Since 2002, Pathway School has been educating and equipping students that struggle in a traditional classroom by providing them with skills and strategies to grow academically, socially, and spiritually.  In a year full of pandemic, quarantines, and economic upheaval our commitment to that mission and serving our students has never been stronger.

Most Pathway students have learning differences such as ADHD, ASD, dyslexia, and processing disorders which make online learning very difficult for both the students and their parents.  This school year, we have provided options for in-person, hybrid, and online learning with a majority of families choosing in-person for just that reason.  In fact, In-person learning was exactly what Max and his younger twin brothers, Thomas and Daniel missed so desperately and requested to return to this year. 

Here is Max’s story and why he was so excited to return to in-person learning at Pathway this fall. Max is a kind, funny, and very bright boy but he has autistic spectrum disorder which makes it hard for him to stay focused on schoolwork and to be attentive in his social interactions with other students. Max and his family moved to California in the Fall of 2015. Max started his 2nd grade year at another local private Christian school where he was placed in a classroom with other students that had learning difficulties and behavioral issues. It very quickly became apparent to Max’s parents, Craig and April, that the move and this new school environment were not good for Max. 

As the year progressed, Max withdrew more into himself, became sullen, started acting out and having behavior issues at school.  As Craig and April watched their son digress further, they knew that they needed to make a change. In March of 2016, Craig and April visited Pathway and within the hour knew that the culture of empathy, encouragement and compassion at Pathway was where Max needed to be. Max transferred to Pathway that Spring to complete 2nd grade. In those last few months of the school year, Max came out of his shell, returning to the sweet, happy, and fun-loving boy that he had been.

Those first few months at Pathway, Max had such an amazing turnaround and it made such a positive impact on his entire family’s dynamics, that Max’s parents decided to transfer their younger twin sons to Pathway as well in Fall 2016.

While Max flourished emotionally and socially at Pathway, he still had ground to make up academically.  That first year at Pathway, his teacher described Max as extremely distracted, needing a lot of physical movement to get him to where he could organize his thoughts and complete his schoolwork. She stated that Max is very, very bright but his confidence in his academics was low so he needed lots of shoulder to shoulder coaching and encouragement.

Today, Max is in 7th grade at Pathway and his teacher says he is an independent worker that processes material quickly and he has a very teachable spirit. He holds himself to high standards and works hard to meet them. This quarter, Max got a 100% in history. He never missed an assignment and achieved perfect scores on all his tests. Max stills struggles with focus but his time at Pathway has equipped him with strategies to overcome his learning difficulties and empowered him to advocate for himself. Last year, Max was awarded the Pathway Student of the Year because of all of these qualities and achievements.

As for Max’s parents, Pathway had such an incredible impact on their family, and they believe so strongly in Pathway’s mission that they want to do whatever they can to support Pathway. In July of 2017, Craig joined the school board and then became board president in 2018.  As board president, Craig’s goal is to help Pathway raise $175,000 in tuition assistance for students that are struggling just like Max.

In this year of turmoil and economic uncertainty, Pathway students need your support more than ever. Can you help ensure that Pathway continues to equip students to thrive academically, socially, and spiritually? Your gift, today, helps Pathway assist students that may be struggling in a traditional classroom and ensures that they can get the strategies that they need to succeed.

Michaela Ellis

Donations can be made by going online:

Or by mailing payment to:
Pathway School
31103 Rancho Viejo Rd. #350
San Juan Capistrano, California 92675

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2020-2021 School Reopening Plan

Our plan for reopening in the fall is now available. These plans are subject to change based on local, state, and government guidelines and mandates.