Personal Statements

Julie WilliamsHighland Park

Hi, all!  If your child in grades 6 through 12 isn't happy about going to school,  you might like to look into The Arlington School, located at 1312 22nd Street South across from St. Rose Academy. We're big supporters of public schools, but our younger son ran into difficulty in middle school with a math teacher who was too "college" in approach. She presented the concept once, and then moved on. Our son doesn't learn that way, and he fell behind and got confused about math. We looked for a math tutor and found Arlington School, where the founder and principal, Debbie Petitto, actually does do math tutoring. We were so surprised by the school that we enrolled our son there for high school -- and he LOVED it.

The school is amazing -- it never has more than 30 students, yet our son had six or seven teachers per semester and a full curriculum following Alabama State Guidelines.  I seem to recall he was the only one in his math class as he caught up and got his feet back under him in math. Meanwhile, he loved the rest, too -- there were abundant field trips, strong instruction by professional teachers, and innovative weekly contact with parents with clever weekly incentives to spur high academic achievement. It was also a tad cheaper than other private schools.  It was certainly worth every penny as we saw our son regain his lost confidence, grasp math, and graduate with a re-discovered love of school. Today he's a junior in college and loves that, too.    He is doing extremely well in college because of the education he gained at Arlington.  

Anyway, Arlington generally had 20-25 students while our son was there, with correspondingly individual instruction. The school graduated its biggest class ever with 9 graduates last year... and so, obviously, there are a lot of suddenly empty desks. There is plenty of space for your child. I'm reminded that one of my son's classmates transferred in halfway through her senior year after a clash with Mountain Brook Schools over absences due to an illness.  She finished out her senior year at Arlington and she loved it, too. It just struck me that I should throw out the information about The Arlington School.  If your child needs a change, consider Arlington!   I'm happy to answer questions for your or your friends. 

Excerpt from the graduation speech of Alex Boyd, 2017 Graduate of The Arlington School

When I entered Arlington with a mindset of uncertainty, hostility, and the typical, uniquely unfortunate brand of juvenile social ignorance, I was fumbling toward life, just past my recent completion of elementary education. 

Throughout the following six years​, I have changed a lot, as some have told me, but I have also remained myself if that makes sense.  I've changed by learning important lessons at Arlington.  These aren't just lessons of how I could find "X" by using "Y" and of what a gerund actually is, but, for lack of a better word, life lessons such as how I could find "light" in "life" and what "caring for oneself" actually is.


In order to understand how others feel about something, put yourself in their shoes. If it does not appear that there is something that you can do to help someone, you can always help by giving support to that person.  Find light in life even while before you had walked in darkness. Every day you could learn something to improve yourself and by improving yourself, you will be better equipped to help others.  These are all lessons taught by the teachers of Arlington.