A San Diego School and a Special Community

Welcome to The Winston School of Del Mar

The Winston School serves students of average to above average intelligence with documented learning differences such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), processing difficulties, learning disabilities, learning disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorder, slow maturation or underachievement. Many of our applicants have been in special education programs prior to coming to Winston.

The school’s small classes and caring teachers trained in special education are the key to helping students succeed. While many students’ behavior may become problematic as a result of frustration and struggle in school, those with primary behavioral or emotional problems will be better served in another environment. A bright student with ADD or who is on the Autism Spectrum can and should succeed in school.

The purpose of the admission process is to determine if the school, the student and the family are properly matched.

In order to help us evaluate the appropriateness of Winston and the special qualities of each child, we have the following procedure:

  1. Parents review school materials available on the school website and the school literature to decide if The Winston School’s small classes and nurturing environment may be right for their student.
  2. An admissions meeting is held at the school to discuss the student’s academic and personal history as well as the curriculum and activities available at Winston. The meeting should include a review of all testing data, particularly that which helps the school understand the student’s challenges in the classroom. Parents may also send school records in advance or bring them to the meeting. Winston expects that all issues that could have a bearing on the student’s success at Winston—family issues, difficult peer relations, behavioral problems and the like–would be shared at this time. At the parents’ discretion, the student may attend all, part or none of this meeting.
  3. Parents tour The Winston School’s small and intimate Del Mar campus.

If The Winston School seems like a possible match, the student visits classes for two days. At this point—or prior to final admission– parents should provide Winston with their student’s academic and disciplinary records, including the most recent IEP if applicable. Following this visit, parents, the school, and in some cases, the student confer about the possible admission. The School reserves the right to withdraw an offer of admission at any point prior to enrollment based on new information that comes to light.  If the family is funded through a public school district, we ask that you gain the permission of the district before the class visit is scheduled.

If admission is offered, parents are encouraged to weigh the matter carefully for a few days. Winston does not believe in putting pressure on families and will not ask for immediate decisions but The Winston School cannot hold a space for an accepted student beyond two weeks without approval of the headmaster. We will, as a courtesy, indicate when enrollment is tight and by what date it may be necessary to make a commitment. Based on availability, students may enter Winston at any time during the school year, but if more than four months have elapsed since the student’s visit, he or she will normally be required to visit again. Any special circumstances should be discussed prior to the re-visit.

Finally, Winston views a good working relationship with parents as essential both during the admission process and upon enrollment. While we are aware that some families have developed a mistrust of previous schools and often experienced an adversarial relationship with schools or teachers they have encountered prior to coming to Winston, we need to work together to engender a trusting and constructive approach to help students in our program become successful. The initial placement and the student’s continued enrollment proceeds on this basis.


The Winston School of San Diego is a registered 501(c)(3)