Learning Resource Center
A student-centered approach to learning.
Our experienced team of learning specialists supports students to be engaged learners who can increasingly advocate for their specific learning needs. To this end, we work at each school level to provide academic support for students with demonstrated learning and attention differences. We partner with families and teachers to implement innovative teaching strategies and coordinate classroom accommodations. Support models vary at each school level and may include: small group instruction, academic screenings, student support meetings and referrals to outside services for evaluations or intervention.
In order to qualify for accommodations, a qualifying and current evaluation with a diagnosis must be submitted and approved at each school level.
At the elementary school level, children are developing foundational academic skills that will serve them throughout their lifetime. Our Learning Specialist works closely with teaching teams to regularly monitor student growth in language, math, and fine motor skills so that students who may need support are identified early and provided with intervention when it will be most effective. The Learning Specialist administers student screenings, provides small group remediation (in reading, spelling and writing), and ensures the provision of classroom accommodations. Referrals are also made to outside specialists when further testing or specialized intervention is recommended. It is our goal to partner with families so that the students’ academic and social emotional needs are always at the forefront. Regular communication and collaborative team meetings help to develop plans for success as a student progresses through the grades.
Early Reading Intervention
In grades K-3, small group intervention in early reading may be suggested by the teachers and is provided by the LS Learning Specialist for a short term duration (up to 6 weeks). The Learning Specialist will then decide if ongoing support and/or further evaluation is recommended. If a learning difference or reading disorder is diagnosed by an approved provider, then the student would be eligible to waive Spanish and could be enrolled in the Learning Resources Center (LRC) for a nominal fee.
The LRC program is a fee based service ($50 per session) and families are billed by the school in November and March. The LRC program provides specialized academic support with the LS Learning Specialist. Students in the LRC program receive academic support two times per week during Spanish based on their eligibility to waive a foreign language.
All tutors who hold sessions on campus must have a current TB and LiveScan clearance approval from the school before meeting with students. Private tutoring referrals for all K-5 grade levels are provided by the Learning Specialist to families who request them. Availability of private tutors on certain days/times is not guaranteed. Private tutors must inform the Learning Specialist of their schedules with students, including any changes made during the course of the school year.
If you have further questions, please contact Katie Ryan, Lower School Learning Specialist.
The LRC program provides specialized academic support with the MS Learning Specialist. Students in the LRC program are eligible to waive Spanish and receive academic support two times per week during this class period. The LRC program is a fee based ($50 per session) service and families are billed in November and March.
Tutoring referrals for all grade levels are provided by the Learning Specialist to families who request them. Availability of tutors on certain days/times is not guaranteed. Tutors must coordinate their schedules with the Learning Specialist. All tutors who meet with students on campus must have current TB and LiveScan clearance approval from the school before meeting with students.
When submitting an application for accommodated testing on standardized tests such as the SSAT, the parent will list Catherine Wise, the Middle School Learning Specialist, as their site “approver”. Once the request is received, the accommodations will be reviewed by the approver, and sent back to the College Board. Parents may then finish the registration process with specific accommodations in place.
If you have further questions, please contact Catherine Wise, Middle School Learning Specialist.
Beginning in the Admission process and continuing through to graduation, our Learning Resource Center encourages open dialogue around students’ strengths as well as their challenges, utilizing the former to help students navigate the latter. The primary focus of learning support at San Domenico is student self-advocacy. The Learning Support Team works regularly with students on refining this skill, as well as with faculty and advisors to ensure students feel both understood and supported. The more students can understand, embrace, and articulate their learning profiles, the better teachers, learning support specialists, and the school can execute the individualized support plan.
- Accessing Accommodations
- Accommodations on Standardized Tests
- Standardized Testing at San Domenico
- Outside Tutors
San Domenico provides a variety of accommodations to students with diagnosed learning and attention differences. The accommodations in a student’s learning plan are provided based both on the evaluator’s recommendation as well as the school standards. Learning plans are revisited and revised regularly, always prioritizing evolving student needs and skill development. Please note that San Domenico does not make testing or curricular modifications, and not all recommended accommodations are available at San Domenico.
Documentation at San Domenico must satisfy the criteria established by the College Board, most standardized testing organizations, and most college application policies for students with learning and attention differences.
- State the specific disability, as diagnosed. Diagnosis should be made by a person with appropriate professional credentials, should be specific and, when appropriate, should relate the disability to the applicable professional standards (e.g., DSM-V).
