Academics

Learning Support

We recognize that all students learn differently.

We work with every student to determine strategies for the student's success and wellbeing. Those with diagnosed learning differences may need extra support and accommodation in order to have a fair opportunity for academic success. Our goal is for students to advocate for themselves, understand their learning strengths and challenges, and be prepared for their college experience.
Tutoring
We allow on-campus tutoring (all tutors must pass a fingerprint check before they can work on campus); however, we do not provide direct services in this regard. In addition, we offer a Learning Strategies exploratory that serves students who may benefit from study skills, including time management, reading in the content area, memory work, and test-taking skills. Students who have executive function challenges are given study halls during the school day and/or after school study time. Additionally, we have an active Peer Tutoring program, in which students are qualified to become Peer Tutors and then can offer assistance to any student requesting Peer Tutoring support.

Student Support Team 
The Student Support Team meets twice a week to discuss academic and emotional concerns as they arise. The Team consists of the Assistant Head of School, Dean of Student Life, Director of Counseling, Director or Academic Services, and Director of Student Support. Our weekly Student Review Meeting, a session with all teachers and advisors, helps surface the names of any students about whom we have academic, social, or emotional concerns.

Counselor
There are times when issues confronting students may be best addressed by a licensed professional. We are fortunate to have a counselor, Carolyn McAleavy, LMFT, on campus for appointments. Carolyn is available to talk with parents about any concerns regarding their teen, and with students to address whatever issue is on their minds. Counseling services are available four days a week for both individual students and small groups. Carolyn has a robust list of therapist referrals for families seeking counseling for their student on an ongoing basis.  

Frequently Asked Questions

List of 4 frequently asked questions.

  • Does Sonoma Academy have a Learning Support specialist on staff?

    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.
  • How can students access Learning Support programs?

    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.
  • Does Sonoma Academy provide accomodations for students with learning differences? 

    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. 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. We are not equipped to provide accommodations or modify curriculum for significant learning differences. 
  • Are students with learning differences given accommodations for standardized tests?

    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.

Sonoma Academy Is...

The only private, independent, college preparatory high school in Sonoma County. On our beautiful campus nestled at the base of Taylor Mountain in Southeastern Santa Rosa, Sonoma Academy students are able to explore their interests and passions in a rigorous and inspiring environment that develops a lifelong love of learning and prepares them for college and beyond.