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Parents, teachers, and students themselves sometimes have questions about academic performance, learning style, or processing skills. The learning specialists can help determine if the issues are best addressed through consultation with parents and teachers, small group instruction, tutoring, or evaluation.
The Teaching and Learning Center (TLC) administers learning style assessments and screens for learning difficulties and disabilities. This can help parents and teachers understand more about a student’s learning style, academic performance, and processing strengths and weaknesses, and lead to developing strategies and techniques for optimal learning and instruction.
Parents or teachers, and often students in the Middle and Upper Schools, may initiate evaluations, but parent approval is required. The process typically involves pre- and post-test meetings with students, parents, and teachers.
What happens before the test?
Information is gathered from parents and teachers through interviews and written forms. Students meet with a learning specialist for several information interviews.
What happens after the test?
Teachers and parents meet to review test results and develop a plan for supporting the student. Plans may include specific teaching strategies, scheduling modifications, tutoring, or referrals to specialists for further assessment.
The learning specialist, teacher, or parent shares information with the student.
Information is shared with the student's other teachers as determined by parents and the learning specialist.
Final reports vary depending on the division. In the Lower School a written report details results and recommendations for parents. The homeroom teacher receives a copy that is filed in the TLC (rather than in the permanent cumulative school file) as a reference for other teachers.
Consultation & Outside Referrals
If our on-campus learning specialists cannot address the questions raised about a student's learning, we will work with parents to find appropriate specialists in the community. Most often referrals are made to local psychologists; sometimes referrals are made to occupational therapists, speech therapists, or physical therapists.
The TLC recommends service providers who do extensive testing, and more importantly, know Catlin Gabel. The recommendations provided in these evaluations are most applicable, practical, and realistic when the psychologist knows what students are experiencing in their classes at our school. We know which psychologist work most successfully with our students and programs.
After three to five years, student evaluations are outdated. New evaluations may reveal different things to consider, which is particularly important as students develop physically and cognitively. The timing of new evaluations is an important consideration for students seeking accommodations from the College Board.