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Learning Support Services

Mission

In alignment with the mission of The Bolles School, Learning Support Services supports the Bolles community by providing access to individual and small group assistance, strategies for learning success, and reasonable accommodations.

Philosophy

We believe in empowering all students to achieve their fullest potential as members of the Bolles community. Our goals are:
  • to develop self-aware, self-determined and reflective learners who advocate for their needs by accessing all educational opportunities;
  • to help students realize their strengths and embrace challenges as learning experiences;
  • to encourage students to access the resources they need to thrive.

Securing Support Services

Learning Support Services provides information, strategies and support to students with diagnosed learning disabilities, to students not performing as expected within the Bolles academic framework, to teachers, and to parents.

Lower School

If a teacher is concerned about a student’s performance, he or she must first communicate the concerns to the parents. The teacher explains to the parents the classroom supports and strategies used to help the student. During this conversation, if the teacher wishes to involve the learning specialist, he or she must inform the parents of this decision, and the referral process begins. After the teacher has met with the parents and explained the need for referral, the principal receives the referral. Once the principal approves the referral, she forwards the Learning Support Services Request Form to the learning specialist and the support process begins.

The Lower School learning specialist may provide academic screenings, classroom observation, data collection, short-term push-in classroom support, short-term pullout student support, admissions process participation, provision of testing accommodations, classwork modifications, and recommendations for outside referrals.

Middle and Upper School

The Bolles School provides reasonable accommodations in alignment with the mission of the School for students with documented learning disabilities. The School does not provide modifications to the curriculum.

Students requesting accommodations must provide current documentation (within the last 3 years) that meets the following requirements:
  • Contains a statement addressing the student’s specific disability
  • Addresses relevant educational, developmental, and medical history of the student
  • Includes test scores/measures of cognitive and academic testing and a narrative description of the results
  • Defines functional limitations supported by the test results
  • Describes the specific accommodations recommended and a rationale for how the accommodations support the disability
  • States the professional credentials of the tester
Students/parents requesting extended time for standardized tests, including the Otis-Lennon, ERB/CTP, PSAT, SAT, or ACT must contact the learning specialist who will assist in requesting the accommodations. The learning specialist submits accommodation requests to the appropriate agency at least eight weeks prior to the testing date.

Accommodations
The learning specialists provide the implementation of reasonable accommodations at each campus:

Lower School

  • Extended time
  • Untimed tests and projects within reasonable limits
  • Keyboarding
  • Spelling exemptions: Spelling is graded only if spelling is the stated objective of the assessment
  • Choice of script versus manuscript handwriting
  • Reduction of items
  • Rote material given early to learn
  • Tests and assignments read aloud
  • Push-in and pull-out services with
    the learning specialist
  • Use of text-to-speech software to read aloud tests (Read & Write Gold)
  • Use of dictation via assistive technology

Middle School

  • + 50% extended time
  • Distraction-free testing environment
  • Reformatting of tests
  • Keyboarding
  • Use of text-to-speech software to read aloud tests (Read & Write Gold)
  • Teacher-provided notes
  • Note-taking assistance
  • Spelling exemption: Spelling is graded only if spelling is the stated objective of the assessment
  • Use of dictation software is being piloted

Upper School

  • +50% extended time
  • Distraction-free testing environment
  • Reformatting of tests
  • Keyboarding
  • Use of text-to-speech software to read aloud tests (Read & Write Gold)
  • Use of a 4-function calculator
  • Use of dictation software being piloted
  • Peer note taking

Bolles Learning Specialists

The learning specialists are dedicated to supporting the academic success of all students. Students and learning specialists develop strong, collaborative relationships through positive, confidential communication. Learning specialists create a supportive environment and encourage students to share their accomplishments, pursue their dreams, and to seek assistance in overcoming barriers to success. Learning specialists are available at all campuses, for lower, middle, and upper school students.

Learning specialists provide students with individualized and small group assistance, including but not limited to, educational planning, testing accommodations, time management, and organizational skills. A resource to parents, the learning specialists respond to questions and concerns, and work with families to address the students’ needs. Learning specialists collaborate with faculty and administration on best practices.

Kathy Rawlins

Kathy Rawlins
Lower School Learning Specialist
Email

Mary Moriarty

Mary Moriarty
Middle School Learning Specialist
Email

Katy Garcia

Katy Garcia
Upper School Learning Specialist
Email

Claudia Rae

Claudia Rae
Upper School Learning Specialist
Email