From a more informal tutorial program of the past to the structured offerings of today, North Country School has a long history of engaging and supporting a range of learners by providing academic guidance for students and creating an optimal learning environment. An underlying goal of the program is to prepare students for a successful transition to secondary schools.
Students who are part of the Learning Skills Program are bright, capable, inquisitive, and learn differently. Research has shown that academic weaknesses are often linked to ADHD, anxiety, or dysgraphia. The program works with students along a continuum of experience and needs, from those who are well served by an individualized plan to students where regular check-ins and a group setting are more appropriate.
Executive Function weaknesses that include time management, homework production and planning, organization of materials, breaking down large tasks into smaller pieces, initiating tasks, and sustaining progress on a task.
Written expression weaknesses linked to dysgraphia, elaboration of ideas, organizing an essay or paper, and difficulties starting a piece of writing.
Reading weaknesses related to comprehension and fluency that are supported by assistive technology and direct instruction in reading skills to support comprehension.
For students in grades 4-6, essential academic skills such as how to study for a test, planning an essay and ways to keep track of homework are taught by the classroom teachers in consultation with the Learning Skills Department. The self-contained classroom setting for this age-group allows for consistent routines, monitoring of skills and individualization as needed.
Learning Skills: A Comprehensive Support Program
2:1 class that meets 4-5 periods per week, plus 5:1 guided study hall weekday evenings
Learning Lab: A Guided Support Program
6:1 class that meets 3 periods per week
Learning Skills, a year-long course, meets the needs of students who are currently experiencing frustration and inconsistent success with the day-to-day demands of producing schoolwork that best represents their intellect and ability.
Learning Skills provides coaching and strategies instruction that is then reinforced in the classroom and in guided study halls.
This wraparound model supports individualized goal setting and the application of those goals to students’ day-to-day coursework.
Learning Lab meets the needs of students who have strategies to complete assignments yet need some extra time and guidance.
For returning students, this course serves as a transition from the 2:1 support setting to greater independence.
For some new students, Learning Lab offers transitional support as they engage in a new academic setting.
Learning Skills Fee: $7,500/year
Learning Lab Fee: $3,000/year
Do Rewards Work?
In this fascinating YouTube animated video, Daniel Pink talks about the factors that contribute to motivation and creativity. Framed in the world of business and work, but applicable to the academic setting, three factors: autonomy, mastery and purpose, rather than rewards, are the underpinnings of motivation.
Inside the ADD Mind by Dr. Thomas Brown
Dr. Brown frames ADD as an executive function weakness. In this article, he describes why a person with ADD can have periods of intense focus and how it is not a matter of willpower. He introduces the six areas of executive function.