PALS at The Leffell School

PALS at The Leffell School

The PALS (Providing Alternative Learning Strategies) program at The Leffell School is designed to meet the unique needs of students in the Lower School and Middle School who have strong academic potential and language-based learning disabilities. With an overall student:teacher ratio of 3:1, PALS provides opportunities for small group, targeted, self-contained instruction in needed subject areas, while allowing for full integration with the broader Leffell School community — inside and outside the classroom — as appropriate.  
PALS also provides on-site speech/language therapy, occupational therapy, and Orton-Gillingham reading support, one-on-one or in small groups. Situated within the joyful Jewish community of The Leffell School, PALS offers its students fully integrated social opportunities with their mainstream classmates in co-curricular programming; arts and athletics; experiential education events; and daily activities such as lunch, recess, and tefilah.  
For more information about the PALS Program or to start a conversation about your child's learning needs, please contact Lisa Mendler, PALS Coordinator, at 914-948-8333, ext. 8134.

PALS Faculty Spotlight

Debra Beal (LS/MS Occupational Therapist)
Debra Beal, MA OTR/L, is a pediatric occupational therapist who joined the PALS program at The Leffell School this fall. Before joining PALS, Debra worked at the Leffell Lower School as the occupational therapy consultant, providing strategies to improve classroom performance for children in grades K-5. Debra’s 28 years of experience includes working in private clinical practice and school- and home-based settings. Debra holds a master’s degree in occupational therapy with a specialty in developmental disabilities from New York University and a bachelor of science degree from Boston University, Sargent College of Allied Health Professions. Debra lives in Rye Brook, New York, with her husband, Steve and their children, Ben, Noah, Becca, and Chloe. She loves hiking with her two golden retrievers, long walks outdoors, traveling, and doing craft activities with her daughters.
Carolyn Forster (LS PALS Lead Teacher)
Carolyn, an Orton-Gillingham-trained teacher, holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Oneonta University as well as a master’s degree in special education from Fordham University. Carolyn has more than 15 years of experience teaching children in both general education and special education settings, in both public and private sectors. Carolyn’s warm energy, sense of humor, high expectations, and love for her students make her classroom an engaging and exciting place to be, where each student feels cared for, supported, and challenged.  During her free time, you can find Carolyn participating in educational workshops (yes, she really does that for fun!), tutoring, spending time with her three children, going to the movies, and traveling.

Sarit Nevo (MS PALS Hebrew Teacher)
Sarit, beginning her 14th year of teaching, was born and raised in Israel in the city of Netanya. Sarit Nevo’s parents immigrated to Israel from South America because of their deep desire to establish a family in the Land of Israel. Sarit completed her BA with Honors in special education and mathematics at the Seminar Hakibbutzim College of Education. Sarit’s teaching career includes educating children in grades 1-8, coordinating math studies and technology, and leading the program “Healthy Way of Life” in schools in Israel. Sarit moved to Westchester two years ago from Israel when she began teaching Hebrew at Carmel Academy in Greenwich, Connecticut. Sarit’s core belief is that a student who feels loved, safe, and protected will work hard to achieve academically and socially. She also believes that her students are unique in their needs and aspirations, and she ensures that their learning experience reflects those differences. In her teaching, Sarit provides positive reinforcement, empowerment, encouragement, personal attention, and respect on her students’ journeys. Sarit is married to Lior (whom she met in kindergarten!) and is a mother to two amazing daughters who attend the Leffell Lower School.

Sadie Corbo, current PALS student

In my classroom, I feel calm and safe.  We all support each other.  I feel smarter and more confident because of PALS.

Melissa Vitti, Middle School PALS English Language Arts teacher

As a PALS teacher, I am able to target specific learning skills and strategies for each of my students in a small group or 1:1 setting. Because of the individualized support, my students’ reading skills, self-esteem, and self-confidence have grown leaps and bounds.  I feel so thankful to be part of it.

Rochelle Tarlowe, Current PALS Parent

Before PALS, the focus was on what my son couldn’t do, rather than what he could do. By looking at the whole child, they not only figured out how he learns but also gave him confidence in many other areas.
Lower School Campus (K-5)
30 Dellwood Road
White Plains, NY 10605
Upper School Campus (6-12)
555 West Hartsdale Avenue
Hartsdale, NY 10530