Sykesville-based private school for students with learning differences expanding

With the opening of the new 3,000-square-foot-addition to the Legacy School, Jamie Caplan no longer has to take private phone calls in the supply closet.

The founder and head of the Sykesville-based school for those with learning differences now has her own office.

More importantly, the new addition provides eight new classrooms and a large common area for students at the school that has grown substantially since opening in 2011, Caplan told the families, students and local officials at the ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 28.

"If you build it, they will come. So I built it and they came. They came so far, they asked for bus service," Caplan told the crowd. "The new building ... will help more students to reach their potential. It is a place to be exactly who you are."

The nonprofit, co-educational, Maryland-state approved, private school for students in first through eighth grade specializes in helping students with dyslexia and other learning differences

"The new building doubles the size of the current school and allows for Legacy to admit more students, have a dedicated music room, and more fully utilize its 3.96-acre campus," Caplan said in a press release from the school.

When it opened its doors in 2011, Legacy School welcomed 17 students. There are currently 34 students enrolled, hailing from Baltimore, Howard and Carroll counties.

Silas Hamby, 14, has been with the school since it opened its doors. An eighth-grader, Silas will miss it when he advances to high school.

"I'm going to miss a lot of the teachers. They have really helped me through the years," Hamby said. "It's a pretty awesome school."

Linda Lang's son, Andrew, couldn't write when he entered the school at age 8.

"You would ask him to write and he would draw pictures," Lang said.

Now 11 and in fifth grade, Andrew can read and write.

"I am so very, very grateful to Legacy," Lang said. "It has just been incredible for him. It's just amazing. It really is amazing what they do."

Legacy's classes average two students to one teacher, with one-on-one tutoring for those below reading level.

"This place has been a godsend," said Eldersburg resident Tracey Nastos, whose daughter, Annie, will graduate from the school this year to attend Liberty High School in the fall.

"It is very hard to find teachers like this all in one place," Nastos said.

Though she arrived late, Denise Koch, of WJZ , led the ceremony, which was also attended by Commissioners Robin Fraizer and Richard Rothschild.

"I had to come out here," Koch told the crowd. "What a brilliant idea to create a school for those young people who need that extra, extra attention. The need is there and now this incredible new facility."

William Benson, 14, spent most of the opening ceremonies dressed as the school's mascot — a lion.

"I volunteered for it," Benson said. "It was hot. It was fun. I would do it again."

An eighth-grader, William's time at Legacy will soon be ending.

"It's been a great experience here," he said.

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