Glen Arbor, MI
The Leelanau School stood at a crossroads. A general shift away from boarding, combined with the school’s undifferentiated and traditional recruitment approach, left this tiny–and getting tinier!–Midwestern boarding school in an economic shadow. With the advent of a new president, The Leelanau School consulted CRANE.
Our initial recruitment assessment delivered an exciting–if also a little frightening– recommendation: The Leelanau School should be positioned as the preeminent Great Lakes school for adolescents with learning differences. CRANE found that since the school’s inception in 1929, its energetic, intuitive teachers–some without specialized training in learning differences– had been transforming students’ lives through strength-based, experiential learning in Leelanau’s extraordinary natural surroundings. By reframing and refining what the school already did best, Leelanau could reveal to families in this under-served region the specialized education they yearn for.
Five-senses learning on Lake Michigan’s shore: this new Category of One, along with photography that features the stunning natural locale, captures the hands-on, experiential, multidimensional education that Leelanau offers–the ideal education for students who simply learn differently. The hopeful tagline that follows–because there are so many more ways to learn–gently invites parents to explore more about how children learn, without an acronym in sight. The program includes a series of thought-provoking “quiz” questions with a range of “right” answers, where readers ultimately discover the answer is actually beyond the listed options. The message to frustrated learners: how you know is the whole point of a Leelanau education.
Leelanau’s new way of thinking and talking about itself has opened the school to a sense of endless possibility, too, and has resulted in Leelanau’s newfound national recognition as a leader in educating students who learn differently. Prospective families have also taken notice. In the thirty months following the branding program’s launch, the school doubled its boarding enrollment and built a new residence hall to accommodate the vibrant new student population.
I believe that I have found the perfect program for any high school child with ADHD, dyslexia, dysgraphia, or dyscalculia. It is The Leelanau School near Traverse City.
–Dr. Ned Hallowell,
We are exceedingly pleased with the wonderful work CRANE has done. It made me cry! And others can’t believe how you captured so much of what The Leelanau School is...it’s just extraordinary.
head of school