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Academic and Learning Support

Welcome to the Learning Support Team!

We are a dedicated and passionate team of professionals committed to providing learning support for boys with various learning differences. Lower, Middle, and Upper School specialists use the A.C.E.R. Program (more on this below) to implement school-wide learning support aligned with Gilman's PK-12 curriculum. We recognize and embrace the unique learning profiles our boys bring and collaborate with teachers and families to provide academic support to develop strategic learners who are prepared to embrace their gifts here and as they transition to continue learning at the college or university of their choice. Our team implements research-based strategies designed to improve executive functions in learners across all three divisions.

We are happy to answer questions, and we look forward to partnering with families in order to ensure their boys enjoy learning and are prepared to meet academic standards in each division.

Dr. Stephanie Harris
Director of PK-12 Learning Support

Overview of Academic Support Services at Gilman

Every boy learns differently. And that's okay. Our mission to educate the whole boy in mind, body, and spirit means giving all bright learners the tools and skills they need to succeed in high school and beyond.

In all three divisions, our teachers are the first line of academic support for our students. They understand that each child learns differently, and they instruct accordingly. To assist our exceptional teachers, each division has one or more dedicated learning specialists and a student support team.

  • The learning specialists help boys understand how they learn and what that style (or styles) requires in different subjects. They also help them learn to utilize any instructional accommodations they require to become successful students and lifelong learners.
  • The student support teams — which often include one or more of the division's learning specialists — meet regularly to identify students of concern, determine appropriate measures and/or interventions, and implement an action plan for issues, including academic and/or social-emotional challenges.

Accommodations and Services for Students with Diagnosed Learning Disabilities

Helping students become strategic learners who understand their unique learning profile and how this profile impacts the learning process is the primary goal of Gilman's Academic Support Center. In collaboration with faculty who provide small group assistance and/or one-on-one support, the Director of Academic Support and academic coaches work closely with students diagnosed with a learning disability as defined by The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). These students are guaranteed equal access to programs and services when the required documentation is presented, which indicates a functional limitation to a major life activity, such as learning.

Accommodations for students with disabilities are intended to provide equal access to courses, services, and programs. When families are concerned with their student's academic progress, they must meet with the Director of Academic Support to discuss those concerns, determine if the need for psychoeducational testing is warranted, and/or provide documentation to substantiate the need for educational testing to request accommodations. Accommodations and services are provided based on student needs, demonstrated functional limitations to learning, and are determined on a case-by-case basis.

The A.C.E.R. Program

Standing for Access/Accessibility, Communication, Engagement, and Reflection/Regular Feedback, our academic support professionals use the A.C.E.R. Program in their work with students to help them feel empowered and in charge of their own learning.

Below are the practices and objectives our academic support professionals seek either:

  • To develop in students utilizing academic support, or
  • To fulfill in their own work with students and families.

Meet Our Academic and Learning Support Team

Stephanie Harris

Stephanie Harris

Director of Academic Services PK-12
Kate Schmick

Kate Schmick

Director of Middle School Academic Support, Speech/Language Pathologist
Jen Schmerling

Jen Schmerling

Lower School Director of Academic Support