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. Students can use executive function coaching to improve planning, time management, and organizational skills. Additionally, students can consult to strengthen study skills and test-taking strategies. The ASC serves to assist those who may be struggling academically 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.

Available Support

Extra Help

Faculty members are available to work with students outside of scheduled classes. Teachers encourage students to be active participants in their learning and work with them to chart a course for success. Additionally, the Academic Support Coordinator guides students to understand their role as strong self-advocates including the importance of initiating and preparing for productive extra help appointments.

Peer Tutor Drop-In Center

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

Students recommended by the English Department provide targeted support for writing skills such as organization of ideas, grammar, and citations. Our program is modeled on the one developed by Brown University. Fellows are selected, trained, and supervised by the chair of the English Department.

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.

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 Coordinator Mary Beth Conley at or 860-408-4283.