A Catholic, college preparatory high school located in beautiful Sonoma County.


Academic Support Center



Mission Statement

The mission of the Cardinal Newman Academic Support Center (ASC) in collaboration with the Cardinal Newman Counseling Department is to provide the support needed to allow all students to become successful learners. This support includes helping students to become self-advocates, while discovering and utilizing the support services that will aid them in their education at Cardinal Newman and beyond.

Program Description

The Academic Support Center (ASC) at Cardinal Newman High School is open to the entire CN community. Our major focus is to assist students with a variety of learning and/or attention differences who can meet the academic demands of a college preparatory environment.

The students in this program learn skills necessary for academic success: organization of information and materials, self-advocacy, time management, and other skills and strategies. We do not modify our college preparatory curriculum. Students may receive an individual Student Learning Plan (SLP) that outlines their unique strengths, challenges, and recommended supports. Our ASC staff complements, rather than substitutes for, the academic support given to students by their individual teachers and works to integrate all of the resources of the school to nurture the total formation of the student.

The center is staffed by the Director and Academic Support Teacher who work together to support the students who come in for scheduled study time or on a drop-in basis.

Goals of the ASC

  • Provide ASC students with additional academic support (ie 1-to-1 tutoring, small group tutoring sessions, supervised homework study groups) in the CN college preparatory environment. 

  • Coordinate with and support classroom teachers.  

  • Guide each student towards maximizing their potential while developing necessary learning skills and compensation strategies to succeed independently and develop self-advocacy techniques and skills. 

  • Develop individual student learning plans incorporating recommended accommodations. 

The ASC staff supports students by:  

  • Recognizing and defining individual student learning plans.

  • Collaborating with classroom teachers to discuss the individual needs of students.

  • Providing instruction in study skills, independent learning strategies, and self­ advocacy.

  • Providing guidance with course assignments and long-term projects.

  • Allowing opportunities for students to study in groups and collaborate with other students.

  • Assisting in obtaining extended time for standardized testing; proctoring tests and exams when needed.

  • Connecting students with information about academic support services at the college level.

Academic Support Center

Mario Alioto

Mario Alioto

Titles: Director of the Academic Support Center, Freshmen Study Skills Teacher, Directed Studies Teacher
Departments: Academic Support Center
Christina Kraft

Christina Kraft

Titles: Teacher
Departments: Academic Support Center

Services Provided


Students with documented learning challenges provide the documentation necessary for the Director of the ASC to develop their SLP. The ASC Director will design the individual student learning plan (SLP) to address the supports and study strategies that are necessary for the student to be successful in their studies at Cardinal Newman.

Academic Coaching

Individual support is available to any student on a drop-in basis or by appointment. During these sessions, the ASC staff works with the students as needed. 

What are Drop-ins?

Drop-ins are students with teacher approval (note from a teacher) who come to the center for support. 

Working with Faculty

The Academic Support Center assists the Cardinal Newman faculty by providing them with individual student learning plans. These profiles are typically written when a student enters Cardinal Newman 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. 

 Counselor Support

The counselor provides the initial referral to the ASC.  They will then address the emotional needs and family and outside challenges of the students.  In addition, they work to create a course schedule that provides for greater student success.

Academic Support

Study Skills 9 class
Freshmen students with an individual learning plan are enrolled in a Study Skills 9 course. During this period students receive some instruction in study skills as well as other academic support.  They will have time to work on assignments and projects in their other classes. They receive credit for the course in a pass-fail format. 

Directed Studies 

This course is for students in grades 10-12  who have an individual student learning plan and would like to get ASC center support. This consists of a check-in followed by independent study.

Individual Supports

Extended Time Tests

Students who have been identified as having learning differences may ask for extended time on tests. The faculty is provided with an up-to-date list of all students who qualify for this support; however, it is up to the student to ask the teacher for the extended time.

For final exams: Students will meet with their individual counselor prior to finals week to discuss whether this is needed, they will then contact their teacher to make arrangements through the ASC.

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. The ASC staff proctors the SAT and the ACT at Cardinal Newman for students who need special accommodations such as readers.

Other Recommended SUPPORTS may include:
  • Preferential seating.

  • Extended time on teacher-designed assignments when requested.

  • Use of laptop/computer for written output.

  • Text-to-speech resources (e.g., audio files of books).

  • Access to a calculator for basic calculations.

  • Use of audio textbooks. 

  • Permission to record or use a peer note-taker in lecture classes.

Transition to College

The ASC director and the counselors meet with students who have an individual student learning plan to provide information and guidelines about college admissions relevant to students with learning differences.

Admissions for Freshmen

If you are interested in seeing if your freshman would benefit from the resources provided by the Academic Support Center:

1. Have the current IEP recorded in the online Cardinal Newman online application.
2. Contact the Director of Counseling - Mrs. Tracy Williams at williams@cardinalnewman.org, or the Director of the ASC - Mr. Mario Alioto for further discussion. How to receive support for current students:

How to receive support for current students:
If you think your child could be supported by working with the Academic Support Center please discuss reach out to their grade-level counselor. The ASC staff is happy to help any student in their academic journey if they have been referred by a counselor.