The Gow School

We are a school about language. Begun in 1926, Gow was the nation’s first school for dyslexics. Many other specialty schools can trace their roots to the groundbreaking work of our founder, Peter Gow, Jr., and Samuel T. Orton. Today their pioneering spirit continues in our experienced teaching team, who are fiercely dedicated to our research-driven remediation program and to their students’ futures. In small classes that foster personalized instruction, students become stronger readers and more confident writers. In fact, confidence is a natural outgrowth of language improvement (usually apparent shortly after arrival) and our culture of success.

We are about college preparation. That’s right. Your family may not be thinking beyond high school now, but we are. Just as Gow students make gains fast, so they keep gaining until they finish—strongly—at Gow and beyond. We pride ourselves on helping students develop what they need academically, socially, and emotionally—strategies to deal with their learning differences, knowledge across our academic curriculum, and qualities such as focus, work ethic, drive, and self-discipline—to go to and through college and achieve their goals.

Gow is about people. Here everyone is treated as equals with unconditional respect and positive regard. We are a warm and united community eager to welcome the next generation.

We encourage you to get to know us through this website. Check out our student videos to see what Govians are saying about Gow. Ultimately, though, the website is merely a warm-up. To truly understand what we do for dyslexic students and their families and what the Gow experience is all about, come see the campus in action. At Gow, doors are always open. You just have to walk through.


Douglas Cotter, Director of Admissions

Greetings from the Admissions Office. Though we are the beginning of every Gow journey, we know we are probably not the beginning of yours. Most families come to us after an arduous quest they didn’t plan on. We re-launch them on a new adventure, one that’s straighter and shorter, enables them to rethink what learning can be, and leads them where they want to go and where they didn’t realize they could.

Our aim is to determine if a student can benefit from Gow’s curriculum and environment, structured to fit the needs of students with diagnosed language-based learning disabilities such as dyslexia. For those who can benefit, real change starts fast and lasts long—through college and career. For many, Gow is the first school where they’re on a level playing field with their peers and fully supported by their teachers, who teach as if their students’ futures depend on it. Together we are Gow United.

Where there is a good fit between student and school, magic happens—in class, on the field, in the art studio, and in the dorm. To determine if the fit is right, we’ll need to see diagnostic testing, school transcripts, recommendations, and a personal interview, just as you’ll want to see our beautiful Western New York campus and the people who provide its spark. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. First, let’s talk.

Douglas B. Cotter ’87 P ’19, ’23
Director of Admissions
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