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 success in high school and beyond: 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 accommodations. Our ASC staff complements, rather than substitutes for, the academic support given 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 whether in a scheduled study time or on a drop in basis.

Goals of the ASC

  1. To 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.

  2. To coordinate with and support classroom teachers.  

  3. To 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.

  4. To develop individual student learning plans incorporating recommended accommodations.

  5. Provide referrals for an educational assessment for students who have not been previously diagnosed but who may have a learning difference.

  6. To assist in providing accommodations and support services at the college level.

What kinds of services are provided?

The ASC staff supports students by:  

  1. Providing referrals for neuropsychology assessments.

  2. Recognizing and defining individual student learning plans.

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

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

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

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

  7. Proctoring tests and exams when needed.

  8. Assisting in obtaining extended time for standardized testing.

  9. Assisting in researching support services at the college level.

Director/Parent/Student Meeting

Students with SLP’s participate in at least one meeting with families each year. At the meeting, which is attended by the student and at least one family member, the ASC Director reviews the individual student learning plan and addresses how the student is incorporating accommodations and study strategies into their studies. 

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-in’s?

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 counselors 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.

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 final week to discuss whether this is needed. 

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:
  1. Preferential seating.

  2. Extended time on teacher-designed assignments.

  3. Use of laptop/computer for written output.

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

  5. Access to calculator for basic calculations.

  6. Use of audio textbooks. 

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

Academic Support

Study Skills 9 class
Freshmen students who have an individual student 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 the sophomore through senior year students 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.

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 relative to students with learning differences.

Admissions for Freshmen

The procedures applicable to students who have gone through the admissions process and have been identified as someone who may have an identified learning differences are as follows:

To apply to Cardinal Newman’s Academic Support Center Program, please submit the following:

  1. Completed supplementary application.

  2. A copy of your student's current (within the last three years) and complete IEP, 504-Plan, and/or psych-educational evaluation, including diagnosis and testing results, with rationale and recommendations relevant to high school. You must include complete testing results; if the only results available are from an older evaluation, please provide these.

  3. The ASC Director reserves the right to review all documentation submitted to make certain that it meets the guidelines and is current. They will then advise parents when re- evaluation is required, and may find it necessary to disallow students from accommodations when documentation is out of date.

  4. After a student’s documentation has been approved, a meeting will be held with the student, parent, and the ASC Director to formulate appropriate accommodations and classroom strategies. The Director will then distribute the recommended accommodations to all of the student’s teachers and counselor.

  5. Documentation of a learning disability, psychological disorder, or Attention Deficit Disorder does not necessarily guarantee a student accommodations. A specific diagnosis does not guarantee accommodations on the SAT or ACT. This determination is made independently in consultation with those agencies. Upon approval, testing will be administered according to outside agency timelines and parameters, and may not be available at Cardinal Newman High School.

  6. To apply for accommodations on the SAT, the student must submit documentation of a diagnosed Learning Disability completed within the last three years by a licensed professional according to College Board guidelines. Documentation must state explicitly that the student both has a disability and that he/she is therefore substantially limited in a major life activity related to learning.

How to receive support for current students

If you think your child could be supported by working with the Academic Support Center, the ASC staff is happy to help you navigate this process. Please contact the Academic Support Center if you think your child might need to be assessed for a learning difference so that referrals to excellent clinicians can be made, and answers to questions about how the program can support specific students can be provided

Testing for learning disabilities is not conducted at CNHS. If testing has not been suggested at the previous educational institution, an appointment may be in order, with a counselor, to discuss learning disabilities testing, skills testing, and/or outside tutors. The ASC team can provide a referral list for assessments, and testing is also available at your district of residence.