Williston’s Center for Academic Success is a constellation of support that provides students at every level with the resources, instruction, and academic support they need to succeed. We offer levels of support for every kind of learner, ranging from drop-in writing and math centers to a structured Academic Strategies Tutorial and supported evening study hall. Housed in Clapp Library, the Center for Academic Success helps support and challenge students to reach their full potential.
Our Advisory Program
To prepare students for the challenges of secondary school—and beyond—Williston offers a comprehensive program of social support and academic guidance. We start with our CORE Program for ninth graders, which eases your transition through introductory workshops, group activities, and one-on-one guidance. Students in grade 10 through 12 also have faculty advisors that they meet with weekly. At regular Advisory Dinners, the group members share a casual meal at a local restaurant or at the advisor’s home to further build on their relationships. Advisors keep parents up to date through email and Skype, and encourage parents to check in as needed.
Help is All Around
The Writing Center
Modeled on the Amherst College writing program, Williston’s Writing Center gives you one-on-one support to help you become a more flexible and effective writer. Staffed by professional writing teachers and peer tutors, the center is open during the class day and during evening study periods. Whether you’re working on a term paper, a creative writing exercise, or a college essay, you can bring work to be critiqued.
Areté Peer Tutors
Areté is Williston’s peer academic tutoring organization (named for the Greek word meaning excellence). Juniors and seniors in high academic standing are invited to be tutors, and are then matched with peers looking for extra support in the tutors’ area of strength. Areté tutoring is available during the class day, activities periods, and evening study hall hours.
Math Resource Center
We speak math here. Welcome to the Math Resource Center, where you can get help with homework or just talk about cool mathematical concepts with math-maven faculty and students. The center has regularly scheduled hours each school day, so you can book an appointment or drop in with questions. The center supports math at all levels, ranging from Algebra 1 to BC Multivariable Calculus.
Academic Support Programs
One-on-One and Group Teacher Meetings
Students can schedule individual or small-group meetings with teachers outside of class. Teachers are often available to meet during their free periods, before or after school, and/or during the evenings.
Learning Strategies Meetings with Academic Support Staff
All students (with or without testing) can schedule an occasional 15-minute meeting with a member of the Academic Support staff to get extra help on study skills, test preparation, note taking, organization, or planning.
Subject Area Tutors
Any student (with or without testing) who requires subject-area academic support may request a tutor. These tutors are paid for by the family, but are vetted by Williston and can work with students on campus before or after school or during students’ free periods. Parents may request a tutor by contacting the Director of Academic Support.
Academic Strategy Documentation
For students with neuropsychological or psychoeducational testing, the Director of Academic Support reviews and discusses the documentation with families, and drafts a strategy documents in collaboration with each student’s family. This document is shared with teachers to help with the provision of appropriate educational strategies, including extended time. Typical accommodations include:
• Provision of class notes
• Breaking down long term assignments
• Use of a computer for writing
• Support using or creating outlines or organizers for writing
• Reduced course load for a trimester
• Extended time for testing
Academic Strategies Tutorial
Students electing to join the academic strategies class will meet with an Academic Support staff member in three or four small-group classes per two-week cycle to receive specific, targeted instruction to build note-taking, study, and organizational skills. Topics of the class may include:
• Planning and scheduling for daily homework
• Strategies for studying for English, math, science, history, and foreign languages
• Effective note taking
• Reading comprehension strategies
• Using Williston resources effectively
• Use of the Microsoft Surface for learning
Students in the Academic Strategies Tutorial will receive frequent written feedback on their use of strategies and academic success, which will also be shared with parents and other teachers.
Available to any student for a fee.
Laboratory for Academic Success
In this dedicated study space held during evening study hall, faculty supervise and support students. Subject-specific tutors are also available nightly. The low teacher-student ratio allows every student to get customized attention and assistance to help them succeed.
Available to any student for a fee.
Outside Testing and Evaluation
If a student experiences academic difficulties indicating that outside testing or evaluation of the student is appropriate, Williston can help parents explore potential resources and may make the necessary arrangements for such testing or evaluation. The school maintains a list of referrals for educational, intellectual, psychological, or speech and language evaluations, should parents/ guardians wish to consult with the school regarding such an evaluation. Parents who need guidance in this area are encouraged to consult the Director of Academic Support or Health and Wellness Services.
Available to any student; fee determined by outside provider
English Language Learning
For students transitioning into standard English classrooms, Williston offers a year-long course focused on cultural transition and literary practices inherent to English language learners. The major components of this course help improve specific skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Placement into ELL for non-native English speakers is determined by a review of previous course work in English and test scores, as well as an English aptitude test, if necessary.
Standardized Testing Prep
As part of the College Counseling process, Williston helps facilitate on- and off-campus opportunities for juniors who are interested in group test-prep sessions for the ACT and SAT. We work with two school-vetted tutoring groups to offer on-campus 3-session and 6-session workshops, and full-day intensives on campus. Off-campus, 8-week workshops and full-day intensives are also available locally through a Williston-vetted tutor.
Available to juniors; fees determined by outside provider.