Durham Academy is committed to supporting the academic success of all learners, and we devote significant resources to services for students with learning differences. This support has expanded appreciably in recent years; as our school works to realize the goals of our Strategic Vision, we have strengthened our infrastructure of learning support from pre-kindergarten to grade 12.
Supporting the belief that students learn in different ways, our Learning Support Team — which has grown to include three full-time learning specialists and five learning support coaches — provides tools and strategies to students, teachers and families to support diverse learning needs and facilitate a clear understanding of neurodiverse learning profiles. In partnership with classroom teachers, the team helps meet the learning needs of students within the framework of DA’s academic requirements and mission. Learning specialists and coaches provide academic support and assist in navigating the process to secure reasonable accommodations in the classroom, on standardized tests (e.g., ERB, SAT, AP, ACT) and in college.
To be eligible for academic accommodations, families must provide learning specialists with a psychoeducational evaluation that meets the following criteria:
Includes comprehensive, nationally normed assessments administered individually under standardized conditions
Is no older than 4 years (1 year for mental health-related diagnoses)
Is administered by a licensed clinician
Includes a DSM-5-TR diagnosis
Clearly indicates functional limitations necessitating specific academic accommodations
It is important to note that Durham Academy makes the final determination on which accommodations can and will be implemented in the classroom setting.
The Impact of Learning Support
"The area that I've found that [Upper School learning support coach Edie Evans] helped me the most with my learning is resources with classes. Whether that be videos for psych [class] or practice problems for physics, she has a whole folder of different resources that she's willing to help give students, work with students to work with teachers to build that relationship. … I know that she's fantastic at organization and time-management."
Mark Caveney '23