The Upper School Learning Center provides services to students with Learning Disabilities and other related special needs. The program strives to provide a safe, comfortable, and appropriate learning environment for children who might otherwise struggle in the mainstream classroom. The goals are to teach students, whatever their intellectual, emotional, and/or physical disability, to embrace their learning styles, to seek assistance when necessary, and to apply the learning skills acquired to classroom situations.
The Director of the Upper School Learning Center oversees a team of four faculty members. The Department seeks to uphold the School’s mission and philosophy, which stresses inclusion and acceptance. The Program stresses the importance of integrity, honesty, independence, and a solid work ethic. In order to help students reach their full potential, the Upper School Learning Center utilizes a curriculum-based approach to learning.
The Director of the Upper School Learning Center, members of the Upper School's Administration and members of the Guidance Department review each student's psycho-educational evaluation and meet with the student's parents to determine whether the student should be admitted to the Learning Center and whether other accommodations should be granted. Students seeking the services of the Learning Center must receive a psycho-educational evaluation by an outside tester. Test results are reviewed, and students may be eligible for certain accommodations, including extended time for test-taking and laptops for use during exams. Based on the recommendations of the tester, students may also receive remediation from the Learning Center faculty.
In addition to the Director of the Upper School Learning Center, the program's faculty includes specialists in General and Judaic Studies. These experienced faculty meet with the students' regular teachers and advisers both formally and informally, and communicate with parents during parent-teacher conferences and by telephone. The Department's faculty monitors each students performance closely, and communicates with parents and teachers as appropriate.
The Learning Center also oversees extended time testing and serves as a link to the College Board and ACT for students who may be eligible for accommodations on standardized tests. The Director of the Upper School Learning Center serves as the Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) Coordinator. The Learning Center acts as an advocate for students applying for accommodations on standardized tests.
The Upper School Learning Center helps students to become independent learners. The goal is for them to outgrow the Learning Center when they feel comfortable to do so. In twelfth grade, the program's services are optional, although the faculty remain available to the students as needed. The Learning Center and Guidance Department operate in a close partnership between student, adviser, faculty, administration, and parents, who all together are able to provide a framework of support and encouragement for the student.