Westtown School staffs a Learning Resource Center (LRC) that supports Upper School students on their academic journey. The mission of the Learning Resource Center is:
- to provide necessary services and accommodations for students with documented learning differences
- to provide assistance for all students who want to improve their learning, and
- to provide support to teachers and advisors working with students experiencing learning difficulties.
The LRC maintains student files and develops learning support plans for students with documented learning differences who qualify for academic accommodations. These plans are made available to faculty and administrators working with the students through a secured website. These plans include the diagnosis which qualifies the student for accommodations in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), along with a list of the student’s learning strengths and challenges. Also included is a list of approved accommodations and recommended teaching strategies.
The director of the LRC
- reviews educational evaluations and determines appropriate accommodations;
- works with the school psychologist to provide a psycho-educational evaluation for students experiencing significant academic difficulty at a minimal cost to the student and family;
- consults with the Admissions Office regarding students applying to Westtown and requesting accommodations; and
- assists, in conjunction with the College Counseling Office, students applying for accommodations on College Board tests and the ACT, as well as applying for accommodations at college.
The LRC works with students returning to school from medical leave to create plans to facilitate their return to the classroom. These plans are based on recommendations provided by their treatment providers including medical and mental health care professionals. These plans provide teachers with guidance on student expectations and limitations as they continue their recovery towards full participation.
Support in the subject areas is available through faculty members scheduled in the LRC during the day and evening study hours. The LRC works with student leaders to recruit, train, and match peer tutors in a variety of high demand subjects with interested students. Referrals to professional tutors in subject areas and for organizational support are available through the LRC.
Students who wish to improve their learning can find help in the areas of time management, organization and planning, note taking from texts and lectures, reading comprehension, test preparation and test taking. Help is available through specially prepared handouts called Tip Sheets, study skills workshops and individual appointments. Consultations are available for students experiencing difficulties. Students are referred by teachers, advisors, parents, and by self-referral.
The LRC administers tests for students with accommodations as well as make-up tests on behalf of the faculty. Consultations are available for teachers and advisors whose students are experiencing difficulty. The LRC is available to monitor students of concern through assigned study halls required by advisors.
The LRC also works with faculty through the Teaching-Learning and the Brain Initiative. The goal of the initiative is to help bring recent findings on brain function into the classroom through in-service training for new faculty on learning differences, accommodations, and brain-based learning, support for teachers incorporating brain-based learning into their classrooms, and ongoing education for faculty, parents, and students through presentations from experts in the field.