A coed boarding and day school for grades 4-9

Where most classrooms end, ours begin.

Learning Support

Everyone Learns Differently

Students come to understand that everyone learns differently when conversations about learning are open and without judgment. Often these occur in group settings, where teachers and students compare their strengths and weaknesses around memory, reading, math, and learning. There are also one-on-one conversations with teachers. Ultimately, we empower our students with self-awareness and self-advocacy skills.

Our Approach

We believe that all students learn effective study habits by practicing them within the context of everyday academic activity. For example, keeping track of homework assignments is a habit best formed through reinforcement in each class rather than an isolated study skills class. When students need more intensive support in math and English, we schedule that support during the academic day to maintain students' free time after school.

Who Receives Learning Support?

Learning Support at NCS is designed for students who need organizational and homework support or who struggle with written production, have long-standing struggles with math or are ready to transition to a mainstream classroom from a specialized instructional setting. Our support does not include specialized instruction, nor is it appropriate for children with a newly identified language-based learning difference in need of intensive 1:1 remediation.

How We Support All Students

Embedded Support

Embedded support includes:

  • a class schedule that is easily memorized and predictable
  • supervised evening and weekend study halls
  • projects with mini-deadlines
  • process-oriented writing assignments
  • morning “check-ins” to preview the day
  • access to after-school homework help as needed
  • extra-time on tests when needed
  • Flexible Course Placement

    Some students are served well in modified math or with additional English support classes. Space in these courses is limited, and class sizes are small. Placement is often made during the admissions process, based on information from the previous school and collaboration among the Learning Support Coordinator, parents, and Dean of Academic Affairs. If a change is merited during the school year, it can be made. The student and family have central roles in determining support course placement.

    Assistive Technology

    Accommodations to support reading fluency and written production are available for any student who needs them. NCS provides a Google Chromebook to every student. Chromebooks are particularly helpful for students who write best on a computer or benefit from text-to-speech support. If a student comes with experience using a specific type of assistive technology, the school will work with the student and family to support continued use as much as possible.

    English Support

    This course, taught by the grade-level English teacher, supports students who benefit from additional attention to their written production. These three extra periods a week provide more time for learning the writing process and provide opportunities for coaching and re-teaching. Typically, students in this course do best when they do not also study a foreign language.

    Modified Math

    Students with a history of performing below grade level in math or who require extensive help are candidates for modified math class. Modified math is designed to break the cycle of “just keeping up.” We slow the pace, revisit concepts, and improve students' math skills. Over many years, this approach has shown to improve math competency and confidence.

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