Upper School Learning Center
The Learning Center is designed to support bright, college-bound students with various learning differences. Though Sparhawk is not a therapeutic or special education environment, students with the following learning differences can thrive here due to our small class sizes, supportive and kind community and with assistance through the Learning Center.
- Executive Functioning
- Dyslexia and Dysgraphia
- High Functioning ASD
- Language Based Learning Difference
Individualized Academic Support
At Sparhawk Upper School, our faculty team works collaboratively to develop the curriculum. The curriculum development process focuses on a central theme that allows for infinite connections across multiple domains of study. Faculty employ aspects of various established educational theories and pedagogies including Understanding by Design, Universal Design for Learning, Socratic Seminars, and Project-Based-Learning to develop engaging, rigorous learning tasks that build funds of knowledge and the skills to think critically and creatively. A Sparhawk education incorporates inquiry-based learning, multi-age groupings, frequent reflection, peer editing and teaching. Most importantly, students learn not what to think, but how to think and how to learn, so they have many tools with which to approach any area of interest with intellectual vigor now and in the future.
One of the most important discoveries in neuroscience and cognitive science over the past 20 years confirms what we have always believed, that every student is unique in the way that they learn and that success in learning is largely dependent on the context. Sparhawk School deeply considers each student’s individual learning dispositions to tailor an educational experience and learning context that best harnesses their natural joy in learning and builds their strengths and mediates challenges.
Learning Center Coaching & Support
The purpose of the Learning Center Support is to develop strategies and instruction that target specific academic and learning challenges for students who need additional support. The Learning Center teacher observes the student in academic classes, monitors progress and communicates with core subject area teachers to adjust accommodations and Learning Center support as needed. The Learning Center teacher works with the student to discover, reflect upon and become competent at using strategies and tools that work for them. The teacher also monitors and progressively releases responsibility for choosing and using these strategies to the student over time. In this way, the teacher encourages or “coaches” the student to develop self-awareness and independence in applying the tools and strategies to new situations both in high school and beyond to achieve personal and academic goals.