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Rectory Roots

Black and white photo of Elizabeth Bigelow working with a student-circa 1938.

Three Snapshots From 1925 to 1939

Rectory School has a national reputation as an early adopter of the Orton approach to working with students who have reading difficulties. Three intertwined snapshots reveal Rectory’s connections to the emerging field of reading disabilities at a time when two pioneers in the theory, research, and practice of reading remediation, Dr. Samuel T. Orton and Dr. Donald Durrell, were in their early stages of focusing attention on what was to become known as “specific language disability,” and today as dyslexia.

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Rectory's Founders, The Bigelows

The Bigelows

This month Rectory Roots travels back to 1917 and to Rectory School’s founders, Frank and Mabel Bigelow who settled in Pomfret when the Episcopal Church in town, Christ Church, was in need of a rector. Frank, his wife, and their two children, Elizabeth and John, moved across the state from Lime Rock to Pomfret and into the rectory of Christ Church, the School’s original home. Over the ensuing years, three generations of the Bigelow family would play roles in Rectory’s history.

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