Center for Students with Learning Differences
Supporting Your Classical Education Endeavors and Your Students
Scholé Academy's Center for Students with Learning Differences offers personalized tutoring to help students find confidence and delight in their classical studies.
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Welcome Letter from Dr. Amy Richards
Overview of Learning Difference Services
This is our most recent addition to the services provided via the Scholé Academy Tutoring Center. We hope to provide families with assistance and support as they consider how to provide a classical education to their home-educated students and students who are taking classes at Scholé Academy, St. Raphael School, and the Canterbury House of Studies.
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 the 2021-2022 academic year, 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 who 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 a Special Needs Instructor: $30 (Feel free to peruse the bios below of our Special Needs Instructors.)
- Submit background information through the Intake Form and review requested services in a 1-hour Consultation with Special Needs Instructor: $125
- Receive and discuss the prepared Student Individual Accommodation plan during an additional 1-hour Consultation with the Special Needs Instructor: $150
- Purchase services to be provided by the Special Needs Instructor: hourly rates vary and are provided by each instructor
Requesting Services Process
- Collect your SLD medical diagnosis information and review the intake form.
- Set aside some time to complete the intake form. The form will auto-save, allowing you to stop and return to the form if you are unable to complete it in one sitting.
- Submit the intake form. (See fee listing above.)
- A Special Needs Instructor will review your submission and schedule a preliminary meeting with you and possibly your student. (See fee listing above.)
- After the preliminary meeting, the Special Needs Instructor will craft the student’s Individual Accommodation Plan including a list of both Instructor Services for the student and Consulting Services for the parent and/or instructors. (Rates will be provided with the Individual Accommodation Plan.)
- The parent and the Special Needs Instructor will schedule recommended meetings and services.
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 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! [email protected]