The Middle School learning specialist is a resource for students, teachers, and parents. Recognizing that students have different learning styles and strengths, along with different timetables for academic development and growth, the learning specialist works with students and teachers within the context of the classroom, providing academic support as necessary. The learning specialist has regular interaction with all students and teachers to help enhance learning strategies. These interactions include in-class support as well as an after-school Homework Club.
The learning specialist teaches “PASS: Preparatory Academic Skills and Strategies” to all of the middle school students. The curriculum of PASS includes learning and the brain, the Growth Mindset, and executive functioning/metacognitive skills and strategies. The intention of this trimester-long course is to augment and provide practice of the learning skills that are being taught in all classes.
If a student has a formal neuropsychological or psycho-educational evaluation, we ask the family to provide us with an official copy so that we can provide this information as well as the recommendations made by the evaluator to the teachers. The learning specialist will use the educational evaluation to develop a Learning Profile, which identifies a student’s individual strengths and challenges. If the accommodation for extended time is warranted, the learning specialist will make arrangements to provide this. Worcester Academy reserves the right to use student evaluations only as informational tools and does not guarantee the implementation of all recommendations and accommodations as specified in a student’s evaluation and/or IEP/CAP/504 plan. The WA Middle School will implement only those recommendations that are deemed reasonable within our academic program.
Students with Learning Profiles will have the opportunity to meet in small groups with the learning specialist to learn some strategies targeted to their individual needs. If the learning specialist and teachers determine that a student needs more in-depth support than can be provided in these small groups, then a referral may be made for outside tutoring.
Middle school students that transition from the WA Middle School to the Upper School will have the opportunity to meet with a learning specialist within a one-on-one, fee-for-service model in The Center for Learning
if their formal educational evaluation supports the need for individualized support. The frequency and length at which transitioning students meet with a learning specialist will be determined by the CFL director based on the students’ learning profiles.