Marilyn Davis, director of Esther’s School in New Tampa, has openings for 30 exceptional students for the 2014/15 school year (starting in August 2014). Spaces are available to early applicants beginning in March. Esther’s School specializes in children with autism, Downs’ syndrome, ADHD and other learning differences.
“Each child receives individual attention, impossible in a public school,” says Marilyn. “We have one teacher for every four or five students. Our goal is to bring every child up to their full potential.” Some of Esther’s graduates have gone on to junior college.
“After receiving a number of requests for a school in the Tampa area, we found a wonderful location with the Saint James United Methodist Church,” says Marilyn. “St. James has a strong special needs ministry serving children and adults.”
Esther’s School is a Bible-based; Christian special needs school with a full curriculum covering all subject areas from kindergarten through 12th grade. “Each child is tested for proper placement with- in the curriculum,” says Marilyn. “Every child works at their own pace.” We work closely with each child to help them grow up to lead successful, independent lives.”
Esther Berry founded Esther’s School in February 2005. With little more than an unction and great concern for the education of differently abled children, Esther’s School was launched as a private coed Judeo-Christian School in St. Petersburg, Florida. In desperation to achieve better services for her own son diagnosed with Down Syndrome, Esther Berry took on the journey and formulated a place where others could join her in gaining exceptional curriculum development, counseling and tutoring for their child struggling to cope with classes in traditional educational institutions.
Esther’s son is now 22 and living independently as a fully functional adult with a job.
With modest beginnings, servicing only two students the first year, Esther’s School currently serves 90 students in four locations. St. James in New Tampa, starting Monday, February 3rd, will be the fifth location. Esther’s husband, Chris Berry, is traveling to Panama in February to oversee the opening of their sixth school. The pastor of a church in Panama sought out Esther to help him set up a special needs school.
Marilyn has worked with Esther’s school for eight years. “We’ve had children come into our school that wouldn’t come out from under their desk,” says Marilyn. “Within the first year, they’ve moved into active participation with the rest of the class. It truly is an exceptional school.”
Tuition has not been raised in seven years. The majority of the tuition is normally covered by the McKay scholarship program or the Florida Step-up program for lower income families. Esther’s School also offers a few scholarships to help parents with costs not covered by other programs on a first come, first serve basis.
Esther is committed to helping all children to learn and grow into healthy happy adults. A few years ago, Esther was instrumental in setting up three schools in Africa for AIDS orphans.
Esther’s New Tampa school is located at St. James United Methodist Church, 16202 Bruce B. Downs Blvd. You can call Marilyn Davis directly at (813) 454-8377 for an application or further information.
The main campus is located at the New Beginnings Nazarene Church in Pinellas Park. Currently, only the main campus offers a summer school program.
Additional schools are located at the Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Seminole, 5418 Madison Street, New Port Richey, and the Christian Retreat in Bradenton. Visit their website at EstherSchool.net.
– Mike Matthew
This story is a feature of the advertising department.