How do you determine if my child should enroll in the Academic Support Program?
The only requirement for academic support is a need on the part of the student and the family for the transformative potential of a relationship that is structured and focused on each student’s individual learning goals.
Documentation of an educational disability or history of a learning difference is not required. Testing is used in conjunction with other sources of information about the student’s learning strengths and needs. We never use test scores alone to make a decision regarding a student’s participation in the Academic Support Program (ASP), however, they do provide a good overview of how a student learns.
Which learning differences does ASP help with?
Specifically, the Academic Support Program works with students who have language-based and executive functioning learning differences. Highly individualized learning plans are devised for documented learning differences and may be used for test-taking accommodations (including PSAT, SAT, ACT, IB, and AP exams) or accommodations in the classroom, house, or athletic setting. In this way, the focus is suited to the student’s needs. Skills addressed for the classroom include reading, writing, mathematics, executive functions, test taking strategies, content mastery and test preparation strategies, self-advocacy, and college planning.
Is ASP “special education?”
No, ASP is not “special ed.” It involves tailor-made plans and strategies for skill-building in areas of weakness. Many students in ASP take AP, International Baccalaureate or other honors-level courses at NHS.
How does ASP help in the classroom?
All teachers have reviewed copies of any accommodation plan for students in their classes. They differentiate their instruction for all different types of learners, so those that absorb information in different ways can still be successful. Some teachers have previously been a part of the Academic Support Program, so they are versed in how to best accommodate all types of learning. After learning the skills that will lead them to success in a classroom, a student is better prepared to take on challenges in current and future courses, in college and beyond.
Will my child be ready for college?
As an outcome of their participation in the Academic Support Program, students will have greater awareness of themselves as learners: they will know their strengths, understand their individual learning styles, and use strategies effectively and independently. Students gain confidence as they progress through ASP and begin taking the risks necessary for substantial learning to take place. The goal of the Academic Support Program is to have students “graduate” over their time at New Hampton and become autonomous in their learning. They are more prepared for college because they can identify a weakness and overcome it or ask for help.
How does the ASP at NHS compare to other independent schools?
Support classes are regularly scheduled classes, in contrast to other schools where “tutoring” may take place once or twice a week, in the evening or after regular classes are over for the day. Integrating academic support into the student’s daily class schedule leads to a high level of student engagement and increases the effectiveness of strategy instruction. Far from limiting a student’s ability to take electives, ASP supports many students as they excel in higher-level courses.
How many students are in the program at NHS?
Roughly 25% of students at New Hampton School participate in either Group or Individual Support classes.
Does ASP count for credit? How is it graded?
ASP courses are offered as part of a student’s schedule, so it counts for credit (one elective credit per year) and appears on the transcript. It is graded as pass/fail and instructors write comments and give effort marks as in other academic classes.
How do you use technology/iPad in ASP?
With full iPad classroom use across all academic areas, ASP serves to support the greater faculty technology effort. Students can photograph the whiteboard with their iPads, and rewrite and organize the notes in tutorial. ASP also promotes aural learning. Students may use Dragon Dictation for note taking or receive assistance in finding
the right source for an audio text best suited for them. The math department is piloting a smart pen program on the iPad in which the teacher records a video of the steps required to solve a problem. The students can then work through the problem with the teacher’s narration.
How much training do instructors in the Academic Support Program have?
Teachers participate in professional development workshops throughout the year (language-based learning differences, how anxiety effects learning, etc). They have backgrounds in special education, teaching, or other areas of education.
What can I expect from an instructor?
ASP instructors centralize communication with parents and student’s teachers regarding assignments, assessments, grades, and accommodation plans. The instructors also teach skills like organization, time management, and test-taking strategies.
Do you have different instructors for different subject areas?
While some instructors have a specialized background in a certain subject, the goal of ASP is really to build skills that will allow the student to be successful in all areas. Instructors can help with content to a certain extent, but they will likely encourage students to seek out a teacher from a certain subject area if they need help. If a student needs specialized help in math, world language, etc., NHS has a relationship with an outside tutorial program that can meet with students during their free blocks or after school for an additional fee.
What are some other services the Learning Center offers if my child does not need ASP but would like support in some areas (test-taking, writing, SAT/ACT prep)?
ASP also offers Supported Study, which is a great option for students who need help only during a certain time of year or every once in a while. During free blocks, the instructors in ASP may staff the Learning Center for students in Supported Study that need extra support in their classes. The Academic Office, a student’s advisor, or a parent may put a student in this program because of unsatisfactory performance, or a student may self-select to be in the program for as long as they feel it is needed. There is no additional fee.
If my child needs extra help in one subject, how can they be supported?
The goal of the Academic Support Program is to build skills that will enable a student to be successful in all subject content areas. If a student needs help in one particular area, teaching faculty at New Hampton School are available to students for extra help during office hours (which occurs twice per week), study hall at night in the houses, during free blocks, or by arranging a time to meet and review material. For more intensive review, New Hampton School can also pair students with tutors from Knower Academics, a third-party tutorial agency that links students with a tutor during their free block or after school.
Can my child take IB or honors courses and still participate in ASP?
Yes. Many of our IB and honors students benefit from long-term project management help while balancing immediate smaller tasks and assignments. ASP works in conjunction with the academic schedule of the School, not as a separate course of study.
What are some colleges that ASP students have recently attended?
The class of 2015 was accepted to over thirty-two colleges and universities including American University, Denison University, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Northeastern University, Skidmore College, St. Lawrence University, Trinity College, and Union College.
What are the different instructor:student levels of ASP?
Group* 1:3 or 1:4
*Group Support is offered to juniors, seniors, and postgraduates who have previously mastered basic academic strategies.
“The academic support program does a wonderful job helping students understand how they learn. The ASP and classroom teachers work together with students in order to help them develop the skills they need to find success in different subjects. They instill important concepts like self advocacy and specific organization skills that students can take with them outside of NHS.”
-Maura Veilleux, Science Instructor, New Hampton School
“The faculty in ASP are instrumental to teaching students organization and accountability. During longer projects they assist students in ordering their research and help them develop their ideas while providing guidance in focusing their points. The faculty in ASP really care about the students and it shows in their communication with parents and teachers.”
-Meredith C. Brown, History Instructor, New Hampton School