Learning Specialists at Bullis
- Jason Eist, Coordinator of Learning Support Services, 301-634-3638
- Catherine Austin, Upper School Learning Specialist
- Renee Berry, Lower School and Middle School Learning Specialist, 301-634-3647
- Jessica Grow, US Learning Specialist
- Carolyn Hasfurter, Lower School Learning Specialist, 301-983-5701 x868
- Elizabeth Horich, Middle School Learning Specialist, 301-983-5701 x800
- Kathleen Pappano, Lower/Middle School English Language Learning Support
In a time when we know more about a student’s learning, learning styles and best practices than ever before, Bullis acknowledges and accommodates academic diversity and welcomes students who can benefit from the curriculum without significant modifications. The school’s learning specialists work with students in all grades to help them access the curriculum while instilling the important life skills of self awareness and self advocacy. Our learning specialists are the primary contacts for students with learning disabilities and create educational plans for these students that include lists of reasonable accommodations.
For any student, the learning specialist may contact families if there are academic concerns or if outside support is recommended. A family should contact the learning specialist in their child's division if they would like referrals for tutors or for more information about professionals who perform academic evaluations. The learning specialists serve as liaisons between these outside professionals and the school. In addition, our learning specialists work with teachers and division principals to implement thoughtful curriculum, improve teaching strategies and increase the level of differentiated instruction for all students.
In addition to the learning specialist, support services in the areas of reading, written language and math are offered by part-time resource teachers, usually within the classroom setting or in small groups. The Fountas and Pinnell Leveled Literacy Intervention system is used to provide additional reading support. The goal is to support a student so that he/she can become a successful learner in our high-level classroom environments. Both the learning specialist and resource teachers assist with school-wide assessment and creation of individualize reading programs. They also work with parents and teachers to develop strategies that will foster academic growth and development.
As an active member of all grade level teams, the learning specialist coordinates with teachers, department heads and administrators to help meet students’ academic needs. The learning specialist assists with both the formal and informal collection of data and helps determine how it can best inform instruction. All Middle School students are invited to work with trained Upper School student tutors through the Bullis Student Tutors program that meets during study hall periods. Individual education plans, including accommodations, are created and maintained for all students with a documented learning disability. The learning specialist and resource teacher also provide academic counseling for students with emphases on study and organizational skills and are available to meet with students during extra instruction and study hall periods.
The office of the learning specialist is located in the Academic Center. As an important part of this center, the learning specialist works with a variety of student to offer strategies that enhance cognitive and academic performance. In order to best serve students with documented learning disabilities, the Upper School provides reasonable accommodations. If accommodations are requested, parents are required to provide a current copy of any psycho-educational, neuropsychological, speech/language, or other evaluation to the divisional learning specialist. The learning specialist will summarize and share the results of the academic testing with teachers and administrators and devise an educational plan that reflects the learning needs of the student. Bullis does not guarantee that all accommodations recommended in a testing document will be provided.