Dear Salem parents and guardians,
It is with great excitement that I write to you from our new Learning Center, located in our beautiful Ann Stone Hanes Library. The dream for a new space began last school year with visions of collaborative work space, a comfortable and confidential environment, and a location in a common area that the majority of students visit on a daily basis. Now that the space is ready, my new dream for the Learning Center is that each and every Salem girl find her way here at some point for the support she may need over the course of her high school career.
Having a Learning Specialist is new for Salem Academy; I am now in my second year as Salem’s first full-time Learning Specialist. Last year brought many questions and thoughts as we implemented the new position, such as:
- What is the role of a learning specialist?
- My daughter has accommodations and needs support.
- Help, my daughter is overwhelmed and struggling with time management.
- How can I help my learner take better notes and study more effectively?
- I would love for my daughter to understand her learning style”
As the Learning Specialist, one of my primary responsibilities is to work closely with students with documented needs for learning accommodations and put formal plans in place to address those needs. I am also available to the teachers to assist them in implementing any accommodations. We work together as an educational team to identify struggling learners so that support and modifications can be provided if needed. I am also the point person for any SAT or ACT special requests.
The other part of my role is to address the needs that all students share: support and guidance in areas such as time management, test anxiety, note taking skills, learning styles, study skills, and executive functioning. Through academic coaching, which is available to all students, I am able to work with the girls and guide them through these needs. I will also be working with the faculty so that they can reinforce these same topics in the context of their subject area. Now that the school year routine has been established, I will be offering “Wednesday Workshops” on a variety of academic topics. These will occur during conference time and be open to all students. The first workshop will address learning styles, and I hope to have a big group in the Learning Center for this topic. Please encourage your student to sign up for these workshops.
I look forward to working with each and every Salem girl over the course of the year. Please contact me at any time with your questions; I also appreciate any suggestions and possible needs as we continue to grow our Salem Academy Learning Center!