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Programs for Students with Learning Differences

You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother's womb. I praise you, because I am wonderfully made; wonderful are your works!
Psalm 139:13

Special Needs ProgramsThe high schools in the Archdiocese of Baltimore strive to serve the needs of all students. Believing that ALL students can succeed, programs are available at area high schools for students who learn differently. Families may contact the program directors at the high schools listed below for more information.

The Archdiocese of Baltimore invites families to attend: Students with Learning Differences Fair; Meet representatives from our Catholic high schools to learn about the programs and resources available to students with learning differences.

Families are encouraged to attend an event or contact any of the program directors at the high schools listed below for more information. If your child is a member of the PRIDE program in an Archdiocese of Baltimore elementary school, please contact Denise Garman, Director of Student Support Services, at (410) 625-8495 for assistance in the high school search process.

If your child is applying to a Catholic high school and needs testing accommodations for the High School Placement Test, please submit all documentation to the testing site by November 11, 2016. This current professional psycho-educational evaluation must follow the guidelines for documentation. Alternative Intervention Strategies Plans or Personal Progress Plans are only additional materials and do not replace a professional evaluation. For more information about extended testing time or other special testing accommodations, please contact the individual school's program director.

Coeducational High Schools

  • Archbishop Spalding High School
    The Aquinas Program
    supports uniquely gifted college-bound students who have learning differences in the areas of reading and language (additional fee applies). Contact: Jeanine Kandrac | | (410) 969-9105

  • Bishop Walsh High School
    The Pratt Program is a program for students with language based learning differences such as dyslexia and organizational struggles. Individualized Orton-Gillingham tutoring and coaching are available. Contact: Stephanie Pratt | | (301) 724-5360 x218

  • Our Lady of Mount Carmel High School
    The USS Star Program
    provides an opportunity for students who have difficulty with attendance, have earned marginal grades in the past, have a documented learning difference, or have indicated a need for a stronger support system in order to achieve educational success. Contact: Jazmine Carey | | (410) 686-1023

  • St. John's Catholic Prep
    The St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Scholars Program provides academic support for students who have mild to moderate diagnosed learning differences (as documented by a current psycho-education evaluation), and who have demonstrated the ability to learn in a classroom of approximately 25 students without curriculum modifications.  Without foregoing the high standards set by SJCP, the Seton Program restructures each student's schedule to allow for a lighter course load and provides classroom and testing accommodations, learning strategy instruction, and subject tutoring with our experienced teaching staff.  Contact: Janet Ryczko | | (301) 662-4210 x108

  • St. Maria Goretti
    The Aquinas Academic Support Center works with parents of students with identified learning disabilities to offer accommodations, including: extended time for exams; study guides for exams; preferential seating; visibly 'chunked' exam content or administration of exams; and division of larger assignments into smaller sections. The school encourages students to self-advocate through actions such as: utilizing a 'note-taking buddy'; requesting teachers to review the student planners; and peer tutoring. The school has implemented a mobile learning device program, whereby students may use devices in the classroom to take notes, access e-books, conduct online research, etc. The freshman English curriculum incorporates a first-semester study skills component to assist freshmen in transitioning to the rigor of our college-preparatory curriculum.Contact: Randal Smedley | | (301) 739-4266

  • St. Mary's High School
    St. Mary's High School is sensitive to learning differences and committed to working with each student toward academic success. Our Guidance Department can review accommodations recommended by a Learning Specialist or Psychologist through Psychoeducational Testing, and develop a student support plan. Students with learning differences can be successful when supported by the right combination of accommodations and college preparatory curriculum. Contact: Mrs. Megan Bowers (410) 990-4223

  • The John Carroll School
    The St. Joseph Program
    provides highly motivated students with documented learning differences an opportunity to succeed in The John Carroll School's challenging college-preparatory environment. Recognizing that each student has a unique approach to learning, the St. Joseph Program endeavors to make each student aware of his/her personal learning style and establish strategies to accommodate that style. Students accepted into this program receive individualized accommodations in the classroom and continual monitoring toward the achievement of personal goals. There is an additional fee for this program. Contact: Anne Drummey | | (410) 879-2480

Boys' High Schools

  • Archbishop Curley High School
    The Anthony Program is a multifaceted college-preparatory program that addresses the needs of young men from diverse backgrounds who are at risk due to learning differences, lower self-esteem, and/or socio-emotional challenges. Maximum learning potential is achieved through the implementation of cross-curricular behavioral strategies, individualized assessments to measure academic performance, and most importantly, an integrated team-teaching approach. Contact: Kathleen Maskell | | (410) 485-5000 x377

