Both of my sons benefited from the Learning Resources Center. The coordinator helped them manage assignments, develop work period schedules, and stay accountable to their action plans. Weekly emails provided me, their advisors, and other teachers with updates from all their teachers. I appreciated having a liaison at school to advocate on behalf of my sons when needed.
Kathy Lindlau, parent
Supporting Intellectual Diversity
St. Andrew’s-Sewanee School welcomes and celebrates intellectual diversity. Our students represent a broad spectrum of academic preparation, intellectual ability, and learning styles. We enjoy the challenge of finding the artist in the math whiz, the writer in the inarticulate adolescent, the curious child in the impassive teenager.
Students benefit from our emphasis on personal attention. With 16 students in the typical classroom and fewer than 250 students in the entire school, your academic needs, whether they are for more assistance or more challenge, will be noticed and met.
Time is Built in to the Schedule
School days include work periods when teachers are available for extra help or consultation. Required study hours for boarders are 8-10 p.m. on weeknights. Students may spend this required study period in their rooms, their house study room where a teacher’s help is nearby, or in supervised study in the Agee Library. With more than half of our faculty living on campus, a teacher’s help is always close at hand.
The Learning Resources Center
The Learning Resources Center is open during the school day to provide assistance as needed. The Learning Resources staff helps teachers and students collaborate to assess organizational needs and learning challenges. Strategies may include the development of time management and organizational skills, establishing stronger study habits, and/or peer tutoring. The Learning Resources Coordinator is a resource, guide, and advocate.
The Writing Center
The Writing Center, which is open two afternoons a week, supports all students as they strive to improve their writing at all levels. At SAS, Writing Across the Curriculum is central to our academic beliefs, and the Writing Center serves this endeavor by creating opportunities for students to hone their writing skills in all genres. Students may make appointments or drop in for help on assignments at any stage of the writing process, from idea development and organization to revision and editing. In addition to individualized support for classroom assignments, the Writing Center holds workshops throughout the year. Some of these workshops help students improve their skills in common assignments, while others provide space for students to generate and share their own creative and personal writing. Workshops will include:
- Thesis Development and Literary Analysis Essays
- College Application Essays
- Resume Writing
- Avoiding Plagiarism
- Science Writing and Lab Reports
- Poetry Writing
- Short Fiction
- Personal Essay and Creative Nonfiction
- Inspiration from Nature
Meeting Your Needs
For incoming students who have diagnostic test results available or for whom we request such testing, our Learning Resources Coordinator will create a Student Action Plan that provides recommendations for the student’s classroom teachers. Recommendations may include allowing additional time on tests, offering a distraction-free environment, or encouraging a student to use audio books. Unlike some programs that track students to courses with lower expectations or that separate students from their higher performing classmates, the SAS Academic Support Program is considered a supplement to, not a replacement for, normal classroom instructions and interactions. Working with the Learning Resources Coordinator is a dynamic process, and students will come in and out of the program as needed.
Finding a Balance
SAS believes in the value of afterschool activities, exercise, and recreation and will work with students to find a time and place for academic support that does not preclude engaging in the non-classroom enrichment activities available on our campus.
Study Skills Curriculum
The Learning Resources Coordinator provides study skills instruction to 9th grade students, focusing on organization, time management, prioritization, study strategies, and exam preparation. All 9th grade students receive a Study Skills Handbook to which students and teachers may refer throughout the school year. Study skills instruction in the middle school is embedded in the middle school curriculum. The Learning Resources Coordinator also meets individually with middle and upper school students who need extra help strengthening their study skills.
The Learning Resources Center began a Peer Tutoring Program in 2014-15. Students will apply to be tutors and will receive training and ongoing support from the Learning Resources Coordinator. Peer tutors are Upper School students who have completed the course they wish to tutor with a final grade of 85 or higher and good overall academic standing. They will earn on-campus service hours for their time. Both the tutors and those they tutor strengthen their academic skills through this individualized support. Peer tutoring provides additional challenge to students who have excelled in a field of study by providing them the opportunity to teach and share their knowledge with peers. For more information about the Peer Tutoring program, contact Malia Carlos.
Need More Help?
The Learning Resources Coordinator maintains contact with available tutors and will help a family to identify additional help when needed. SAS firmly believes in the value of afterschool activities, exercise, and recreation and will work with parents, students, and tutors to find a time and place for academic support that does not preclude a student from engaging in the non-classroom enrichment activities available on our campus.
The Learning Resources Staff
- Offers a short course on study and organizational skills for every ninth grader.
- Creates Student Action Plans for students with diagnosed learning differences.
- Communicates with teachers regarding student work plans and classroom needs.
- Provides help with study and organizational skills by appointment or drop-in.
- Provides a quiet study area or test-taking environment in a supervised space.
- Consolidates information and serves as an advocate for parents of students with learning differences.
- Is an additional contact for academic support after the teacher.
- Coordinates the peer tutoring program and outside tutoring for students needing course-specific help.
- Provides personalized assistance to approximately 20% of our student body.
Learning Resources Coordinator
Mrs. Perkins holds a B.A. in Speech and Hearing Sciences from Indiana University and an M.S. in Communicative Disorders from East Tennessee State University. She formerly served as Learning Specialist Assistant at Darlington School, where she worked with students and supported teachers' efforts for differentiated instruction in their classrooms. She is a certified Speech-Language Pathologist and worked for ten years in assessing and treating students with communication disorders, processing difficulties, learning disabilities, autism, emotional disabilities, and cognitive impairments. Mrs. Perkins helps students with organization, planning, problem solving, and social skills. She works with teachers and support teams to provide individual and small group assistance.