We recognize that all students learn differently and that those with diagnosed learning differences may need extra support and accommodation in order to have a fair opportunity for academic success. We work with every student to determine strategies for the student's success and wellbeing. Our goal is for students to advocate for themselves, understand their learning strengths and challenges, and be prepared for their college experience.
The Director of Student Support (DSS) is available to all students and families throughout the year to provide support, advice, learning strategies, guidance and, when needed, referrals and recommendations. Additionally, the DSS provides services for students with diagnosed learning differences or others who desire assistance or increased challenge. The DSS is the point person for students who qualify and wish to submit an application to the College Board for accommodations on the PSAT/SAT/Subject and Advanced Placement tests or ACT accommodations.
Students may self-refer or be referred to the DSS by a teacher or parent. The DSS will conduct an initial screening and determine next steps. Next steps may include making use of our peer tutoring program, extra help from the teacher, working with an adult content area tutor, academic coach or other professional, referral to a study skills exploratory, going over learning strategies with parents and student, and in some cases, if deemed necessary, a recommendation for a learning evaluation. The DSS is happy to refer families to qualified evaluators. Students who have a professional learning evaluation and want accommodations at Sonoma Academy are required to share their formal report with the DSS.
We are not equipped to provide accommodations or modify curriculum for significant learning differences. Typical accommodations at Sonoma Academy may include extended time on quizzes and tests, preferential seating, use of technology (computer, recording device, calculator, etc.) in class and, if appropriate, during exams, and/or provision for students to take exams outside the regular classroom. The accommodations we provide are those that are reasonable for SA to offer and are based on the professional evaluation in conjunction with consultation with the student and his/her family.
Please note that a professional evaluation by a licensed educational therapist or psychologist is required if the student is to apply for accommodations in standardized testing such as College Board Tests (SAT, subject tests and Advanced Placement tests) or the ACT. The DSS will submit this application on behalf of the student upon request.