Marin Academy’s academic program is comprehensive in the breadth of its college preparatory offerings and challenging in the opportunities for depth it achieves in individual subject areas. In addition to personal attention in class, faculty and advisors meet regularly with students outside of the classroom to support and encourage them to engage as active learners. While we do not compromise MA graduation requirements, we recognize that all students learn differently and that those with diagnosed learning disabilities may need extra support and accommodation in order to have a fair opportunity for academic success.
The main goal of the Learning Services office is to help students become strong self-advocates. Students who thoroughly grasp how they learn and what works best for their individual learning styles help their teachers understand how to best guide them and clarify how to capitalize on their strengths both within and outside the classroom.
Students with a professional learning evaluation who want accommodations at MA should share their formal report with Learning Services Coordinator Rebecca Gustin. This report should include the specific diagnosis, test and sub-test names and results, thorough documentation of the testing methods used, a list of suggested accommodations and the credentials of the evaluator, including license, certification and title. Rebecca will review the documentation and summarize the report in a one-page document to be shared confidentially with the student’s teachers at the beginning of each new course. Students will be asked to review and edit this summary before it is shared with teachers. Additionally, each identified student will meet periodically (at least twice annually) with Rebecca to review academic challenges and progress and to modify his/her approach to academic endeavors.
Students who self-refer or whom a teacher or a parent refers will complete an initial screening. Rebecca will review this screening with an educational psychologist and, after consultation with the student, may recommend a professional evaluation. Recommendations for a qualified specialist can be made to families at that time.
Typical accommodations at MA include extended time on quizzes and tests, preferential seating, use of technology (computer, tape recorder, calculator, etc.) in class and, if appropriate, during exams, and/or provision for students to take exams outside the regular classroom. The accommodations we provide are those that are reasonable for MA to offer and are based on the professional evaluation in conjunction with consultation with the student and his/her family. Rebecca can also provide the names of tutors and specialists who can help LD students make greater progress in individual subjects; MA does not provide direct services in this regard.
Students with different learning challenges are sometimes identified after they matriculate at MA. In these instances, Rebecca will assist in referring the student for a professional evaluation. These students are then expected to follow the same procedures outlined above in order to qualify for specific accommodations.
All students with extra accommodations are expected to check in with Rebecca before the exam period at the end of each semester to determine what kinds of accommodations will be necessary for exams. Students will also need to coordinate their application for accommodations on standardized tests (SAT, ACT, etc.) with Rebecca. Each spring Rebecca will apply on behalf of diagnosed students for accommodation to the College Board; students needing accommodation sooner should contact the Rebecca directly.