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The History of The Cedar School


The Cedar School was co-founded by Clay Kaufman, founding head of school, and Ben Jenkins, with a grand opening in the fall of 2021.

Clay and Ben recognized the outstanding work of so many area K-8 private schools for students with learning differences, and the existence of excellent boarding school options for high school. High school is by its very nature challenging for students. Clay and Ben believe that students gain confidence and thrive when taught in a school environment that understands them and meets their needs.

The Cedar School is a local private high school option that offers students academic challenge while giving them a multisensory approach to learning, the skills they need for college and life, and the opportunity to build their areas of strength every day. For ease of founding, The Cedar School is created as a proprietary school (for-profit) that will be run like a non-profit, with student needs being the first priority. The school is also establishing a non-profit 501(c)(3) scholarship fund that will raise money for financial aid.

Why the cedar tree?

Cedar trees have existed since ancient times, and are regarded as representing strength, endurance and longevity. The shape of the tree also reflects protectiveness and nurturing. According to, in certain Native American cultures, the cedar tree stands for resilience and a guide to finding one’s purpose in life ( 

"Cedar trees can experience hundreds of growth rings in their lifetime, and so will he" - Teacher Recommendation