Students with Learning Differences

The Archdiocese of Baltimore invites families to reach out to your high school of choice to learn more about the following programs and resources available for students with learning differences.  If your child is part of a program for students with learning differences in an Archdiocese of Baltimore elementary school, you may contact Kathleen Russo-Garcia, 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 offers enhanced academic services designed to meet the needs of students diagnosed with a learning difference and/or ADHD. Additional fee applies.

Contact: Dr. Jeanine Kandrac | | 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 | | 301-724-5360

Our Lady of Mount Carmel School

The USS Star Program provides an opportunity for students who may struggle with grades, have a documented learning difference, or need a stronger support system to achieve educational success.

Contact:  Trevor Quinn| | 410-686-1023

Saint John’s Catholic Prep

The Seton Scholars Program provides an academic support resource class for students with mild diagnosed learning differences, as documented by a current psycho-educational evaluation. Without foregoing the high standards set by SJCP, the Seton Scholars Program restructures the 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.  Seton Scholars have demonstrated the ability to learn in a classroom of approximately 25 students without curriculum modifications.  Students who do not need an intensive resource class may enroll with a typical schedule supported by a formal accommodation plan only.

Contact: Janet Ryczko | | 301-662-4210, x108

St. Maria Goretti Catholic High School

We strive to remove barriers to learning for students with documented learning differences, and we are committed to providing a learning environment that helps to ensure all students have an opportunity to succeed academically.  The Guidance Department reviews accommodations recommended by a learning specialist through psycho-educational testing, or a medical diagnosis provided by a psychologist, physician, or mental health provider.  A plan, including accommodations that addresses the individual needs of the student, is developed in collaboration with that student, the student’s parents/guardians, school administration, and teachers.

Contact: Guidance Department | 301-739-4266

St. Mary’s High School

Committed to working with each student toward academic success, the Guidance Department and our new Learning Specialist review accommodations recommended through psycho-educational testing, and they develop a student support plan. Students with learning differences can be successful when supported by the right combination of accommodations and college preparatory curriculum.

Contact: Brooke Richardson | | 410-990-4229

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: Kelly Roiy | | 410-838-8333

Boys’ High Schools

Archbishop Curley High School

The Saint Anthony Pathway is a multifaceted college preparatory program that addresses the needs of boys from diverse educational backgrounds who face academic challenges. Maximum learning potential is achieved through the implementation of cross-curricular instructional strategies, individualized assessments to measure academic performance, and a supportive team-teaching approach.

Contact: Peter Snarksi | | 410-485-5000, x275

Calvert Hall College High School

The La Salle Program serves highly motivated, college-bound boys with identified documented learning differences in reading, writing, spelling, and/or math due to conditions such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, or a specific language disability. Students are fully integrated into the academic and co-curricular environments, but their academic programs are tailored to meet individual needs through daily 1:1 or 1:2 instruction with a language and learning specialist.  Additional skills addressed include organization, time management, study strategies, SAT/ACT prep, and assistance with the college selection and application process.

Contact: Jennifer Healy | | 410-825-4266, x133

Loyola Blakefield

Murray Learning Services 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.

Contacts: Kevin Selby || 443-841-3248
Stephen Abrams | | 443-841-3684

Mount Saint Joseph High School

The DePaul Program is designed for motivated, college-bound students with specifically diagnosed mild learning/language differences.  The four-year program aims to help each student recognize and nurture his strengths, while improving his overall performance in the classroom.  Mount Saint Joseph believes academic excellence is an achievable goal for all students, as each one learns and grows according to his own unique talents.

Contact: Brion Townshend | | 410-644-3300

Girls’ High Schools

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: Mary Trompeter | | 410-308-8540

Mercy High School

The Mercy Learning Services Program is a four-year program that supports students who have documented learning differences, or who have been diagnosed with mild to moderate language-based learning differences as they access Mercy’s rigorous college prep academic program.  Our highly experienced learning specialists create an individual support plan for each student that formalizes the student’s accommodations and is based on her full educational-psychological evaluation.  Each student is place in appropriate Mercy classes, with support meetings based on the level of service needed.  Our learning specialists help students develop organization, note-taking skills, time management, self-advocacy, and study strategies to become more confident and successful in the classroom.  Reading instruction and remediation is provided when appropriate.

Contact: Christine Blake | | 410-433-8880, x253

Mount de Sales Academy

In seeking to respond more fully to the mission of forming young women in a way that nurtures the whole person, The Sacred Heart Program provides testing and classroom accommodations, as well as academic support and instruction to meet the individualized needs of college-bound students with mild, diagnosed reading and math-based learning differences. All students in the program are enrolled in a credited course, “Sacred Heart Seminar,” in which they work directly with one of our learning specialists to improve academic, executive functioning, and self-advocacy skills, while receiving subject-based tutoring as needed.  Named after the devotion that is beloved both in the Visitation and Dominican traditions, this program is close to the heart of the mission of our school, providing the support, accommodations, and specific instruction each of our students needs to develop skills that will allow them to achieve their full potential at Mount de Sales Academy.

Contact: Patrick Martel | | 410-744-8498, x267

The Catholic High School of Baltimore

The Archangel Program provides opportunities for educational support. All Archangel students proceed through a personalized college preparatory program that offers small class sizes, as well as frequent student-teacher interaction, close cooperation between home and school, and open dialogue on the student’s commitment to success. By junior year, Archangel students are integrated into other class levels based upon academic achievement.  To enhance the learning experience, students utilize state-of-the-art technology, including Chromebooks with various educational applications.

Contact: Kristin Green | | 410-732-6200, x1213

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.