Academic Support & Resources
St. Andrew's takes particular pride in its advisee program, which guides each student with warmth and care. Because our faculty are committed to every aspect of student life, they naturally serve as informal mentors to all students they come to know well through teaching, dorm parenting, and coaching. In addition, St. Andrew's assigns a formal faculty advisor to each student. The Admissions Office assigns advisors to all new students. Returning students may choose their advisor each year, and may retain the same advisor throughout their career at the school.
In many ways, my advisor was a parent to me. I relied on him for a ton of emotional support, and he believed in me, spoke to me like I was an adult, and gave me a lot of autonomy. I fully credit him for helping me to develop that.
Carey Albertine ’92
Each faculty member is typically responsible for between five to eight advisees each academic year (with the entire group colloquially referred to as an "advisory"). Advisories often become small family units, gathering for dinners at the advisor's home, making off-campus excursions, and celebrating birthdays. Twice a month, advisories sit together for Thursday lunch in the Dining Hall.
Assigned as the point person for academic issues for each form, academic advisors look closely at each student's academic experience throughout the year. Each form has two academic advisors and are distinct from, but work collaboratively with, each student's individual faculty advisor. Academic advisors understand the needs and challenges for each grade level and can help with any concerns related to a student’s academic experience at the school. Academic advisors decide when a student might need additional structure during evening study hall; they help students plan for exams; they check in with students about how they are using free time; and they help plan each student's course of study at the school. Essentially, they are a resource and support for students as they set academic goals and navigate their classes and schedules.
Parents are also encouraged to contact academic advisors, especially about specific academic concerns pertaining to their child. Academic advisors can give parents insight into how a student is managing her workload and study time; whether particular courses are posing challenges; and any other questions parents might have about their child's classes and overall academic experience. Dean of Studies Melinda Tower (firstname.lastname@example.org) can be contacted on any of these issues as well.
Our teachers are generous and available for extra help throughout the course of the academic year. If academic or organizational concerns arise about a student, Dean of Studies Melinda Tower and Director of Academic Support Maggie Harris work with families, teachers and advisors to address these concerns (you can read more about our learning support program in the tab above). Consulting psychologist Dr. Dahra Jackson Williams provides the school with further evaluation and recommendations for effective learning strategies for individual students.
Evening Study Hall
A two hour period each evening, six days a week, is allotted for student study purposes. Evening Study Hall runs from
- 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and
- 8:30 to 10:00 p.m. on Fridays.
Third Form students study in the Dining Hall or dormitory rooms. Fourth Form students study in their dormitory rooms. Upper Form students may work in the Library, classrooms, or other places of study.
During study hall, students are responsible for controlling their own time and study habits, and are accountable for their behavior. During Evening Study Hall, students are discouraged from traveling from one place of study to another, and are not allowed to play computer games or use a cell phone for any purpose.
Supervised Evening Study Hall (ESH)
ESH provides a quiet, supervised place for students who may benefit from a more structured evening study hall environment away from the dormitory. Students may be recommended for ESH by their teachers, advisors, or dormitory faculty, or may choose to study in this environment as needed, notifying dormitory faculty of their desire to do so before study hall begins.
Each member of the faculty is available throughout the day for individual tutoring for students in their classes. Many faculty also choose to make themselves available for walk-up tutoring during breakfast in the Dining Hall and during Evening Study Hall.
Students often offer "extra help" sessions in particular subjects during study hall or daytime free periods. Individual student tutors are available in some academic disciplines. Students interested in working with a peer tutor should inquire with their teacher or form advisor to be assigned to a tutor.
When students are in session at St. Andrew's, they work closely with our faculty for needed academic support, and are not permitted to work with outside tutors. However, parents may choose to hire outside tutors to provide academic support when students are on summer break or school vacations.
Students who have particular learning needs and who require additional support may utilize the school's academic support program. The academic support program provides these students with supplementary instruction in the areas of executive functioning skills, writing support, and additional instructional support specific to content areas. Our director of academic support works with the dean of studies, classroom teachers, parents, and the individual student to design the appropriate level of support. Our program’s individualized levels of support offer multiple pathways for students to develop the academic confidence and ownership necessary for success at St. Andrew's, in college, and beyond.
For more information on our academic support program, visit the Learning Support tab above.
St. Andrew's academic support program serves students who have particular learning needs and require additional support, and assists those students in working towards success within our school’s rigorous college-preparatory curriculum. The academic support program provides students with supplementary instruction in the areas of executive functioning skills, writing support, and additional instructional support specific to content areas. Our director of academic support works with the dean of studies, classroom teachers, parents, and the individual student to design the appropriate level of support. Our program’s individualized levels of support offer multiple pathways for students to develop the academic confidence and ownership necessary for success in college and beyond.
