The Learning Services Department supports children with diverse learning needs from Kindergarten to grade nine. Primary, Lower, and Upper School specialists work in collaboration with classroom teachers to ensure that each child has the specific support he or she needs to establish a strong foundation of academic and life skills. Directed by a Massachusetts-licensed school psychologist, the department includes learning specialists, reading and math specialists, and a speech and language pathologist, all of whom understand children’s unique learning styles. In-school partial evaluations are conducted as needed in order to assess a child’s learning style and needs. Information derived from these evaluations, in conjunction with external neuropsychological evaluations, is used to create learning profiles that are shared with classroom teachers. At each grade level, specialists provide academic support individually, within a small-group setting, or integrated into the classroom based on a child’s learning profile.
In the Primary School, students may work with a reading specialist or speech/language pathologist. Support is provided individually, in small groups, or in the classroom. Specialists closely monitor the progress of each child, providing intervention as needed. After formal assessment, some students participate in specialized reading programs such as Wilson, RAVE-O, or Visualizing and Verbalizing. Formal speech and language evaluations may be conducted in the area of articulation and/or expressive and receptive language. Speech and language support is available during school hours.
In the Lower School, students requiring specialized reading support have an opportunity to work with a trained reading specialist either individually or in a small group. Our reading specialist is trained in Orton-Gillingham, Wilson, RAVE-O, and Read Naturally. In addition, a learning specialist is available to work in the classroom and with small groups. Some students with diagnosed learning differences qualify for additional 1:1 academic support, which can be provided by the learning specialist for an additional school fee.
In the Upper School, we provide varied levels of support based on students’ needs. Fay’s Learning Center is a multi-sensory setting staffed by qualified learning specialists to address the needs of any students who, due to their varied learning styles, pace of learning, or educational backgrounds, may require short-term academic support to perform to their fullest potential. In place of traditional study hall periods, students may be placed in the Learning Center for additional oversight and support. Specialists share specific strategies and tools that become part of a child’s intellectual repertoire. Such support may include developing and strengthening organizational skills, teaching how to plan and complete a long-term assignment or project, or bolstering math and writing skills. The Learning Center is available to any Upper School student who is referred for support or who is in need of a smaller group study hall.
Individualized Academic Support with a learning specialist is available for an additional fee to students with documented learning needs. Sessions are scheduled during the school day, and learning specialists work with the faculty to ensure they understand the learning profiles of their students with documented learning differences. These learning profiles are used to appropriately shape the learning experience to enhance each student’s strengths and provide support to help these students become confident, independent learners. Profiles are made available to parents as well as to the teachers who have the student in their class.