Welcome to the Academic Resource Center
About the Resource Center
The mission of the Academic Resource Center is to provide the support needed to allow all students to become successful learners in the Serra Community. This support includes helping students become self-advocates and discovering the accommodations that will aid them in their endeavors here at Serra, while developing a "set of tools" to take with them when they go on to college.
Mrs. Gayle Rosenberg, a Board Certified Educational Therapist, is Serra's full-time Director of the Academic Resource Center. Assistant Director Mr. Adam Jones also assists students in the Resource Center. In addition to working with students during the school day, Mrs. Rosenberg and Mr. Jones aid the faculty in teaching and making accommodations for students who have learning differences.
There are several programs in place that will aid students who have been diagnosed with learning differences. Please refer to our Resource Center Accommodations link to find out more.
For more information, please contact: Mrs. Gayle Rosenberg, Director
Freshman Mentor Program
The seniors in the Academic Resource Program mentor the incoming freshmen who will also be in the program. Serra mentors will be matched with an incoming freshman to help them transition into high school.
Each Academic Resource Program student has at least one Team Meeting each academic year. The meeting consists of at least one parent, the student and Academic Resource Center staff. We meet to discuss the present year, use of accommodations and plans for the future. These meetings are mandatory in order to keep the student's eligibility current for membership in the Center as well as the College Board which monitors the PSAT/SAT testing.
PEN works with schools in the Bay Area to provide parent education and support and professional development for teachers, learning specialists and others. ARC Director
If you would like more information, please click here to be directed to the Parents Education Network website.
Resource Center Accommodations
Extended Time On Tests
Students who have been identified as having learning differences are entitled to extended time on tests. The faculty is provided with an up-to-date list of all students who qualify for this accommodation; however, it is up to the student to ask the teacher for the extended time. Mrs. Rosenberg works with students and teachers to aid in this process. Other suitable accommodations may include oral testing or dictating test answers. In addition, CD players and appropriate music are available during tests.
Individual counseling is available to any student on a drop-in basis or by appointment. During these sessions, the staff works with the student on study skills, reading strategies, self-advocacy and techniques for extended time test-taking.
Desktop computers are available for student use in the Center. Often, students have difficulty completing essay questions on a test using a pen and paper, but can produce excellent work when using a computer. Students may use the computer in the ARC to type in-class writing assignments or essay questions on tests.
The Note-Taker Project
The Note-Taker Project was established to help some students who have difficulty with taking notes. Teachers are asked to identify excellent note takers in their classes and those students are asked to bring their class notes to the Center where they are copied and stored in binders. A student who has learning differences can access these notes and use them to identify and fill in the "holes" in his own notes.
Livescribe Pens are available for students to borrow and use for recording lectures in class while taking notes. Students are able to then review their notes while listening to corresponding parts of the lecture and enhance their notes as needed. The Livescribe Desktop allows students to save written notes and corresponding audio as a single PDF file.
Audio Texts - Learning Ally
ARC students have an individual account with Learning Ally, an online audiobook database with the world's largest collection of human-narrated audio textbooks and novels. Students can search the database for any book they choose, or the ARC can "push" books to their accounts. Books are available in either "classic audio" format (audio only organized by chapter) or "VOICEtext" format (audio and text together). The program has free downloadable apps for Android and iOS, so that students can access the material on their mobile phones.
ARC members participate in at least one team meeting each year. At the meeting, which is attended by the student and at least one family member, Mrs. Rosenberg reviews the student’s individual learning plan and addresses how the student is incorporating accommodations and study strategies into his studies. By the eleventh grade, the student is able to lead the meeting because he has learned how to advocate for himself.
Directed Study Hall
ARC members are enrolled in a directed study hall during ninth and tenth grade, which takes the place of their independent study period. During this period, academic support is available, as well as time for help with writing assignments, long-term projects and studying for exams. It also is the time students can access accommodations such as extended time
DVD Lending Library
A DVD Lending Library is available in the Center that consists of classic films and documentaries that correspond to specific course content. Included are many classic titles that the students read in their English classes and a wide range of history topics. This accommodation allows the students to familiarize themselves with content prior to reading the material, enabling them to have structure and visual cues in place when they begin to read. In no way should the video take the place of reading the books; rather, it should be used as an aid.
Classic books with parallel text are available in the center for students to assist in understanding some required English readings. With the aid of parallel text, students can read Shakespeare's original play with a line-by-line paraphrase in contemporary language.
Working with Faculty
The Academic Resource Center assists the Serra faculty by providing them with individual student profiles.These profiles are typically written when a student enters as a ninth grader or transfer student, and are meant to provide teachers with concise, practical information that will help them work more productively with these students. The staff distributes these profiles to all teachers in the school to be used as a reference throughout the school year.
National Testing Accommodations
Testing Accommodations applications for the SAT and ACT are available in the Center. These applications must be completed and submitted with the regular application to receive extended time on these tests. Mrs. Rosenberg proctors the SAT at Serra for students who need special accommodations such as readers.
Transition to College
In order to make the transition from high school to college, students in the Academic Resource Program are encouraged to assemble a portfolio of information that outlines the accommodations that have been made during their high school years. The staff can assist students in providing information such as Individual Education Plans (IEPs) that have been developed by other agencies, as well as testing that has been conducted while the student was enrolled at Serra. For more information and guidelines about college admissions relative to students with learning differences, parents and students can access the resources available through Serra's College and Career Center, as well as the Association on Higher Education and Disability at www.ahead.org.
A Parent Resource Lending Library is available to parents who want to further their knowledge about learning differences. Parents may stop by the center to check out such titles as Keeping A Head in School, by Dr. Mel Levine or Learning Outside The Lines by Jonathan Mooney and David Cole. There are also videos that may be of interest to parents such as Learning Disabilities and Social Skills by Richard Lavoie.