Academic Support

At Columbus Academy, our curriculum, culture and community cultivate a love of learning and the higher-order skills that are vital to a happy childhood and success in today’s world.

Academic Classroom Support

If parents have concerns about their student's academic needs, the first step is to contact the classroom or subject specific teacher or advisor. The teacher then will consult with members of the Child Support Team and the next steps can include observations, screenings, review of academic history, specific interventions to be trialed within the classroom and/or counseling support. If there are continued concerns a formal assessment may be warranted.

Any accommodation or intervention support services requests must be accompanied by appropriate documentation. If the student has been assessed at Columbus Academy, placement and accommodation decisions will be made through the Child Support Team.

If an outside provider makes the diagnosis of a condition that affects academic achievement, appropriate documentation is required in order to consider the optimal accommodations and services for the student. After receiving this documentation the Child Support Team members will review this documentation and will make recommendations. Appropriate documentation includes the most recent psycho-educational testing, psychological evaluations, or medical evaluations. Information required includes date of assessment, testing results, diagnosis, and recommendations. Child Support Team determinations and accommodations do not determine contract decisions.

Direct Support from a Specialist

Following the Child Support Team referral procedure and any necessary interventions, a team determination for placement of a student is made based on the degree of the student’s documented need, availability of specialist(s), area, and the motivation of the student to utilize services effectively, (and degree of parental support). Student may receive support from the classroom teacher and/or learning specialist within the classroom, small group support from the reading or learning specialist outside the classroom or in a one-on-one setting outside the classroom. This support is designed to target specific skills to improve the academic needs of the student in the areas of reading, math, speech/language, and executive functioning.

Transitioning Out of Services

Students who receive services from the Child Support Team are not guaranteed continuous services throughout their educational career at Columbus Academy. Students' files and assessments are reviewed every three years to determine current abilities and needs. Reasons for dismissal from Academic Services include but are not limited to:

  • Achievement of goals set through yearly review
  • Standardized testing indicates sufficient improvement in areas of need
  • Lack of attendance/follow through on assignments
  • Parental request

Academic Support Specialists

Lower School

Reading Specialists

Cyndi Yakscoe and Krystal Mitchell are our reading specialists in the Lower School. Reading support is provided with direct explicit instruction in grades K-4 outside of the classroom for individual or small groups of children who qualify. They collaborate with classroom teachers to aid in Tier 1 instruction practices happening within the classroom that will benefit all students.

Learning Styles Specialists

Alyssa Thiele, M.A., is the Learning Styles Specialist for grades Pk-4. She provides support for students who are identified as needing additional support in the areas of reading, writing, spelling, math, executive function and/or study skills. Support can be provided in the classroom, in small group pull out and/or in a one-on-one pull out setting depending on the needs of the student. She also collaborates with classroom teachers to aid in differentiation and accommodations in the classroom.

Heather Levingston, M.A., is a part time Learning Specialist providing support to grades 3, 4 and 5. Reading, math, and executive functioning support are primarily integrated into the classroom setting. Students who qualify for a higher level of support may receive small group or one on one instruction outside the classroom. Consultation and collaboration with classroom teachers and related professionals is a key component of learning support services.

Speech and Language Pathologists

Adrienne Moser (Pk-4) and Alexis Marin (Grade 5) complete evaluations and provide direct speech and language supports to students in small group and one-on-one pull out sessions. Students may receive support in one or more of the following areas: articulation, fluency, receptive/expressive language, social language, and voice. The speech-language pathologist works to provide services to students in these areas in order to strengthen their communication skills.

Middle School

Reading Specialists

Tamarah Davis provides additional support to middle school students (grades 6 - 8) in the areas of reading comprehension, written expression, executive functioning/organization, math, science, social studies, and/or other fundamental study strategies on an as-needed basis. Students are assisted and supported by way of "pull out" in small-group and one-on-one sessions.

Learning Styles Specialists

Carolyn O'Brien provides support for students in grade 6-8 who are identified with a need for academic support in the areas of reading decoding and/or comprehension, written expression, math, executive functions and/or study skills. She provides this support via "push-in" and/or pull out settings. Additionally, she teaches a Study Skills Allied course to all sixth grade students.

Speech and Language Pathologists

Alexis Marin completes evaluations and provides direct speech and language supports to students in small group and one-on-one pull out sessions. Students may receive support in one or more of the following areas: articulation, fluency, receptive/expressive language, social language, and voice. The speech-language pathologist works to provide services to students in these areas in order to strengthen their communication skills.

Upper School

Reading Specialists

Jeffrey Arndt and Katy Frickel are the reading specialists in the Upper School. Their role is to provide direct instruction to students identified with learning differences and/or reading and writing weaknesses in grades 9-12. They provide this support in a small group or one-on-one setting. They also collaborate with and support classroom teachers to provide the best practices to reach the variety of learning styles and abilities in each classroom.

Contact

Brelle Farrenkopf farrenkopfg@columbusacademy.org

Cyndi Yakscoe yakscoecy@columbusacademy.org

Krystal Mitchell mitchellk@columbusacademy.org

Alyssa Thiele thielea@columbusacademy.org

Heather Levingston levingstonh@columbusacademy.org

Adrienne Moser, M.A., CCC-SLP mosera@columbusacademy.org

Alexis Marin

marina@columbusacademy.org

Tamarah Davis davist@columbusacademy.org

Carolyn O’Brien obrienc@columbusacademy.org

Jeffrey Arndt arndtj@columbusacademy.org

Katy Frickel frickelk@columbusacademy.org