The Journey of TSS
Similar to our very own students' journeys, The Southport School has been on a strong path of growth to fulfill its potential.
Thirty-five years ago, we began as a fledgling school led by the strong leadership of founding headmaster Leonard Tavormina, residents of the Southport community, and the programmatic and leadership support of Eagle Hill School in Greenwich, Connecticut, which is how we formed our original name, Eagle Hill-Southport. With the success of our Pilot Program in 1984, it was shortly thereafter that we became autonomous of Eagle Hill, and established our own identity, curriculum, governing structure, individualized programs, and foundation in the Southport community that has remained resolute.
A Deeper Look Into Our Purpose
In 2012, Dr. Benjamin N. Powers was appointed as the school’s second headmaster, and in a collaborative effort with the Board of Directors, faculty and staff, and various community members, they endeavored to ask challenging but important questions about the school’s strengths, opportunities for growth, its vision, and mission. The process fostered deep conversation and helped TSS identify its purpose in the LD community, its connection to and partnership with professionals in the field, and, most importantly, defined what success looks like for the school's students, their families, and the greater school community.
In 2017, the school adopted a new name, The Southport School, in recognition of its unique strengths and strong presence in the LD/ADHD community and from the strong support of residents and businesses in the historic Southport Village.
2018 Renovations on Main Street
In the spring of 2018, the Board of Directors at The Southport School announced the completion of its new building renovation for the recently acquired property 226/228 Main Street that was purchased in April 2017. The new building’s location is adjacent to the original Pequot School and was formerly home to the Southport branch of People’s United Bank. The new building is the school’s Main Entrance on campus and features two of its largest student learning spaces including an Art, Music and Movement classroom, a Communications Center, and newly launched Southport CoLAB. The School began renovations on the building in May 2017 in collaboration with Peterman Architects, Inc. and C.E. Floyd Company Inc.
The Southport CoLAB
This fall of 2018 we officially introduced The Southport School's newest initiative -- The Southport CoLAB. The CoLAB provides the highest quality programs in training for professionals, educators, and families using a collaborative, partnership-based approach with like-minded organizations and experts in the field. Our mission is to integrate research, practice, and advocacy to effect positive outcomes for people with learning and attention issues. We currently offer three specialized training programs: structured literacy, executive functioning, and assistive technology. The Southport CoLAB is proud to be an Orton-Gillingham Training Program, accredited by the Orton-Gillingham Academy.
The Challenges Surrounding a Pandemic
Despite the many obstacles with the current pandemic, we have successfully kept our current students on-campus with in-person learning throughout this 2020-2021 academic year. Our management and response to the COVID-19 protocols mandated last spring allowed us to open our doors in the fall for our 116 students. Recognizing the immediacy to make changes, in the spring of 2020, we hired NYC-based Perkins Eastman, a global architecture firm with specific experience helping organizations respond to health-related emergency circumstances like our current health crisis. The core area of focus for TSS was to create instructional and common spaces that adhered to the CDC standards related to social distancing and safety for all students, faculty, staff, and visitors while on campus. We also created a COVID-19 Response Team to oversee all CDC and Fairfield Department of Health regulations and guidelines.
The combination of these structural changes with the mandated COVID-19 protocols as part of our “new normal” of daily routines have allowed us to open for the 2020-2021 academic year with all intentions to remain open until the last day of school in June. We’re very proud of this accomplishment as we check off our 100th day of school celebration in February 2021.
Welcome to The Southport School
On behalf of all of us here at The Southport School, we welcome the next chapter of the school’s journey, and hope you're a part of it – our doors are always open and conversation always welcomed. It continues to be an exciting time to be part of The Southport School -- there are big things on the horizon.