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    • Bell Tower Cross

Learning Support

    • Students work together along with a counselor
SHS is committed to providing a supportive academic environment that enables all students to achieve maximum scholastic potential. As each student develops and learns at an individual pace, we recognize that many may benefit from supplemental coaching in order to set and achieve personal academic goals, more closely review classroom material and prepare for exams, devise or improve study skills and strategies, manage time more effectively, and determine the need for any accommodation in the classroom.

Partnering with students, teachers, and family members, the learning support staff at both the P-8 and SHP divisions take a collaborative approach, with a goal to promote student self-esteem and a positive attitude toward learning and the learning process. Working in a one-to-one setting with specialists, students increasingly gain self-awareness, self-motivation, and become self-advocates for their own education.

Preschool - Grade 8 Learning Support

Preschool - GR 5 Support Services

List of 1 items.

  • A Collaborative Approach

    The P-5 Learning Services team provides support both within and outside of the classroom. Our approach stems from targeted benchmark assessments, academic screening tools, teacher observations, and parent input.

    Based on collected data, appropriate interventions are developed for a specified amount of time. Following the intervention, the team evaluates efficacy of the support. Outcomes from this evaluation may include: transition out of intervention, continued intervention, or recommendations for external support and/or further assessment.

    *The general classroom teacher is the initial point of contact for any student’s involvement in Learning Services.

GR 6-8 Support Services

List of 6 items.

  • Middle School 101

    Middle School 101 (MS101) is a course designed to provide all middle school students with a strong organizational and study skills foundation. Students participate in multiple sessions at the beginning of each school year. These are reinforced with additional classes throughout the year, co-taught by learning specialists and core class teachers. Topics include organization of materials and electronic files, time-management, note-taking, and study strategies.
  • Teaching & Learning Center

    The Teaching & Learning Center (TLC) provides a range of academic-related support for middle school students with the goal of helping each student reach his or her fullest potential. The TLC works with students, parents, and faculty to develop a diverse array of instructional strategies and programs that address different learning needs.
  • Go! Get Organized

    GO! (Get Organized) provides one-on-one coaching for any middle school student needing support with time management, use of a personal planner, organization of binder/backpack or electronic files, setting teacher meeting agendas, and creating an action plan for improvement in a specific class. Coaching sessions are available on campus after school.
  • Testing Center

    The Middle School Testing Center seeks to provide a quiet testing environment for any student needing to make up tests or use his or her extended time accommodation. The Testing Center is open every day after school.
  • Jump Start

    Jump Start is a summer program, co-sponsored by the TLC and Office of Admissions, which aims to simplify and ease the transition to Sacred Heart Middle School. Participating students have the opportunity to work with Sacred Heart faculty, get comfortable on campus, and come to know a small group of their classmates prior to the start of school. In addition, the program provides targeted support in three academic domains critical to middle school success: organization and study strategies, reading for understanding, and writing with focus and purpose.
  • Academic Skills Course

    The Academic Skills Course (ASC) is a class for students with documented learning differences who require intensive small group support. The course allows students to learn and practice effective study strategies and executive functioning skills to support their academic and personal growth. The goals of this course are to provide essential skills for success in a rigorous academic environment, to foster independence, confidence, and self-advocacy, and to build awareness of students' unique talents and abilities.

    The ASC curriculum is designed around four content areas: Personal Growth and Development, Organization and Time Management, Study Strategies, and Foundational Literacy. All skills taught and practiced are applied to core class work. The course is held in lieu of a World Language.

Preparatory Learning Support

    • SHP Student getting individual learning help

GR 9-12 Support Services

List of 2 items.

  • Academic Support Center (ASC)

    Sacred Heart Preparatory's Academic Support Center (ASC) provides learning support for students in grades 9-12 with mild to moderate learning differences to ensure the academic success of each student. As a collaborative team and student service program, we endeavor to create a culture that promotes self-esteem, a positive attitude toward learning, and the optimal attainment of the educational goals of every student in our community. We seek to assist students to realize their potential in an environment that promotes self-awareness, self motivation, and self-advocacy in a comprehensively accessible environment. Overseen by the Assistant Principal of Curriculum & Academics, the Academic Support Center is open daily and staffed by a dedicated team of nine, including a board-certified educational therapist, learning specialists, and subject-matter specialists.

