The Einstein School was founded in 1998 by Dr. Tim Conway from The Morris Center and Zach Osbrach – a concerned citizen of Alachua County who himself had been diagnosed with severe dyslexia as a child. The impetus for starting the Einstein School occurred in the early 1990’s following a series of seminal events:
- The Morris Center published a paper in the Journal of Learning Disabilities in 1991 on the successful treatment of 6 children with severe dyslexia.
- An older adult with severe dyslexia participated free of charge in The Morris Center’s treatment program and also achieved highly successful results.
- In 1993 The Morris Center collaborated with Florida State University to complete two 5-year research investigations. Results from these studies began being published in professional journals and books in 1997, showing for the first time that it was possible to achieve successful treatment of dyslexia in 8 to 10-year-old children (these were children in the Alachua County School system who received free treatment services from The Morris Center during this research grant) AND that it was possible to prevent dyslexia in over 97% of 5-year-old children who were high-risk for developing dyslexia.
- Based on these research proven treatment methods used at The Morris Center, in 1998 Dr. Conway and Mr. Osbrach wrote the charter application to found the Einstein School – a specialized and free (no tuition) charter school for children in Kindergarten through sixth grade who were struggling to learn to read, write, spell, speak or comprehend English.
Unfortunately, many physicians, psychologists, speech-language pathologists, teachers and families were unaware of the research that supported the Einstein School. This lack of awareness of the importance of providing treatment as soon as possible, as well as not knowing that research proven treatment methods now existed to actually prevent dyslexia in high-risk children as young as 5-years-old lead to changes at Einstein School.
Despite community education efforts, the limited number of referrals of at-risk Kindergartens, struggling 1st graders and 2nd graders forced the Einstein School to close some of its most effective classes – Kindergarten, 1st & 2nd grades. However, 7th and 8th grades were then added to the school and a few years later the 2nd grade classroom was reinstated.
Currently, with the support of The Morris Center and Dr. Conway, the Einstein School has been providing a free, research-based education for over 100 children per year since enrolling its first students in 1999. What started as a determined and passionate interest in helping children with learning disabilities by Dr. Ann Alexander – who founded The Morris Center in 1986 – has grown into a highly dedicated and passionate group of staff, teachers, parents and community partners who over the past 14 years have provided more than 1,400 children with the chance to receive a truly research-based education to fully develop their reading, spelling and writing abilities at the Einstein School.