The Windward Institute

The Windward Institute is a division of and serves The Windward School and the broader educational community by:

  • Providing professional development;
  • Forming partnerships with leading education institutions;
  • Advocating for students with language-based learning disabilities; and
  • Expanding The Windward School's reputation and expertise

News & Announcements


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Haskins Global Literacy Hub Resource Library:  FREE Research-Based Literacy Resources for All Children

Windward Alumnus and New York Assemblymember Robert Carroll '04 introduced the Haskins Global Literacy Resource Library on Tuesday December 15, 2020 at the virtual event, “Building a Reading Brain at Home: Expert Tips and Free Resources during COVID-19” featuring a panel of literacy experts from the Haskins Global Literacy Hub including, John J. Russell, EdD, Dr. Maureen Lovett, PhD, and Dr. Ben Powers, DBA.

As part of the Haskins Global Literacy Hub’s mission to improve access to research-based practices to promote childhood literacy around the world, the panel presented expert tips and free resources to support students and families during the pandemic. The scientifically-validated resources specifically target skills outlined by the National Reading Panel (2000) and are supported by decades of research including phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and reading comprehension

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Addressing Literacy on a Global Scale: John J. Russell, EdD, and Magdalena Zavalia present at DISFAM 2020 

The Windward School and The Windward Institute share in the vision of a world where every child with a language-based learning disability is empowered to achieve unlimited success. This vision is supported by a key goal in the School’s most recent strategic plan: to provide greater access to The Windward School’s expertise and research on proven ways to remediate language-based learning disabilities.  

In keeping with these aspirations, John J. Russell, EdD, and Magdalena Zavalia presented at the 2020 DISFAM (Asociación Dislexia y Familia) National and Iberican Congress, to an international audience of over 2,900 policy makers, educators, school leaders and literacy researchers from Spain and across Latin and South America. Dr. Russell is the Special Advisor to, and former Executive Director of The Windward Institute, and Magdalena Zavalia is the Manager of the Aprendo Leyendo Reading Program, Co-founder of Intelexia, and a member of the Board of Trustees at The Windward School. Their presentation occurred at a critical time for addressing current global challenges and disrupting the educational status quo across Spanish-speaking countries. 

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Dr. Russell and Magdalena Zavalia Present At 10th  National and Ibero-American Congress of Dyslexia

In November, John J. Russell, EdD, Special Advisor to The Windward Institute and Magdalena Zavalia, member of the Board of Trustees, presented virtually to an international, mostly Spanish speaking audience of over 2,900 educators, researchers and policy makers at the 10th  National and Ibero-American Congress of Dyslexia, hosted on the island of Mallorca, Spain by the non-profit organization DISFAM (Asociación Dislexia y Familia).  Dr. Russell presented statistics that illustrated the success of a Windward school education specifically, proven results of a research-based program combined with direct instruction. Ms. Zavalia discussed data collected from schools in Argentina that implemented a research-based reading program (Aprendo Leyendo), which transformed student literacy outcomes.

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Faculty Highlight: Dee McKechnie, Instructor of Multisensory Reading Instruction

Multisensory Reading Instruction (MRI) is proven effective for all early readers and is fundamentally essential for struggling readers.

Ms. Dee McKechnie, a faculty member of The Windward Institute and lower school teacher at The Windward School, discusses her experience teaching the course and applying the pedagogy/ curriculum in her own classroom.

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What We're Reading Now

The Windward Institute's #Disrupt4Dyslexia campaign continues past Dyslexia Awareness Month. Disrupting the educational status quo to increase childhood literacy rates is at the core of our mission. This month we share articles and editorial responses from The Institute advocating for high quality evidence-based reading instruction in all classrooms. Find out What We're Reading Now!

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Upcoming Professional Development Opportunities

As of January 8, 2020, the Windward Teacher Training Institute rebranded as The Windward Institute. All courses and workshops will continue to be offered by Windward-trained instructors at the same locations and use the same scientifically-proven, research-based multisensory academic curriculum.