North Shore is committed to helping students maximize their academic potential and supporting student learning by working in partnership with the student, their parents and their teachers. Our Learning and Reading Resources Department provides curricular and organizational support to K-12 students with learning challenges due to learning disabilities, attention issues, weak study skills or emotional issues. Students can meet with the learning or reading specialist for individualized support on either a short-term or long-term basis. Students are referred for support services through parents, teachers, advisors, psychologists or school administrators. North Shore charges a fee for these individualized services, for which financial aid is available. A current diagnostic evaluation by a licensed provider is required in order for a student to be considered for testing accommodations.
Learning specialists develop an Individual Achievement Plan (IAP) for students with documented learning disabilities, or psychological or medical diagnoses. It includes an action plan for supporting the student individually and in the classroom, and also describes appropriate and reasonable accommodations that we will provide for the student.
The learning specialists work in conjunction with teachers, counselors, parents and the student to communicate about the student’s learning profile, recommended classroom support and appropriate accommodations.
Learning specialists provide support in the areas of organization, time management, executive function skills, study skills, written expression, reading and math skills.
Lower School learning specialists assist with classroom reading instruction and help provide executive functioning support, in addition to engaging our Lower School students in reading through special activities and programming. Learning specialists also help families navigate the evaluation process for the first time.
In addition to the one-on-one support provided by the Learning Resource Department, our Middle School learning specialists offer some support for students to develop executive functioning and academic skills directly in the learning environment. The Middle School specialists also design and implement Learning Lab, a seminar for all 6th graders that gives instruction on executive functioning skills, brain development and the neuroscience of learning.
In addition to providing individualized learning support, our Upper School learning specialists assist parents and students in applying to College Board and ACT for testing accommodations.
Ceil Scanlan, Department Chair