Jemicy School and Notre Dame of Maryland University Partner


Teacher training is key to improving student outcomes

Jemicy School, which educates above-average to gifted college-bound students with dyslexia or other related language-based learning differences, is pleased to announce a new partnership with Notre Dame of Maryland University (NDMU).

Starting in the spring 2018 semester, NDMU will offer a new 12-credit graduate Dyslexia Certificate Program with courses developed by Megan McGowan, Head of Jemicy’s Lower School, and other administrators and master teachers.

This coursework, which will also touch on dysgraphia and dyscalculia, aligns itself with the Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading developed by the International Dyslexia Association (IDA). Upon completion, candidates will be prepared to take the IDA certification exam for classroom educators. Classes will be held at both the university and Jemicy School in Owings Mills.

“When we sat down with Jemicy, we wanted not just a course but a partnership,” said Sr. Sharon Slear, Dean of the Education School at NDMU. “We were impressed that Jemicy was the first school in the country to work on a pilot program for teacher training with the International Dyslexia Association. That says a lot in terms of the standards of their techniques and the programs that they are using to educate their students.”

“Our graduates are seeing an increase in students who have difficulties with reading,” added Slear. “Programs like these are badly needed, and these techniques will be able to train teachers to help anyone who has difficulty reading. Students may not have dyslexia, but they may need that extra help. These are the kinds of training tools that make you a better teacher.”

“This program excites me for many reasons. First and foremost, we will be teaching those on the ‘front line’ the skills and methods needed to be competent and effective teachers for students who learn differently,” said McGowan. “It is my belief that helping teachers to be diagnosticians in the classroom is the most impactful way to improve student outcomes.”

“We are very excited for this opportunity to partner with Notre Dame of Maryland University to offer this certificate program for teachers. The right teacher training is essential to helping all children learn to read,” said Ben Shifrin, Head of Jemicy School. “Teaching teachers the fundamentals will help all children, not just those with learning differences. We want students to not only meet but far exceed the standards, and we won’t stop until all children learn to read.”

NDMU will be offering four courses, one each in spring, summer, fall and the following spring. In addition to learning theory, the teachers will also have to be able to apply the techniques in the classroom. Once completed, the students receive a Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) graduate certificate in the exceptionality.

Slear adds that NDMU will also be using the basic ideas of the courses to train teachers in Haiti.

About Jemicy School

Jemicy School, founded in 1973, provides a highly individualized, flexible, and challenging education for above-average to gifted college-bound students with dyslexia or other related language-based learning differences. A recognized leader in the field of education, Jemicy is the first school in the country to be accredited by the International Dyslexia Association. Jemicy educates students between the ages of six and eighteen on two campuses. The Lower and Middle School and the Upper School are each based in Owings Mills, Maryland just a short distance from one another. For more information, please visit

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