Learning Differences & Support

Saint Mary’s College High School seeks to educate the whole person by addressing the needs of all types 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 types of services for students with unique learning needs. For more information about any of the programs mentioned below, please contact our Academic Support Specialist at 510-559-6281.

The first type 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 type 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 type 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.  Students and parents of all levels are invited and encouraged to attend these events.  Please check the school calendar for the fall and spring dates and times.