    The ASC faculty are an essential resource for students, applying all available tools and strategies to assist with the following:

    • Subject previewing and re-teaching
    • Differentiated, interactive, and dynamic teaching methodologies
    • Executive functioning, long-term planning, goal-setting and organizational support
    • Self-advocacy coaching 
    • Extended-time accommodations 
    • Editing support 
  • School & Personal Counseling

    The School Counseling Department is staffed with a team of six fully qualified counselors: one director, four school counselors and a personal counselor (therapist). Each student is assigned to a School Counselor who supports a student's overall growth and development in high school. In support of learning, the School Counselor is a resource to help students reach their academic potential and plan a course of studies that fulfills their graduation requirements. The counselor has access to the student’s on-line grades, reviews all report cards, and consults with students who are having difficulty. School Counselors work with students on course selection and scheduling, skills building, academic resources, extended absences, and communication with teachers. The counseling department takes a holistic approach to working with all children. What is happening in the classroom is only a part of a child’s learning and as such, works closely with other support personnel at the school in attending to the student’s needs.

SHP Academic Support Center (ASC) FAQs

List of 8 frequently asked questions.

  • What is SHP's policy regarding serving students with disabilities?

    Sacred Heart Preparatory’s commitment to fairness and justice extends to providing academically qualified students with a disability an equal opportunity to access the school’s programs and activities, with available and reasonable supports/accommodations. Access to these services is open to those who are eligible and apply through the Academic Support Center (ASC). The ASC program is equipped to support students with mild to moderate learning disabilities. Students enrolled at SHP must adhere to all the school requirements and policies of the semester and year-long course requirements, course sequence, honors/advancement eligibility, and 4-year graduation plan. All coursework meeting graduation requirements must be taken at SHP. Parents of students with potentially limiting conditions, including learning disabilities, attention deficits, and visual, hearing, medical, physical, psychological, or mobility impairments, should contact the Office of Admissions who will consult with the ASC Director & Board-Certified Educational Therapist (BCET) to review availability of supports for critical needs prior to considering the admissions process. Prospective students with a diagnosed condition that can impair fair test-taking on any placement test, may be eligible for extended time or other reasonable accommodations on the exam. An ASC Application must be completed in advance, along with a request for accommodations through the Office of Admissions and all documentation to support consideration of the request must be submitted to the Office of Admissions. Families/students who do not disclose that testing is in process, planned, or has been completed during the admissions process may have to wait an academic year to be eligible for ASC services.
  • What specific types of services and accommodations are available for students with disabilities at Sacred Heart Prep?

    Students are expected to develop proficiency in communication with teachers as needed, encouraging self-advocacy. ASC supports may include:

    Enrollment Assistance:
    • Placement test accommodations
    • Orientation to campus
    • Advisement in course selection
    Formal Plans Developed for Qualified Students (based on professional testing and demonstrated need):
    • DSM V and/or ICD diagnosis
    • (Documentation policies apply
    Available accommodations at Sacred Heart Prep may include:
    • Academic Support Center (ASC) class or access to ASC services outside of a class period
    • Family Team Meetings & Teacher Office Hours
    • Access to accommodations on assessments through the Testing Center
    • Extended time for testing (not for assignments)
    • Specialized advising for future course selections & strategic planning
    • Teacher/student/parent consultation
    • Advising on academic study skills, organizational EF strategies
    • Assistive technology for reading (audiobooks) & note-taking (recording device) - parent provided
    • Use of computer for essay exams, note taking, and in-class writing
    • Use of a calculator for math calculations
    • Reasonable accommodations for students who are deaf or hard of hearing or blind or low vision
    • Medical conditions support
    College Planning:
    • Application assistance to secure accommodations for college entrance and AP exams — College Board, ACT— as eligible. Note: College Board and ACT have the right to deny accommodations to any student, even those approved for in school accommodations with Sacred Heart Prep.
    • Transition support to college disability services post high school.
    • Assist/consult with SHP College Counselors in post-secondary planning as needed
  • How can a student arrange to receive services?

