Academics » The Center for Learning Excellence

The Center for Learning Excellence

 
Quad with CFLE building in background
 
 
Meeting the Individual Needs of Students
 
The Center for Learning Excellence (CFLE) at Sandia Prep offers academic services to meet the individual needs and learning styles of students. It is our philosophy that all attending students should be afforded opportunities to succeed academically. 

The Center for Learning Excellence offers:
  • Accommodation Plans
  • Academic Coaching
  • Structured Study Hall
  • Academic Skill Intervention
  • Study Strategies Support
  • Assistive Technology Support
  • ACT/SAT Standardized Test Accommodations
  • Academic Screening and Evaluation Consultation
 
 
 
Students with a diagnosed learning disability, or medical condition significantly impacting academic performance, are entitled to an accommodation plan. Accommodation plans outline modifications to the environment, assignments, or expectations to create more equitable learning experiences for students. Specific accommodations could include but are not limited to: extended time on tests, quizzes, or assignments; preferential seating; allowance of technology for note-taking; or more frequent contact with a teacher. Parents are involved in the creation and update of the plans, and the plans are distributed at the beginning of each academic year to teachers with a briefing from the Learning Specialist.

 
Research studies have demonstrated the positive impact of coaching on academic success for students with ADHD. In academic coaching sessions, a Learning Specialist works with the student in 10-20 minute increments for goal setting, monitoring, and discussion about progress toward goals. Goals could include: using a planner daily to record homework and due dates; participating in class discussions through the use of questions, or bringing requisite supplies to class daily. Students are pulled from the Study Strategies class a number of days per week determined by the Learning Specialist and parent.

 
This course is a combination of academic habit support and study hall. Students engage in activities designed to foster academic habits, including problem-solving tasks, daily goal setting, and other activities complementing lessons in students’ core classes. Students are grouped by grade level in middle school, and some students are pulled by a Learning Specialist for one-on-one coaching or intervention, per agreement with students’ parents. Upper school tutors are present in each class to help students with their daily and longterm assignments.

 
Students with significant weaknesses in reading, writing, or math are entitled to one-on-one academic intervention with a Learning Specialist. Such academic weaknesses could be a manifestation of a learning disability (e.g., dyslexia), or could be the result of gaps in academic skills. Students are pulled from the Study Strategies class, at intervals decided by the Learning Specialist and parent, to engage in focused skill-building. As an example, a student may be pulled three days per week for 30 minutes for reading intervention, with a goal of reading short passages at the 7th-grade level and answering comprehension questions with 80% accuracy.

 
All students at Sandia Prep can make an appointment with a Learning Specialist to get study skills support. The Learning Specialist can work with the student to formulate a study plan to maximize time with effective study strategies. Appointments can be scheduled during a student’s free period, during lunch, or at another time.

 
Learning Specialists at Prep can suggest assistive technology, and help students, teachers, and parents navigate options. Such technology could include text/ audio databases, alternative text font for students with dyslexia, or voice recording apps for phones. Many of these websites and applications are free to the public or free for students with diagnosed learning disabilities.

 
The Learning Specialist can gather the requisite paperwork and petition for ACT and SAT test accommodations for students on accommodation plans. Note: A learning disability or medical condition does not guarantee test accommodations on the ACT or SAT, and such accommodations are granted at the discretion of the test publishers.

 
The Learning Specialist can administer standardized and normalized reading and math assessments to students to gauge performance relative to same-age peers. Such results can be used to inform decisions about whether a student should undergo formal neuropsychological or educational diagnostic evaluation. One of the Learning Specialists is a licensed educational diagnostician who is familiar with referral processes, and who can make recommendations to parents wanting their son or daughter evaluated.

 
 
Chris Parchert, MA, LED
Learning Specialist/Licensed Educational Diagnostician
 
George McJimsey
Center for Learning Excellence Coach