  • Calvert Hall College High School
    The La Salle Program
    serves a unique group of students with identified learning disabilities. Students in this program may encounter problems in reading, writing, and math skills due to a specific language disability such as dyslexia. Students are integrated into the academic and extra-curricular environment, but to address the unique learning characteristics of these students, their academic programs are tailored to meet their individual needs. Contact: Jennifer Healy | | (410) 825-4266 x133

  • Loyola Blakefield
    The Murray Learning Service
    supports bright, motivated students with documented learning differences as they complete the rigorous college-preparatory program at Loyola Blakefield. This fee-for-service program provides unlimited access to a team of learning specialists who work with students to improve organizational and time management skills, provide appropriate accommodations, and assist students in meeting the demands of their classroom teachers. Contact: Fran Finnegan | | (443) 841-3248

  • Mount Saint Joseph High School
    The Depaul Program
    is designed for college-bound students with specifically diagnosed mild learning/language disabilities such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, or other language-related difficulties. Contact: Kate Chapman | | (410) 644-3300

Girls' High Schools

  • The Catholic High School of Baltimore
    The Archangel Program provides opportunities for success to students who encountered academic difficulties during elementary and middle school. Through small class sizes, frequent student-teacher interaction, close cooperation between home and school, and the student's commitment to success, the Archangel student proceeds through a college preparatory program. Archangel students are integrated into other class levels based upon academic achievement in their junior year. To enhance the learning experience and make lessons more interactive, students utilize state-of-the-art technology, including iPads with various educational applications.

  • Institute of Notre Dame
    The Mother Caroline Program offers college preparatory courses specially designed for students who need reinforcement in a particular academic discipline. Offering small class sizes with emphasis on student-teacher interaction, the program allows students to successfully in prepare for future academic rigor and advanced course work. In addition, our tablet program teaches students to organize class materials in online notebooks, take class notes online, and retrieve homework, class notes, and grades. Parents also have access to this information, so they can provide help and encouragement at home. We have initiated the Sister Marie Charles Program for freshmen who are not achieving success in their academic endeavors. This group meets bi-weekly to reinforce strategies for effective studying, test taking, and personal encouragement. These students are assigned a faculty mentor and a student tutor. Contact: Diana Franz |

  • Maryvale Preparatory School
    The St. Julie Billiart (SJB) Program serves bright and motivated college-bound young women who range from struggling readers to those with language-based learning differences. As gifted, college-bound students, SJB participants attend regular college preparatory classes. Their specific learning needs are addressed first through daily 1:1 or 1:2 sessions with SJB staff. The program staff personally configures an Individual Education Plan (IEP) that utilizes proven Orton-Gillingham, Phono-Graphix and other instructional methods that incorporate resources appropriate to each student's profile. SJB staff then collaborates with teachers to develop a plan for effective accommodations for regular course work. The goal for each student is to develop as a confident, independent reader and writer with strong organizational, time management, studying and test-taking skills. SJB students have access to assistive technologies and other resources that have been configured for their use. Regular progress reports are provided with weekly follow-up with SJB staff to confirm effective participation in the program. Contact: Jennifer Nicholas | (410) 308-8509

  • Mercy High School
    Mercy High School's Learning Difference Specialist, along with our Director of Guidance and Student Support, can work with parents and students to ensure that any accommodations or additional help will be provided. Mercy students with learning differences thrive when they are supported by caring professionals, and challenged by the classes they take, so students with learning differences take the same college-preparatory curriculum as all other students. Our Learning Difference Specialist provides the individualized support needed for students to succeed academically and emotionally. Contact: Cindy Magruder | | (410) 433-8880 x209

  • Mount de Sales Academy
    The Sacred Heart Program is designed to support college-bound students with identified learning disabilities and ADHD. The Sacred Heart Program provides academic support and remediation for continued improvement of academic skills, while enabling the students to discover learning strengths, build on these strengths, and advocate for individual needs. Contact: Mary Jo Puglisi | | (410) 744-8498 x267

  • The Seton Keough High School
    The Marillac Program
    , named for St. Louise de Marillac, co-founder of the Daughters of Charity, provides services to college-bound students who have specific learning differences, such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, or other language-based learning disabilities. This comprehensive, fully inclusive program offers over 3,500 square feet of dedicated space that includes a resource center, computer lab, classroom, and private testing rooms. Students receive 1:1 or 2:1 accommodations with concentrations in work/study habits, reading, writing, and math skills through the use of state-of-the art Kurzweil software system.The goal of the Options Program is to include, encourage, support, and educate young women, ages 14-21, with intellectual disabilities, on a certificate track. As part of the faith-filled mission of The Seton Keough High School, these students will learn to function as independently as possible and become responsible adults in their communities. Contact: Beth Cushing | | (410) 646-4444 x3276