individualized education for all students

Learning Support

Elementary 5

providing a deeper toolbox

The UCDS Learning Support approach...

The Learning Support Program enhances the individualized teaching at UCDS, a core element of our educational approach. We recognize that all students have unique profiles, and will have a variety of strengths, challenges, and learning styles. The Learning Support Program provides a deeper toolbox of strategies and resources to support individualized student goals.

Flexibility & collaboration

What makes Learning Support at UCDS unique?

Unlike learning support programs at other schools, UCDS students do not need to be deemed “eligible” to receive extra support. Learning Support Teachers work in collaboration with Classroom Teachers to flexibly address student needs. Whether it is a short-term obstacle that a student is working to overcome, or a more significant learning need that will require ongoing support, UCDS can design a plan to help each student thrive. In addition, all Learning Support services are included in UCDS tuition.

What do services look like?

Learning Support services follow the UCDS mission of an individualized education for all students. As such, services are designed uniquely around a student’s specific needs. Classroom Teachers and Learning Support Teachers collaborate to design a plan that is most supportive of a student. This plan could include a variety of approaches such as:

  • Working alongside a student in the classroom
  • One-on-one sessions with a Learning Support Teacher outside of the classroom 
  • Small group support
  • Before- and after-school learning clubs
  • Indirect support by providing Classroom Teachers with additional strategies and resources
  • Collaboration with outside providers

31% of UCDS students met regularly with a Learning Support Teacher at some point during the 2021-2022 school year, but not every student who works with a Learning Support Teacher will have a diagnosed learning challenge. The Learning Support Program not only supports students who have diagnosed learning challenges but is also designed to support students who simply benefit from repeated practice or extra time with a teacher.

While all UCDS students can benefit from the Learning Support Program, students with the most significant needs will have more structured support that is scheduled throughout their time at school. UCDS will make every effort to provide reasonable accommodations to students with neurodivergent learning profiles. Parents/Guardians are kept informed about how the Learning Support Team is working with their students and are important team members as their progress is monitored.

The Learning Support Team

Faculty & Staff Directory 24
Director

Abby Sandberg, Ph.D.

Faculty & Staff Directory 50
Learning Support Teacher

Nelly Irwin

Learning Support Teacher

Melaney Mayne

Faculty and Staff Directory 61
Learning Support Teacher

Katharine Sjoberg

The UCDS Learning Support Team is comprised of three full-time Teachers and a Director. Learning Support Teachers not only have classroom teaching experience but may also have training in specific strategies and approaches that are known to support students with unique learning needs. The Director oversees the program and follows each student’s educational journey throughout UCDS, making recommendations on how to further individualize internal support, or collaborating with outside professionals who may also be on a student’s support team. 

The Learning Support Team is fully integrated into the UCDS classroom environment and Team members are consistently visible to students. Receiving support from a Learning Support Teacher is a seamless experience for students as they navigate their day at UCDS. To learn more about the UCDS Learning Support Program, please contact Abby Sandberg. Ph.D., at abbys@ucds.org.