Learning Support in the Upper School

Upper School Learning Specialist

We know that each individual student’s learning style is unique, and our goal is to have each student set up for success.  The Upper School Learning Specialist provides support for students with learning differences and academic support for all Upper School students when they encounter a learning or academic difficulty related to organization, time management or study skills. The Learning Specialist maintains and updates the extended time list for students who qualify for it and applies for extended time for the national tests like the SAT and ACT. In coordination with the Athletic Trainers and/or the Nurse, the Learning Specialist proctors and monitors any academic accommodations required when a student is entered into the School’s Concussion Protocol or has a chronic condition that may impact academics. Additionally, the Learning Specialist provides support to teachers as needed.

Support for Any Student

  • Students may seek one-on-one consultation with the Learning Specialist to discuss academic skill strategies, organizational skills, time-management skills, etc.
  • The Learning Specialist provides academic support when students score 69 or lower in their progress reports (at the mid-point of each quarter) or quarter report cards.
  • The Learning Specialist connects students to the Health and Wellness counselor for support for emotional and social issues associated with any learning difficulty.
  • Students may seek extra help from teachers before school and during the day when they are mutually free. Furthermore, conferencing between faculty and students is available on designated days during the Assembly Period. Students who wish to attend an extra-help session after school should notify their teacher and coach at least one day in advance, if possible.
  • All students are given the opportunity to schedule a study period. The prudent student uses this time productively for exam review, homework completion or appointments with teachers.

Students with Diagnosed Learning Differences

To be considered for accommodations, the division Learning Specialist must have a copy of the student’s educational evaluation from the diagnostician/psychologist on file. Evaluations are required to have been done within three years of the current date to be considered current and valid. The Learning Specialist verifies that the documentation meets basic guidelines and notifies teachers that the student qualifies for accommodations. Although FWCD is unable to offer specific accommodations that fundamentally change our mission, programs, policies or staffing, we do provide “reasonable” accommodative supports when there is a specific diagnosis provided from an updated evaluation. Students and their families are made aware of what their teachers and advisors know in order to support them.

The most commonly granted accommodation in the Upper School is extended time. If approved for extended time, a student may receive up to 50 percent extra time (time-and-a-half) on a test or quiz. Students will work directly with the Learning Specialist and their teachers to ensure they are receiving necessary support and using their accommodations as needed. 

Requesting Accommodations on College-Related Tests

Receiving accommodations at Fort Worth Country Day in no way assures a student of accommodations on tests administered by The College Board and ACT. Students with a learning or physical disability must apply for accommodations with the appropriate testing agency for extended time and other accommodations on standardized tests (e.g., PSAT, SAT, ACT Plus Writing, AP, etc.). 

The College Board consent form to request accommodations (PSAT, SAT, AP) and the application for ACT National Testing are available in the Learning Specialist’s Office. Students and parents should submit these respective forms and all previous educational evaluations to the Upper School learning specialist or the College Counseling Office according to the testing agencies’ deadlines.

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  • Documentation Guidelines

    The student must have documentation on file at school that:

    1. States a specific disability and includes a “DSM” diagnosis code
    2. Is current—within the last three years
    3. Provides relevant educational, developmental and medical history
    4. Includes the detailed results of a battery of educational testing with a complete achievement test and a complete cognitive test, as minimum
    5. Describes the specific accommodations requested
    6. Establishes the professional credentials of the evaluator
    7. Addresses other requirements based on an individual student’s circumstances

Contact the Specialist

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  • Photo of Laura Michaelides

    Mrs. Laura Michaelides 

    University of Delaware - B.S.
    University of Delaware - M.Ed.
4200 Country Day Lane, Fort Worth, TX 76109
Phone: 817.732.7718
Fort Worth Country Day (FWCD) is a JK-12 private, independent, coeducational, nondenominational college-preparatory school located on approximately 100 acres in Fort Worth, Texas. The mission of Fort Worth Country Day School is to foster the intellectual, physical, emotional, and ethical development of capable students through an academically rigorous college preparatory program that integrates the arts and athletics.