Academic accommodations are available to students with diagnosed learning disorders or other disabilities. While we do our best to provide appropriate support to all students, the nature and extent of available accommodations cannot be guaranteed and is ultimately determined by the director of learning services in conjunction with the academic dean. Documentation of the learning difficulty (as defined below) will be reviewed by the director of learning services in order to determine the best plan of support for each student.
Process for Requesting Academic Accommodations
- Parent or guardian submits documentation that meets the school’s requirements to the director of learning services (see below).
- The director of learning services, in conjunction with the academic dean, reviews the documentation and makes determinations about the student’s eligibility for accommodations. It is the educational institution (or standardized testing agency) that ultimately determines whether or not a student is eligible for accommodations. The examiner who writes the report can make recommendations, but does not determine eligibility.
- The parents or guardians and student attend a meeting with the director of learning services to discuss the results of the review process and any further steps that may be required.
Deadlines for Submission of Documentation
A careful review of disability documentation is a time-consuming process. To request accommodations for the start of the fall semester, please submit documentation to the director of learning services by the beginning of May. If requesting new or revised accommodations for the current school year, please allow four weeks from the date of submission to the implementation of the accommodations, if the student is eligible for any accommodations.
Outside agencies such as the College Board have their own review process and require up to seven weeks, after receiving complete documentation, to make a decision about accommodations for standardized exams. Please contact the director of learning services or the agencies themselves for more details about those specific deadlines.
Accommodations Plan and Ongoing Student Support
The student, director of learning services, academic dean, and teachers all work together to design and implement an appropriate plan for classroom accommodation. The motivation underlying this process is to encourage responsibility and self-advocacy within each student. In addition, the uniqueness of each student’s cognitive profile, of his schedule, and of each course requires individual attention and discussion.
In consultation with the family and with the student, the director of learning services prepares a summary of the student’s psycho-educational assessment report, including the student’s strengths and challenges as well as suggested strategies for learning. The director of learning services shares this summary with the student’s teachers and then serves as a resource for the teachers and the student in the teaching and learning processes.
Guidelines for Documentation
These guidelines have been adapted slightly from the College Board website: Guidelines: Basic Requirements for Disability Documentation.
- State the specific disability, as diagnosed (diagnosis should be made by a person with appropriate professional credentials; should be specific; and, when appropriate, should relate the disability to the applicable professional standards. For example, DSM-V).
- Be current (the director of learning services will determine whether a student's evaluation and diagnostic testing is up-to-date).
- Provide relevant educational, developmental, and medical history.
- Describe the comprehensive testing and techniques used to arrive at the diagnosis. Include test results with subtest scores (standard or scaled scores) for all tests.
- Describe the functional limitations (for example, the limitations to learning impacted due to the diagnosed disability).
- Describe the specific accommodations being requested and explain why they are warranted.
- Establish the professional credentials of the evaluator (for example, licensure; certification; area of specialization).