Students with Learning Differences

The Archdiocese of Baltimore invites families to reach out to your high school of the choice to learn more about the following programs and resources available for students with learning differences.  If your child is part of the PRIDE program in an Archdiocese of Baltimore elementary school, please contact Denise Garman, Director of Student Support Services, at 410-625-8495 for assistance in the high school search process.

 Coeducational High Schools

Archbishop Spalding High School

The Aquinas Program supports uniquely gifted college-bound students with learning differences in reading and language. Additional fee applies. Contact: Jeanine Kandrac | kandracj@spaldinghs.org | 410-969-9105

Bishop Walsh School

The Pratt Program is for students with language-based learning differences, such as dyslexia and organizational challenges. Individualized Orton-Gillingham tutoring and coaching are available. Contact: Stephanie Pratt | spratt@bishopwalsh.org | 301-724-5360 x218

Our Lady of Mount Carmel School

The USS Star Program provides an opportunity for students who struggle with attendance and grades, have a documented learning difference, or need a stronger support system to achieve educational success. Contact: Jazmine Carey | jcarey@olmcmd.org | 410-686-1023

Saint John’s Catholic Prep

The St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Scholars Program provides academic support for students with mild to moderate diagnosed learning differences (as documented by a current psycho-educational evaluation), who have demonstrated the ability to learn in a classroom of approximately 25 students without curriculum modifications.  Without foregoing the high standards set by SJCP, the Seton Program restructures each student’s schedule to allow for a lighter course load, while providing classroom and testing accommodations, learning strategy instruction, and subject tutoring by an experienced teaching staff.  Contact: Janet Ryczko | jryczko@saintjohnsprep.org | 301-662-4210 x108

St. Maria Goretti

The Aquinas Academic Support Center works with parents of students with identified learning differences to offer accommodations, including study guides and extended time for exams, preferential seating, visibly ‘chunked’ exam content or administration of exams, and division of large assignments into small sections. Students are encouraged to self-advocate through utilizing a ‘note-taking buddy,’ requesting teachers to review student planners, and peer tutoring. Students may use devices in the classroom to take notes, access e-books, and conduct online research. The freshman English curriculum incorporates a study skills component to assist in transitioning to the rigor of college-preparatory curriculum.Contact: Randal Smedley | rsmedley@goretti.org | 301-739-4266

St. Mary’s High School

Committed to working with each student toward academic success, the Guidance Department reviews accommodations recommended by a learning specialist or psychologist through psychoeducational testing, and develops a student support plan. Students with learning differences can be successful when supported by the right combination of accommodations and college preparatory curriculum. Contact: Megan Bowers | mbowers@stmarysannapolis.org | 410-990-4223

The John Carroll School

The St. Joseph Program provides highly motivated students with documented learning differences an opportunity to succeed in a challenging college-preparatory environment. Recognizing that each student has a unique approach to learning, the St. Joseph Program endeavors to make students aware of their personal learning styles and then establish strategies to accommodate that style. Students receive individualized accommodations in the classroom and monitoring toward the achievement of personal goals. Additional fee applies. Contact: Anne Drummey | adrummey@johncarroll.org | 410-879-2480

Boys’ High Schools

Archbishop Curley High School

The Anthony Program is a multifaceted college-preparatory program that addresses the needs of young men from diverse backgrounds who are at risk due to learning differences, lower self-esteem, and/or socio-emotional challenges. Maximum learning potential is achieved through the implementation of cross-curricular behavioral strategies, individualized assessments to measure academic performance, and an integrated team-teaching approach. Contact: Kathleen Maskell | kmaskell@archbishopcurley.org | 410-485-5000 x377

Calvert Hall College High School

The La Salle Program serves a unique group of students who may struggle with reading, writing, and math skills due to a specific language disability such as dyslexia. Students are integrated into the academic and co-curricular environment, but their academic programs are tailored to meet individual needs. Contact: Jennifer Healy | healyj@calverthall.com | 410-825-4266 x133

Loyola Blakefield

The Murray Learning Service supports bright, motivated students with documented learning differences as they complete a rigorous college-preparatory program. This program provides unlimited access to a team of learning specialists who work with students to improve organizational and time management skills, provide appropriate accommodations, and assist students in meeting the demands of their classroom teachers. Additional fee applies. Contact: Fran Finnegan | ffinnegan@loyolablakefield.org | 443-841-3248

