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Academic Support is for Everyone

Academic Support is for Everyone
Megan Anderson, Middle School Learning Specialist; Jillian DeBusk, Upper School Learning Specialist; & Kate Yohay, Upper School Learning Specialist

At Dana Hall School, students learn how to be advocates for themselves and the value of collaborating with peers and the adults in their community. One of the ways that Dana Hall students develop these skills is by utilizing the many academic resources that are available to all students on campus. While we, the Learning Specialists, love to talk about academic support, we asked several students to share their thoughts about how they use the resources on campus. 

Dana Hall faculty and staff dedicate time outside their teaching schedule to ensure that support is easily accessible. “There is never a time in the day when there is not someone to support you. Somebody is always around and willing to help,” said M. Reinhardt ’24. All teachers are available during daily conference periods, when students can ask questions, go over feedback, or prepare for assessments and projects. Middle Schooler L. Brinkmann ’27 recommends that students use conference period as an opportunity to either stay focused and do work or take the opportunity to meet a teacher in the classroom and get one-to-one attention. 

Departments also run “labs” for Math, Writing, and Science, where students can meet with a teacher in that department for support with an assignment, concept, or to ask questions. Most labs are available before, during, and after school, and even in the evenings over Zoom. Reinhardt explained, “Sometimes it is helpful when another teacher that you don’t have can explain how to work through a problem.” Senior E. Miller thinks, “It is extremely helpful that Math Lab is open during all periods during the day and that Math Lab and Writing Lab are offered during the night.” 

Additionally, Dana Hall students have access to Learning Specialists who have extensive expertise in supporting all types of learners. We are available to help students with skills such as organization, studying, test taking, writing, reading, and understanding class concepts. One Upper School student reflected that, “Learning Lab and Ms. DeBusk have both been really helpful for me personally in terms of organization, studying, and learning how to better manage my anxiety about tests and exams.” 

So, what advice would current students give to their classmates and incoming students about academic support? A. Mad-toingué ’24 advises, “Even if you are scared to ask a question or ask for help, just do it! Seriously, it’s so helpful and worth it. Once I started using those resources, my grades and overall school experience improved so much!” 

“Dana Hall’s academic support helps the community be an even better and more inclusive place that helps students excel and be the best students they can be!” she concluded, and we couldn’t agree more!