Academic Support

Academic Support at The Ethel Walker School

The Academic Support Center (ASC) in the Constance Lavino Bell Library is a resource for all students who wish to enhance their academic performance through improved time management, organizational skills, study skills, and test-taking strategies. The ASC serves to assist those who need academic support or those who have mild to moderate documented learning differences which affect academic performance. The academic support coordinator works collaboratively with students, parents, advisors, faculty members, and administrators to best support our students.

Mission Statement

To encourage students to take ownership of their academic growth and become strong self-advocates in order to realize their full potential. It is vital that every student becomes an equal partner in the learning experience, develops strong working relationships with their teachers, and contributes effectively to the learning environment of their classes. Various levels of support are available to promote this development.

For more information, contact Academic Support Center Director Mary Beth Conley at or 860-408-4283.

Available Support

Extra Help

The academic support coordinator encourages students to understand their role in seeking extra help from teachers and the importance of preparing rough drafts and/or specific questions. Students should first seek help from faculty if they believe they need additional support.

Peer Tutoring

Students recommended by the faculty offer tutoring to fellow students in subject areas such as math, science, and World Languages. Peer tutors are available one-on-one in addition to drop-in center hours.

Writing Fellows

The Writing Fellows are selected, trained and supported by the English Department faculty for their ability to help student writers at any stage of the writing process. Students may contact a Writing Fellow in person or via email to ask for help with ideas and outlining, research and citation, draft editing and final proof-reading. Writing Fellows will respond to requests for help in a prompt manner, and will assist in written work for any subject including college essays, job applications, letters of interest, senior speeches, etc. For further questions, please contact Catherine Reed, English department chair and advisor to the Writing Fellows: or 860-408-4305.

Professional Tutoring

Walker’s contracts with carefully vetted professional tutors who are permitted to work with our students on campus. If a student has sought extra help from her teacher in earnest, has kept scheduled appointments in the ASC, and has tried other support services, the student, parent, advisor, or teacher may request professional tutoring. Professional tutoring is arranged for an additional hourly fee through the ASC. If the cost of professional tutoring is a financial hardship please notify the Academic Support Coordinator to find out whether you qualify for a reduced rate.

For more information, contact Academic Support Center Director Mary Beth Conley at or 860-408-4283.

Accommodations and Support Plans

Accommodations and Support Plans are designed by the ASC for students with documented learning differences. These plans will be shared with the students’ advisors and teachers at the beginning of each semester. The goal is for each student to become a strong self-advocate and use the supports available to her, when appropriate. Students are responsible for notifying teachers of their intention to use approved accommodations prior to a test, but some students may need encouragement to do so, particularly Middle School students. The academic support coordinator will meet with students and teachers to review details of a student’s plan.

Accommodations provided for qualifying students:

  • Language waiver
  • Extended time on assessments (50%)
  • Alternate setting for assessments (quiet, minimally-distracting environment)
  • Preferential seating in class
  • Use of a recording device in class
  • Use of a 4-function calculator in class
  • Use of audiobooks (must be purchased by the student)
  • Use of a laptop/iPad in class

For more information, contact Academic Support Center Director Mary Beth Conley at or 860-408-4283.