Learning Differences Policy

Learning Differences and Extended Time for the HSPT Test

Applicants with learning differences, who upon acceptance, anticipate receiving educational accommodations or Academic Support Services at Saint Mary’s, must submit letters of formal documentation and/or assessment from qualified professionals stating diagnosis, treatment, progress, and potential for success at the time of application.

Formal documentation must be dated within three years of January, 2019. If your child is in the process of being tested or you plan to have your child tested, but have not done so during the high school admissions process, you must inform the Academic Support Specialist, Andrea Panlilio at apanlilio@stmchs.org, and provide her with a projected date for the evaluation and written assessment report. PLEASE BE AWARE that, if accepted, your child will not receive services if Saint Mary’s has no related documentation on file.

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Learning Differences & Support

Saint Mary’s College High School seeks to educate the whole person by addressing the needs of a variety of learners.  We welcome students with unique learning needs and offer programs designed to empower students to advocate for their academic success.  These programs encourage a student’s journey towards academic growth by fostering a partnership among the student, parent, and school.

The Academic Support Center provides three levels of services for students with unique learning needs.

The first level supports students who have mild/moderate documented learning disabilities or medical/physical needs that require classroom accommodations.  We follow the guidelines set by the College Board for students with learning disabilities and attention deficits.  Students have 1:1 coaching meetings with the Academic Support Specialist throughout the trimester.  The meetings are designed to address each students learning difference and style, as well as promote self-awareness and advocacy skills.

In order to be considered for accommodations, students need to submit a current psycho-educational assessment (completed within the past three years) that clearly states a diagnosis and offers recommendations.  Saint Mary’s College High School reserves the right to request an updated evaluation upon admission.  Contact the Academic Support Specialist for a list of evaluation options that are College Board approved.

The second level is designed for students who struggle with academic habits of scholarship.  Students at this level may attend a time management and organizational boot camp, which is held in the second and third trimesters.   In conjunction with the boot camp, individual consultation is also available at this level.

The third level offered to students is tutoring.  This level is available to students who need content subject-specific support. Tutoring may take place before school or during A-Block for a designated period of time based on a contract between the student, mentor, and Academic Support Specialist.  Since the services at this level are tailored to individual needs of the student, tutoring may be 1:1 or small group review.  We offer both peer and teacher-led tutoring sessions.

The Academic Support Center also offers bi-annual parent education evenings.  Guest speakers address current issues in the areas of learning disabilities, successful study habits, the teenage brain, and college preparedness as it relates to the various learning differences.