Academic Counseling » Special Needs Services

Special Needs Services

If you would like more information about our Special Needs Services, please contact:
Charles Lamont M.S. Ed., M.S.
Director of Special Services
[email protected]
Student Intervention Team (SIT)
The SIT is composed of Administrators, Counselors and the Director of Special Services. The purpose of the SIT is to identify, confer with and mentor academically struggling students. The SIT also reviews all testing and documentation of a student at Saint Thomas Aquinas High School (STA) with a disability who is asking for an Accommodation Plan. The SIT will make Accommodation Plan recommendations to the Special Services Department for each student who is found to be eligible for an Accommodation Plan.

Accommodation Plans
Accommodation Plans are written at STA based on a psycho-educational evaluation completed by a licensed/certified medical doctor, psychologist or clinician. Accommodations will be provided based on the individual needs of each student, suitability to our school and the ability to provide accommodations based on existing resources. The Accommodation Plan is meant to remove learning/performance barriers that a diagnosed student may have. Typical accommodations may include but are not limited to extended time on tests/projects, a quiet place to test, preferred seating and copies of teacher notes.

Guided Studies
Guided Studies is a full year, credit bearing, freshman elective to help students who have been identified as needing additional academic help and support. Enrollment is optional but is strongly suggested when recommended by counselors. Parents can also request that their student be placed in Guided Studies. Topics such as Study Skills, Time Management, Organizational Skills and Note-Taking Skills are studied. Additionally, a certified Math teacher co-teaches Guided Studies. Algebra I concepts are pre-taught, reviewed and reinforced and homework help is available during
class time.

Mathematics Lab
Mathematics Lab is a freshman elective designed for students who have struggled with Mathematics concepts, especially Algebra I. Enrollment is optional but is strongly suggested when recommended by counselors. The curriculum in Mathematics Lab will be on a parallel path with Algebra I. Just like the Mathematics help in Guided Studies, the same concepts will be pre-taught, reviewed and reinforced and homework help will be available during class time. Mathematics Lab differs from Guided Studies in that it is a total Mathematics immersion class.

Extended Learning Opportunity (ELO)
Extended Learning Opportunity (ELO) is a mandatory, supplemental class that meets on days we have STA Period. Students are enrolled in ELO when their statewide Mathematics and Reading test scores do not meet the minimum acceptable grade level. Remediation is facilitated by a Reading Specialist and two Mathematics teachers. Personal instruction and computer software are used to raise all students’ scores to at least grade level.

Study, Tutor and Assembly (STA) Period
STA Period is on every “EVEN” (typically every Wednesday and Friday) day for ninety minutes. Every student is assigned a room and a teacher where they can study and receive tutoring from their teachers or peers. STA Period is academic time when all students can also make up missed tests, do lab work, complete homework or form a study group. Every student’s STA Period teacher is their Mentor Teacher. Mentor Teachers monitor the student’s grades, motivate and advocate for their STA students. The Mentor Teacher also serves as a liaison between a student and teachers to help students determine what steps need to be taken to achieve their God-given potential.

National Honor Society (NHS) Study, Tutor and Assemble (STA) Period
NHS STA is a “drop in” STA Period where NHS students volunteer to provide peer mentoring to any student, in any subject. Students who need additional help in any subject are welcome to use the services of these Peer Mentors if an individual teacher is busy, working with other students or the student feels more comfortable seeking help from a peer. The NHS STA Period runs concurrently with all other STA Periods.

Department of Special Services
The Department of Special Services maintains communication between and among students, parents, teachers, administration, outside agencies, family doctors, psychologists, grade schools and even colleges. The Department acts as an advocate for all students, especially those with learning differences and as a resource and consultant for all the above mentioned entities. The Department is also responsible for writing and maintaining all the Accommodation Plans at Saint Thomas Aquinas High School. The Department also monitors the grades of all students with Accommodation Plans.