TranslateThe Hub

How do I get Accommodations?

We proactively work to provide an inclusive learning environment as well as reasonable accommodations for our diverse student population. Seattle Academy follows the Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as well as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Our interactive and individualized process helps ensure each student is getting exactly what they need.

Accommodations:

  • Provide equal access to the classroom, learning materials, and tests for students with disabilities. 
  • Help to “level the playing field” for students with disabilities.
  • Do not guarantee success.
  • Are not an unfair advantage.
  • Must be reasonable and not a fundamental alteration to the essential requirements of the class.

Decisions regarding appropriate accommodations are made in partnership and based on a combination of past documentation, teacher observations, recommendations from a formal evaluation, or medical documentation.

Please note: Our criteria do not match exactly the College Board and ACT criteria. The latter have very strict criteria, review procedures, and deadlines for applying for accommodations. Having a formal accommodations plan in place for all the years your student uses accommodations at school fulfills one of the important requirements.

If your student has previously received an IEP, had a 504 plan, or has had a neuropsychological evaluation at any point please send Jaymie Lewis, Accommodations Manager, a copy and complete the following form.  

Please visit Standardized Testing Accommodations for more information. 

What is an accommodation?

An accommodation is an alteration of environment, equipment, or curriculum format such as keyboard for writing, large format test materials, preferential classroom seating, recorded books and documents, extended time for tests, and so on. It is designed to provide access to learning and testing that a student would not otherwise have. For example, a student with a math disorder might be allowed to use a calculator for math tests; a student who has a slower processing speed or attention difficulties might be allowed to take tests in a separate room with extended time; a student with dysgraphia might be able to use a keyboard for all writing, including in-class essays.

An accommodation does not alter the content of the curriculum. A change in curriculum is a modification. At SAAS, we avoid modification if at all possible as it can affect graduation and college outcomes. Any modifications are discussed and agreed with parents and SAAS administrators before they go into effect.

Why would a student need accommodations?

For Learning Differences
Some students are not able to access learning or demonstrate what they have learned in the same way other students can. If a student has a learning difference that impairs their school performance (typically referred to as a disorder or disability), it might be necessary for them to have one or more accommodations to allow them to compete in the same classes and tests as their peers.

For Physical/Psychological Conditions
Some students have physical or psychological conditions that affect their school performance. These can include Crohn’s Disease, concussions, anxiety disorders, depression, and so on. Again, documentation is required to substantiate the conditions and inform us of the needed accommodations. Documentation also helps us to guide and assist you through the application process for College Board and ACT accommodations if needed.

What does SAAS need from families in order to be able to provide accommodations in the Upper School?

We base accommodations on formal diagnoses and the recommendations of psychologists and other specialists who have the expertise to determine appropriate accommodations. However, if we see that a student seems to need and benefit from certain accommodations in the absence of a formal evaluation report, we will offer them to a student and then talk with parents about the value of a formal evaluation to check for diagnosable learning differences. It is our policy to have a formal evaluation report on file to support the accommodations students use.

What should you do if you have an old evaluation for your child?

Please make sure Learning Support has a copy of any and all evaluations and accommodations plans your child has had. They help us understand your child’s learning style and challenges, which in turn helps us support their learning in the classroom. They also help us guide you in the application for accommodations for College Board and ACT tests, if they seem appropriate. Contact Jaymie Lewis, Accommodations Manager, if you are unsure whether we have complete documentation on file.