- Be current. In most cases, the evaluation and diagnostic testing should have taken place within three years of the request for accommodations. For psychiatric disabilities, an annual evaluation update must be within 12 months of the request for accommodations. For visual disabilities, documentation should be within two years, and for physical/medical, an update must be within one year from the time of the request.
- Provide relevant educational, developmental, and medical history.
- Describe the comprehensive testing and techniques used to arrive at the diagnosis. Include test results with subtest scores (standard or scaled scores) for all tests.
- Describe the functional limitations. Explain how the disability impacts the student’s daily functioning and ability to participate in the test.
- Describe the specific accommodations being requested and why the disability qualifies the student for such accommodations.
- Establish the professional credentials of the evaluator (for example, licensure; certification; area of specialization).
For more information, please see the College Board website.
Referrals for Evaluation
If a student, parent, or teacher suspects that a student has a learning or attention difference, they should contact their school-level Dean of Learning Support directly to set up an appointment. During this intake process, the student will be asked to reflect and respond to various questions designed to help ascertain the root of their academic difficulty. The information will then be reviewed by the Dean of Learning Support and the Learning Specialist, and if appropriate, the family will be referred to a licensed, certified professional for a full Psychoeducational Evaluation.
Upon receipt of the finalized evaluation, if a diagnosis does in fact present, the Dean of Learning Support will work with the parents, student, and evaluator to generate and implement the Individualized Learning Plan (ILP). An ILP must be in place for at least four months for a student to qualify for accommodations on standardized testing.
Outside Tutoring for LRC students
Students with a learning profile are eligible to receive direct tutoring during free periods, study hall, or flex times during the school day.
Accommodations on Standardized Tests
Accommodation requests for the PSAT, SAT, APs and ACT are to be made by the Upper School Learning Specialist. Both College Board and ACT require that a current Psychoeducational Report (within three years) reflects the diagnosis for which accommodations are being provided. Before proceeding with the request process, ensure that an up-to-date evaluation is on file with the Learning Resource Center.
Additionally, parents/guardians must sign a “Consent to Release Information” form and return it to the Academic Guidance Counselor before a standardized testing accommodation request is made.
The next steps of the process depend on which test a student plans to take:
SAT Request Process
The Academic Guidance Counselor will submit College Board accommodations requests in September of each student’s Sophomore year, in anticipation of the PSAT test that all 10th and 11th graders take. Once a student is approved in the College Board system, he/she is approved for all College Board tests (PSAT, SAT, SAT Subject Tests, and AP’s).
ACT Request Process
An accommodations request for ACT testing may only be submitted after the student has registered for a specific testing date. At that time, the student, parent, or guardian should notify the Academic Guidance Counselor of the test registration date so that the official accommodations request can be submitted.
Standardized Testing at San Domenico
Students with approved accommodations for either the SAT or the ACT sometimes qualify for school-based testing (testing administered by San Domenico personnel during the assigned testing window). San Domenico is able to offer school-based testing on select standardized testing dates. Students who meet the criteria for school-based testing and wish for this testing to occur at SD must contact the Upper School Learning Specialist as soon as possible to discuss the following:
- Ensure the student is registering for the correct test date that San Domenico has agreed to proctor.
- Or, if San Domenico is not offering the test date that the student prefers, to discuss the alternative routes for accommodated testing, which may include foregoing a specific accommodation or working with the testing company to find an alternate test setting.
Occasionally, students require individualized academic support beyond what the San Domenico faculty and support team are able to offer. Upon request or recommendation, the SD Learning Resource team can provide tutor referrals to families in a variety of subject areas.
If a student requires tutor support during the school day, the family must reach out to the appropriate administrator or Learning Specialist at their school level to request approval. Due to space constraints, not all students are able to meet with a private tutor during the school day on the San Domenico campus.
- What types of diagnoses does the Learning Resource Center work with?
- What if my student needs more intensive services?
- What if my student needs additional testing?
- Does SD offer modifications to curriculum (such as shorter writing assignments or extended due dates)?
What types of diagnoses does the Learning Resource Center work with?
What if my student needs more intensive services?
LRC supports students with their SD course work and executive function skills with the goal that students are building the habits defined in the School’s Portrait of a Graduate.
What if my student needs additional testing?
Does SD offer modifications to curriculum (such as shorter writing assignments or extended due dates)?
We offer accommodations, but not modifications to assignments or due dates. Students who work with the LRC will be assisted in establishing accommodations listed on a neuropsych eval that is submitted to the school. Some accommodations we help facilitate are: extended time on tests or exams, preferential seating, access to teacher or peer notes. Our program does not offer modifications to assignments or due dates.