    Academic accommodations are provided after appropriate documentation is presented to the School, the individual’s needs are reviewed, consideration of how the disability might interfere with the student’s academic performance at Sacred Heart Prep, and identification of reasonable supports and accommodations. Testing for accommodations is not provided at Sacred Heart Prep.

    Students are referred to private psychologists or Sequoia Union High School School District as appropriate. A DSM-V diagnosis must be accompanied by formal testing, clearly demonstrating a student’s individual profile of substantial limitations to support a request. A diagnosis alone without formal assessment does not demonstrate a student’s individual need for academic accommodations, nor does a diagnosis alone qualify a student for ASC services. Students at Sacred Heart Prep may also qualify for ASC services if they are diagnosed with a qualifying condition while enrolled that impacts learning and success in school. Students who submit an evaluation to the ASC, but are not referred by the School, will go through a Response to Intervention (RTI) process to determine if there is a demonstrated need and accommodations are appropriate. Families should contact the ASC Director and BCET to inquire about procedures and documentation policies. Families/students who do not disclose that testing is in process, planned, or has been completed during the admissions process or do not engage with the School in the RTI process may have to wait an academic year to be eligible for ASC services. Note: The College Board requires that a student utilize the accommodations included on their SHP learning plan for 4-school months across all subjects prior to applying for formal College Board accommodations.

    Outside of the admissions process, documentation may be submitted on a rolling basis. Families/students must submit a complete evaluation (not a summary) to the ASC for review. It can take approximately 2 weeks to review and create an accommodation plan and any documentation submitted less than 2 weeks before final exams will not be reviewed until 2 weeks into the following semester.
  • What documentation does Sacred Heart Prep require for students who are seeking disability services through the ASC?

    Students must submit documentation to verify eligibility for ASC services. Documentation consists of a current psychoeducational or neuropsychological evaluation (LD and AD/HD recommended within 3 years) or evaluation every year accompanied by a written report of that evaluation (for medical, physical, or psychological conditions) that addresses specific symptoms and impact on academic performance and needs of the student, with clear diagnosis (DSM V or ICD Codes).
  • What is the process for securing accommodations for the ACT? 

    SHP does not automatically apply for ACT accommodations as not all SHP students take the ACT.

    Download to see how to Register for the ACT

    In order to secure accommodations for the ACT, families must register for an exam through ACT and then the SHP Educational Therapist will request the accommodations.

    Download to see the difference between National and Special Testing. SHP is NOT a National Testing Center and can only offer school based accommodations for Special Testing.
  • What are the 24-25 special testing weekends?

    Aug 24-25, 2024
    Oct 5-6, 2024
    Mar 8-9, 2025
    Sep 14-15, 2024
    Oct 26-27, 2024
    Feb 8-9, 2025
    Apr 5-6, 2025

    (Please note: weekend testing is only for SHP students with approved school-based accommodations). SHP is closed in July & we do not host any standardized testing in July.

    For questions, please contact Mr. Jorge Reyes.
  • If you have further questions about the ASC and our services, whom do you contact? 

    Anna McDonald EdD, BCET#10407
    Board Certified Educational Therapist

    Ms. Fehmeen Picetti
    Director of ASC

SHP Learning Support Contacts

List of 2 members.

  • Photo of Anna McDonald

    Anna McDonald EdD, BCET#10407 

    Board Certified Educational Therapist - SHP
  • Photo of Fehmeen Picetti

    Fehmeen Picetti 

    Director of ASC - SHP

Sacred Heart Schools Atherton

Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton

150 Valparaiso Ave
Atherton, CA 94027
650 322 1866
Founded by the Society of the Sacred Heart, SHS is a Catholic, independent, co-ed day school for students in preschool through grade 12