75 Knickerbocker Rd., Englewood