Mount Saint Joseph High School

The Depaul Program is designed for college-bound students with specifically diagnosed mild learning/language differences, such as dyslexia or dysgraphia. Contact: Kate Chapman | kchapman@admin.msjnet.edu | 410-644-3300

Girls’ High Schools

Institute of Notre Dame

The Mother Caroline Program offers college preparatory courses designed for students needing reinforcement in a particular academic discipline. Small class sizes, coupled with an emphasis on student-teacher interaction, the program allows students to successfully prepare for future academic rigor and advanced course work. Additionally, the tablet program teaches students to organize class materials, take notes, and retrieve homework, notes, and grades. Parents have access to this information, allowing them to support at home. Finally, the Sister Marie Charles Program helps freshmen struggling in their academic endeavors. This group meets bi-weekly to reinforce strategies for effective studying, test taking, and personal encouragement. These students are assigned a faculty mentor and a student tutor. Contact: Diana Franz | dfranz@indofmd.org | 410.522.7800 x227

Maryvale Preparatory School

The St. Julie Billiart (SJB) Program serves bright and motivated college-bound young women who range from struggling readers to those with language-based learning differences. As gifted, college-bound students, SJB participants attend regular college preparatory classes. Their specific learning needs are addressed through daily 1:1 or 1:2 sessions with SJB staff, who personally configure Individual Education Plans (IEP) that utilize proven Orton-Gillingham, Phono-Graphix, and other instructional methods appropriate to each student’s profile. SJB staff then collaborate with teachers to make effective accommodations for regular course work. The goal for each student is to develop as a confident, independent reader and writer with strong organizational, time management, studying, and test-taking skills. SJB students have access to assistive technologies that have been configured for their use. Regular progress reports are provided with weekly follow-up with SJB staff to confirm effective participation in the program. Contact: Jennifer Nicholas | nicholasj@maryvale.com | 410-308-8509

Mercy High School

The Learning Difference Specialist, along with the Director of Guidance and Student Support, work with parents and students to ensure that accommodations and additional help are provided. As students with learning differences thrive when supported by caring professionals while completing challenging coursework, they complete the same college-preparatory curriculum as all other students. The Learning Difference Specialist provides individualized support for students to succeed academically and emotionally. Contact: Cindy Magruder | cmagruder@mercyhighschool.com | 410-433-8880 x209

Mount de Sales Academy

The Sacred Heart Program is designed to support college-bound students with identified learning differences and ADHD. The program provides academic support and remediation, while enabling students to discover learning strengths, so that they may build on these strengths, and advocate for individual needs. Contact: Mary Jo Puglisi | mjpuglisi@mountdesales.org | 410-744-8498 x267

The Catholic High School of Baltimore

The Archangel Program provides opportunities for success to students who encountered academic difficulties during elementary and middle school. Through small class sizes, frequent student-teacher interaction, close cooperation between home and school, and the student’s commitment to success, the Archangel student proceeds through a college preparatory program. Archangel students are integrated into other class levels based upon academic achievement in their junior year. To enhance the learning experience, students utilize state-of-the-art technology, including iPads with various educational applications.

National Guidelines for Documentation of Special Learning Needs

The presence of an IEP, 504 Plan, or professional evaluation does not necessarily mean a student is eligible for special accommodations. Documentation to support the need for requested accommodations must:

  1. State the specific learning difference as diagnosed, using a DSM V classification.
  2. Be current (no older than three years).
  3. Provide complete educational, developmental, and relevant medical history.
  4. Describe the comprehensive testing and techniques used to arrive at the diagnosis (including evaluation date(s) and test results, with subtest scores from measures of cognitive ability, current academic achievement, and information processing).
  5. Explain how the learning difference impacts daily functioning abilities.
  6. Describe the specific accommodations requested, and state why the learning difference qualifies the student for such accommodations.
  7. Establish the professional credentials of the evaluator, including information about license or certification and area of specialization.

Alternative Intervention Strategies (AIS) Plans and Personal Progress Plans (PPP) can be used as supplemental information, but they do not replace a professional evaluation.