Center for Students with Learning Differences
Supporting Your Classical Education Endeavors and Your Students
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Welcome Letter from Dr. Amy Richards
Overview of Learning Difference Services
This is a brand-new service line within the Scholé Academy Tutoring Center. We are planning to build more robust services and support systems like this over the next several years. We hope to provide families with assistance and support as they consider how to provide a classical education to their home schooling students, and students who are taking classes at Scholé Academy and St. Raphael School.
Please note: The services provided through our Center for Students with Learning Differences are not intended to meet the standards of or fulfill any state’s requirements. The services provided here are intended to be used as a helpful supplement and are provided to parents who are looking for an alternative to, or an addition to, state services.
For 2020, the services offered through our Center for Students with Learning Differences are intended to support students who have been diagnosed with Specific Learning Disorders (SLD) or are seeking a diagnosis. At this time, we will not be providing services to students who have been diagnosed with other types of disorders or disabilities.
Specific Learning Disorders is a medical term used to describe a formal medical diagnosis. According the the American Psychiatric Association, learning disorders can only be diagnosed after formal education starts. To be diagnosed with a specific learning disorder, a person must meet four criteria.
1) Have difficulties in at least one of the following areas for at least six months despite targeted help:
- Difficulty reading (e.g., inaccurate, slow, and only with much effort)
- Difficulty understanding the meaning of what is read
- Difficulty with spelling
- Difficulty with written expression (e.g., problems with grammar, punctuation, or organization)
- Difficulty understanding number concepts, number facts, or calculation
- Difficulty with mathematical reasoning (e.g., applying math concepts or solving math problems)
2) Have academic skills that are substantially below what is expected for the child’s age and that cause problems in school, work, or everyday activities.
3) The difficulties start during school-age even if in some people don’t experience significant problems until adulthood (when academic, work, and day-to-day demands are greater).
4) Learning difficulties are not due to other conditions, such as intellectual disability, vision, or hearing problems; a neurological condition (e.g., pediatric stroke); adverse conditions such as economic or environmental disadvantage; lack of instruction; or difficulties speaking/understanding the language.
A diagnosis is made through a combination of observation, interviews, family history, and school reports. Neuropsychological testing may be used to help find the best way to help the individual with specific learning disorder.
Specific Learning Disorders include Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, and Dyscalculia. You can read more about each of these disorders here.
We also recommend the website Understood as a helpful resource to families exploring how some children learn and think differently.
- Initiate a 1-hour private consultation with the special needs coordinator: $30
- Submit Request for Services Form, and 1-hour Consultation to review requested services with Special Needs Coordinator: $125
- Preparation of the student’s individual accommodation plan, provided to parents during another 1-hour Consultation: $150
- Scheduled services provided by the special needs educators: hourly rates vary and are provided by each educator
Requesting Services Process
- Collect your SLD medical diagnosis information and review the intake form.
- Read the bios of the special needs educators who will be providing services.
- Set aside some time to complete the intake form. The form will auto-save, allowing you to stop and return to the form should you not be able to complete it in one sitting.
- Submit the intake form. (See fee listing above.)
- Our special needs coordinator will review your submission and schedule a preliminary meeting with the parent (and possibly the student). (See fee listing above.)
- After the preliminary meeting, the special needs coordinator will craft the student’s individual accommodation plan to include services provided by one of the special needs educators. (See fee listing above.)
- The parent and the assigned special needs educator will schedule the appropriate meetings and schedule services. (See fee listing above.)
Learning Differences Service Providers
Advisor: Amy Gilbert Richards, PhD is Affiliate Professor and Chair of Philosophy at Eastern University. She also teaches in Eastern’s Templeton Honors College (THC), dedicated to great books and great questions. Over the last three years, she has helped to develop the THC’s new Master of Arts in Classical Teaching. Building on her previous work in philosophical and theological anthropology, she teaches a course in this program called ‘Difference and Human Dignity in the Great Tradition’, which is dedicated both to developing an understanding of what it is to be human through the lens of disability and difference, and to offering practical techniques for classical classroom approaches for students with special needs. Also of note, Dr. Richards and Classical Academic Press have recently begun a collaboration project on a book related to her work in this course—more coming soon! She lives in Havertown, PA with her husband and their three small girls.
Special Needs Coordinator: Angela Mejdrich holds a BA in political science from the College of Saint Benedict, a BA in child study from Charter Oak State College and a MA in education from Augsburg College. She completed her thesis work on inclusive education in Catholic schools and wrote a white paper on her findings to the educational leadership of her local archdiocese, advocating for changes in enrollment policies on students with special needs. Mrs. Mejdrich is a professionally licensed educator with endorsements in special education and school administration. She has been in education for over 20 years and has taught at the preprimary through post-secondary levels in a variety of settings, following a variety of education models. Most recently, she has been working in school administration. Mrs. Mejdrich is excited to join Scholé Academy and looks forward to working with families along their homeschooling journeys.
Mrs. Mejdrich lives on a lake in Central Minnesota with her husband and their two children. She enjoys experiencing the beauty and promise of God’s creation, especially sunrises, starry skies, birdsongs and the seasonal cycle of trees, as well as cooking, reading, boating, hiking, and running. amejdrich.scholeacademy@gmail
Special Needs Instructor: Heather McCoy has a BA in liberal studies with an emphasis in art from California State University, Northridge, and a MEd in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in online teaching and learning and biblical literacy from Concordia University. Prior to homeschooling her four children, she taught special education in public schools in California and Missouri. When Heather noticed her local district allowed significant gaps in her daughter’s education, the family made the decision to move to home schooling. Heather was intrigued by the classical Christian education model and found it to be a good fit for her family. Since then, Heather has participated in workshops through the Consortium for Classical Lutheran Education to further her appreciation and understanding of the classical Christian model. With 13 years of teaching experience in a variety of settings, she has had many opportunities to develop strategies for individual student achievement. She enjoys working with individual students and their families to develop personalized strategies that lead to academic success and increased confidence. Heather lives in Lansing, Michigan, with her husband and four children. They enjoy supporting Spartan Athletics at Michigan State University and exploring the arts and the beautiful state of Michigan! E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org