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"Whatever an education is, it should make you a unique individual, not a conformist; it should furnish you with orginial spirit with which to tackle the big challenges; it should allow you to find values which will be your road map through life; it should make you spirtually rich, a person who loves whatever you are doing, wherever you are, whomever you are with; it should teach you what is important, how to live and how to die."

               -John Gatto

Letter From the Founder/Director
Andrea Shoap


 The White Clay School is an accredited DIR (Developmental Individual-differences Relationship- based) nonpublic school. We have, for the past 30 years, offered an individualized and therapeutic-based education for neurodiverse school-aged children.  Our uniquely dynamic teaching team, which includes our certified teachers, counselors, therapists and DIR practitioners, design a emotionally-based developmental program for each of our unique students to support their emotional/ communicative developmental level. Through fostering natural experiences, play, trust, and the desire to communicate, we seek to tap into the child's level of emotional regulation, language and executive function development. Our team can then collectively, create a rich, therapeutic and engaging  environment for each child to grow into happy, thinking , connected, creative, problem solving, empowered independent people. 

"Always remember that you are absolutely unique, just like everybody else. "

Margaret Mead

It is our mission at The White Clay School to:

  • View each child as a unique individual and create a developmentally appropriate learning program for them, which will identify their Functional Emotional Developmental Capacity,  and allow them to thrive in their emotional/social/academic development.

  • Through the framework of  Developmental Individual-differences Relationship- based (DIR/Floortime) and Trauma Crisis Intervention (TCI) , view each child's outward behaviors as manifestations of a person's internal bodily processes, perceptions, emotions, thoughts and intentions.    

  • Eventually develop "top down" thinking in each our our students so they may grow into teenagers and adults who have intentional control over behaviors and impulses and will then reflect on actions and pursue long term goals. 

We invite you to come visit our school and meet our diverse population of kids, as well as our talented staff, to see for yourself the magic and possibilities that are happening in education every day.


Andrea Shoap DIR-Advanced

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