“Families and staff pulled together to realize a common dream”
Little School was founded by Leslie Roffman and Tim Treadway in 1984 to provide individualized, quality attention to children, families and staff. They wanted to create an enriching, supportive environment where everyone thrives and families and teachers learn as much as the children.
The program grew quickly—from 12 children in 1984 to over 100 in 1990. During those founding years, key staff came on board, most of whom are with us today. Through partnership and experience, the basic building blocks of our philosophy, curriculum and structure came into focus. Our inclusive approach evolved from being interested in and committed to serving children with special needs to realizing that all children deserve to have their strengths celebrated and gain support for their challenges.
The school’s physical environment went through rapid changes in the early years. The first group of 12 children met at the Richmond District Community Center. From there, the program moved through a number of sites, each change requiring enormous group effort. In the fall of 1994, we had the great fortune to find our permanent home at 1520 Lyon Street. Initial renovation was completed in 1996. But we continue to wonder at, explore and improve our facility – most recently, after years of dreaming, we re-designed our yard and created an indoor-outdoor “yellow” building.
The school’s focus on relationships extends beyond the classroom to the community of staff and families who have worked together to bring the school’s vision to fruition and keep it alive and growing. Echoing the regular rituals and traditions in the classrooms, the whole school comes together to acknowledge milestones and events. In 2009, the school’s 25th anniversary, many current and former students, families and staff joined together for a year-long celebration to pay respects to a school community and philosophy we all believe in.