Center for Academic Achievement

The Center for Academic Achievement (CAA), established in 2004, is designed to meet the academic needs of our students with learning differences. Our goal is to foster their success by providing them with the academic skills and learning strategies that will help them make the most of their time at our school and become independent and confident life-long learners.

This year-round program provides specific support in the following areas:

  • Academic support for classes, including mathematics

  • Written expression and reading comprehension instruction

  • Study skills and organizational support and instruction

  • Orton-Gillingham instruction for students with reading difficulties

The Center supports students with moderate learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders and average to above-average cognitive abilities. Students involved in the CAA often have difficulty with processing skills, attention and focus, organization, reading, and/or writing; however, they have the motivation and desire to succeed at our school.

Students interested in applying for the CAA should submit current psychological and educational testing (e.g., WISC, Woodcock Johnson) so that we can best evaluate our School’s ability to meet their academic needs. Students enrolled in the program are required to meet the current graduation requirements for all students at Shattuck-St. Mary’s School. There is an additional fee for enrollment in this program.

Each student has an accommodations plan describing his or her learning style, academic goals, and necessary accommodations. This information is shared with teachers, advisors, and families and is assessed yearly to ensure the academic progress of each student. 

Center for Academic Achievement Tutorials

Tutorials are designed to recognize and enhance the potential of students with learning differences. The program provides support and limited remediation within the traditional academic curriculum. Students learn academic skills and strategies that will help them realize their potential and meet the expectations set by the school, their families, and themselves. Tutorials have a 3:1 teacher/student ratio.

CAA tutorials are specifically tailored to a student’s diagnosed learning disability and his/her educational needs. These sessions are conducted in small groups and meet 3-5 times per week during a 45-minute class period. Our goal is to facilitate successful student progress in the general curriculum, prepare students for the demands of college, and help students persevere through the challenges of their school experience. Through their participation in the CAA, we hope that students will make the most of the academic opportunities at Shattuck-St. Mary’s School, become strong and knowledgeable self-advocates, and understand the most effective ways for them to approach their studies.

For students whose primary need is not support with the general curriculum, our faculty can tailor specific instruction in the following areas:

  • Mathematics: For students with documented learning disabilities that affect their progress with math, CAA tutorials address strategies for word problems, arithmetic skills, review of current topics of study, and support for understanding difficult, abstract concepts.
  • Vocabulary Development: By focusing on content area vocabulary, general vocabulary development, and word awareness strategies, we hope to further strengthen our students’ ability to comprehend difficult reading material and express their ideas clearly through written and oral language.

  • Development of Reading Skills: For students with diagnosed language-based learning disabilities, such as dyslexia, coursework may focus on three areas of skill and strategy development, which will support a student’s success with both academic and personal reading situations:

  • Orton-Gillingham based remediation for decoding and encoding skills

  • Reading comprehension strategies for fiction and nonfiction texts

  • Reading fluency development

  • Development of Writing Skills: Students with learning disabilities often have difficulty with written expression, especially the expository writing expected of students in a college preparatory program. For these students, work may focus on writing mechanics, the writing process, and essay organization.

Our Faculty

In addition to working with students, the faculty of the Center for Academic Achievement also serve as a resource for parents, students, and teachers. They collaborate with teachers and administrators to integrate a student’s tutorial support with the established curriculum, including developing and implementing appropriate accommodations for students in the program. The learning specialists also maintain close contact with parents and teachers, facilitating dialogue about each student’s individual needs, and ensuring that they are kept up-to-date on student progress throughout the year.  

For more information about the Center for Academic Achievement, please contact the Admissions Office at (507) 333-1618
or 800-421-2724.