Kindergarten through Grade 9 in Southborough, MA
Academics

Learning Services

Resources for Academic Support

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 specialists, math specialists, and a speech and language pathologist, all of whom understand children’s unique learning styles. In-school evaluations are conducted as needed in order to assess a child’s learning style and needs. Information derived from these 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. Support from speech and language specialists is available during school hours.

In the Lower School, children 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, the 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 are able to 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 requests additional support.  
 
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.

About the Learning Services Specialists

Learning Specialists work with the faculty to understand the learning profiles of our students with documented learning differences. These learning profiles are used to develop programs to enhance each student’s strengths and provide support in areas where it is needed in order to help these students become confident, independent learners. Profiles are available online for the teachers who have the student in their class and are made available to parents.
 
In addition, an evaluation of educational testing, class observations, and consultations with teachers, parents, and advisors helps the learning specialist determine the best strategies for working with a student. This may include arranging extra support when appropriate, ensuring that required accommodations are provided, or educating and supporting faculty and staff in their efforts to meet the needs of our students.