Academic advisors, teachers, and counselors may refer students who would benefit from more specific and ongoing academic coaching to Dean of Studies Melinda Tower, who will serve as the clearinghouse for students working with Director of Academic Support Maggie Harris. (Prior to a new student's arrival for the fall semester, any previously identified learning differences for that student should also be reported to the dean of studies.) Testing for learning differences may be recommended by the school to help a student better understand their learning styles, strengths, and weaknesses. Testing reports will also provide guidance to the school; evaluations are reviewed by the dean of studies, the Academic Support Group (comprised of the director of academic support, director of counseling, and director of testing), and the school’s consulting psychologist. From this review, a learning plan is created for the student, including how and whether requests for learning-difference accommodations may be implemented by the school. A learning plan and instructions for approved accommodations are provided to all faculty who teach or advise the student.
Academic support work may include:
- helping students prioritize time, manage multiple assignments, and scaffold larger and longer-term assignments;
- helping students hone executive functioning skills;
- making sure students know and understand any granted accommodations; and
- ongoing communication with teachers and/or the school’s consulting psychologist about effective teaching strategies to best meet students’ learning needs.
Other St. Andrew's faculty who serve as academic coaches may work with the student in concert with academic support over the course of the year, as the need arises.
Accommodations for Standardized Testing
The process for applying for extended time on College Board and other external examinations is managed by the school's director of testing, and should begin several months in advance of a desired testing date. Please contact Registrar and Director of Testing Cynthia Poarch for more information. You can also visit our Testing Info page for more information on available accommodations for standardized tests.
St. Andrew's academic program makes effective use of technology in all disciplines. On-campus WiFi and nearly 100 networked computers located in classrooms and laboratories across campus provide students and faculty with internet access, e-mail accounts, file storage, printing services, and specialized academic software. The school's Irene duPont Library also houses a wealth of technological resources, many of which are available for checkout.
Faculty are encouraged to incorporate the school's technological resources into their curriculums. For example:
- Film Studies and Music Composition students produce and edit movies and music in our state-of-the-art digital media studio.
- In our science laboratories, students use Vernier LoggerPro to model and analyze experimental data.
- In modern language classrooms, a fleet of School iPads allows students to hone their listening and speaking skills by working with interactive audio and video recordings.
- Physics students use blogs to record and reflect on their work, which in turn connect them with professors and science writers across the country.
- Choral students learn from online interactive theory and sight-reading resources, while instrumentalists record and submit their practice sessions for feedback from their instructors.
- Students in “flipped” mathematics classrooms view mini-lectures online and clarify, refine, and apply their understanding in collaborative problem-solving during class time.
- Both within computer science courses and as extracurricular exploration in other courses, students use the School's technology resources to develop software projects and apps of direct use to the school community.
Faculty and students also use the learning-management system Canvas. Canvas allows students detailed access to their courses, coursework, and assignments, and allows faculty to provide more immediate and continued feedback to students.
At St. Andrew's, students learn to be mindful users of technology—not just consumers of content but creators, discerning when, where, and how technology can best be employed.
The Irene duPont Library staff facilitates student access to information and provides formal library instruction to students. This instruction, begun during orientation classes for new students and continuing in academic classes throughout a student's career at the school, affords students the library research skills necessary for academic work at St. Andrew's, in college, and beyond.
Built in October 1956 and renovated in 2008, the Library features group study rooms, individual study carrels, a periodical and reference room, and a collection of approximately 31,500 print volumes, 150,000 electronic books, 3,500 DVDs, 5000 academic streaming videos and 100 print periodicals. The print collection grows by about 700 books each year. Library course guides are used extensively by faculty to curate resources students need for coursework and research projects.
Additionally, the Library has access to more than 35 electronic reference sources and full-text article databases—such as JSTOR, Project Muse, Academic Search Complete and the Oxford English Dictionary—which cover a wide variety of subject areas. The Library website is the access point for these databases, as well as the School Archive.
For use by students and faculty, the Library also loans:
- digital and video cameras
- GPS systems
- smart pens
- 3D virtual reality glasses & 3D printing pens
- Kindles and iPads
- Arduino Boards and tools
- Mac Book Airs
- Mobile Maker Space cart with 3D printer
While the Library strives to provide access to the best technology and information resources in a secondary school setting, the Library itself remains a serene, casual, academic environment.