Learning Support
At Bentley, we believe that every student has the ability to thrive, and we are committed to our students’ success in and out of the classroom. The Upper School provides programs and services to help students meet these challenges and to encourage the development of students’ internal and external strengths. Our students face the rigors and expectations of academic demands along with the normal challenges of adolescence. Our goal is to provide a school environment that optimizes students’ learning, emotional well-being and advocacy skills.

Applying for Bentley Accommodations:
Bentley is committed to cultivating and promoting student success. In doing so, we embrace cognitive diversity and strive to promote an environment where our students’ many learning styles are understood and supported.

In order to access accommodations, families must contact Dr. Karen Denne, Upper School Learning Support Specialist, with information about their child’s learning profile. Each student must have a current (within five years) neuropsychological or psychoeducational evaluation that families provide to the School. The Learning Support Specialist creates accommodations in consultation with the neuropsychological evaluations and conversations with the family, focusing on strategies that have worked in the past to support a student’s learning.

The accommodations are posted in a confidential, password-protected website for teachers and advisors to use in order to adapt their teaching to students’ needs. For all students receiving accommodations for the first time at Bentley (either when they matriculate or if they are tested while enrolled at Bentley), we convene a Student Support Team (SST) meeting with the student, parents, teachers, advisor, and Kathleen Ruffle to designate a plan of action and to facilitate conversation about a student’s learning profile, in order that everyone on the “team” understand best how to promote the student’s learning.

These meetings provide the student and parents with an occasion to hear first-hand teachers’ questions, and students are invited to discuss their unique learning style, including strengths and challenges. All members present encourage the student to take an active role in defining strategies and goals pertinent to his or her success--academically as much as socially, emotionally, and otherwise. SST meetings foster a mature and mutually caring dialogue between parents, students, teachers, deans, and the Bentley School administration.

Applying for Standardized Testing Accommodations:
As part of the college application process, students take standardized tests, such as the PSAT, SAT and AP, which compose the College Board testing. A separate college admissions test is the ACT, which some students elect to take instead of, or in addition to, the SAT.

Students who have accommodations at Bentley are not automatically approved for accommodations on standardized tests. All students must apply for these accommodations, and there are no guarantees that they will receive them.

For College Board testing (PSAT, SAT, AP), Bentley acts as an intermediary between the family and the College Board by applying on behalf of the student. Bentley initiates this process for families in the Spring of each academic year for ninth-grade students and students who were diagnosed with a learning difference during the current school year.

The ACT has a different process for applying for accommodations. For this test, families must download the application and return it to the school. We need at least a week’s notice to process the form and return it to the student. The school form must be included in the registration packet that the family submits for the test.

Again, please be aware that accommodations are not easily obtained for the ACT.

For more information on applying for College Board and ACT Accommodations, please see specific information on applying for accommodations from the College Board and ACT Accommodations.
Peer Tutoring:
Not only teachers, deans, and administrators work to ensure student success: at Bentley, the student community strives to create an atmosphere of mutual support and collaboration. To this end, a handful of Bentley’s Upper School students have come together to lend a helping hand to their peers in the Upper School and Lower School alike. Peer tutors commit to coaching and working with their fellow students over the course of a trimester--sometimes more--and the benefit is reciprocal. Tutoring means ensuring academic success but also creating friendships and promoting an environment of respect and solidarity in the Bentley student community.  Bentley’s CTL manages the peer-tutoring program, but the students themselves are what make it thrive.

Learning Support

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