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Skills and Academic Strategies

Discussion On Skills and Academic Strategies Program

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Students who take SAS will develop into skilled, confident learners who can independently advocate for themselves as they successfully complete high school and move on to college.

Skills & Academic Strategies (SAS)

The Skills and Academic Strategies Department (SAS) provides an individualized program of support and strategies so that students can successfully meet the challenges of work in high school and beyond. The SAS curriculum focuses on the specific academic skills and strategies needed for success in high school and college. SAS learning specialists work with students so they:

  • Strengthen executive function skills
  • Adapt well to varied educational environments
  • Implement academic strategies
  • Develop self-advocacy skills
  • Understand himself/herself as a learner

SAS is taken as a scheduled class which meets during the academic day, three times a week as part of a student’s normal schedule. Each class includes group discussion of study strategies and skills, such as note taking, textbook reading, test preparation, computer literacy, and problem-solving, with ample time reserved for students to work on their individual class assignments. With a student-teacher ratio never greater than 4:1, SAS learning specialists are able to address individual student needs in a personal and friendly setting.

What to Expect in SAS

Learning Style Inventory: Each student at CH-CH completes a “learning style inventory” in order to help the students and their teachers unlock appropriate learning strategies. 

Individual Learning Profiles: SAS develops in-depth Individual Learning Profiles for all students at CH-CH. These documents are shared with faculty and promote creative lessons that engage students’ strengths. 

Executive Function Development: Executive function development work at CH-CH includes work on planning, prioritizing, organizing, cognitive shifting, and self-monitoring skills that allow intellectually capable adolescents to mature into effective independent learners.

Layers of Support: SAS coordinates its work with the work classroom teachers are doing, providing layers of support for students. 

Monitoring Their Progress: A student’s classroom progress is monitored by SAS teachers, and the student’s work in the SAS classroom is adjusted accordingly.

Real-Time Practice: SAS overlays executive functioning skill development on top of the core curriculum, so that students have real-time practice with real skills. 

Evolution and Progress: The SAS program evolves to meet the skills development of students as they progress from grade to grade.

Skills and Academic Strategies at CH-CH

Meet the SAS Faculty

List of 9 members.

  • Photo of Elizabeth Rosen

    Elizabeth Rosen 

    Skills and Academic Strategies Chair
    Northeastern University - M.S., Education
    Roger Williams University - B.A., Communications
    West Virginia University - M.Ed., Multicategorical Special Education
  • Photo of Ashley Balaconis

    Ashley Balaconis 

    Skills and Academic Strategies Teacher
    St. Joseph's College - B.S., Elementary Education
    Lesley University - M.Ed., Students with Moderate Disabilities
  • Photo of Ty DeWitt

    Ty DeWitt 

    English Teacher; Skills and Academic Strategies Teacher
    College of the Holy Cross - B.A., Theater
  • Photo of Maura Henry

    Maura Henry 

    Dean of Faculty; Skills and Academic Strategies Teacher
    Fordham University - M.S.
    University of Massachusetts, Amherst - B.A., Theatre
  • Photo of Bekah LaCoste

    Bekah LaCoste 

    Skills and Academic Strategies Teacher; Theater Teacher
    New York University - B.S., Educational Theatre
  • Photo of Sarah Orban

    Sarah Orban 

    12th Grade Dean; Skills and Academic Strategies Teacher; Science Teacher
    University of New Hampshire - B.S., Kinesiology
    University of Florida - M.S., Athletic Training
  • Photo of Michael Streeter

    Michael Streeter 

    English Teacher; Skills and Academic Strategies Teacher
    Wesley College - B.A., Dual Major in Business Administration & Political Science
    University of Massachusetts - M.Ed., Human Development
  • Photo of Nikki Turpin

    Nikki Turpin 

    Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Skills and Academic Strategies Teacher
    Marist College - B.A., English Literature
  • Photo of Jon Andruchow

    Jon Andruchow 

    Director of Technology, Khalsa Center Director, Skills and Academic Strategies Teacher
    Brown University - B.A., Undergraduate Teacher Education Program
Located 10 miles from Boston, Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall is a college preparatory school that teaches the way students learn. The School welcomes students with diverse learning styles and helps them to develop self-confidence and achieve academic success through personalized, integrated learning. Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall offers 180 boarding and day students a richly diverse cultural and academic environment and opportunities to engage in the arts, athletics and community service.