History of TSS

The Southport School campus is located on 2.5 picturesque acres in the historic Southport village, steps from Southport's harbor. The main school building is housed in the former Pequot School Building on the same site where Southport’s elementary school and community center have stood since 1855. The classic brick building was erected in 1918, replacing an older wooden structure. In 2017, the School acquired the historic Southport Bank building, erected in 1865, to house its new arts, music, and movement programs and teacher training center.

Closed as a school in 1972, the historic Pequot School Building was acquired by the Southport Conservancy as a treasured landmark. The year 1985 saw its rebirth as a school when it was leased to TSS under the direction of founding Head of School Len Tavormina, who had successfully directed the School's Pilot Program in 1984. TSS holds a 99-year lease on the building.

Extensive renovations throughout the 1990s transformed the building’s interior into a model day school environment. Classrooms, tutorial rooms, offices, staff resource center, curriculum center, and spacious Tavormina Hall were all specially adapted to comfortably serve TSS' unique educational offerings.

Tavormina retired in 2012, making way for TSS’ second Head of School, Dr. Benjamin Powers, an educator with deep experience in language-based learning disabilities, like dyslexia, ADHD, and executive functioning differences. Under Dr. Powers’ leadership, TSS has aligned its program with the huge shifts happening in the learning difference community, thanks to burgeoning brain-based research. 

Since his arrival, TSS launched an updated elementary and middle school program for students in 2nd through 8th grade; focused on incorporating assistive technology into the program; integrated speech and language pathology; instituted an executive function coaching model; trained all current faculty in the Orton-Gillingham approach; and developed affiliations and partnerships with leading LD/ADHD organizations and research institutions. In 2017, TSS acquired the adjacent Southport Savings Bank property, transforming it into a vibrant space for the arts, music, and movement, as well as creating a space for professional development and training.

The Southport School is for children in grades 2nd-8th who struggle with language-based learning differences, like dyslexia, and ADHD.



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