LEARNING SUPPORT PROGRAMS2023-05-03T13:40:52+00:00

learning and support programs

North Country School has a long history of engaging and supporting a range of learners by providing academic guidance for students and creating an optimal learning environment. An underlying goal of the program is to prepare students for a successful transition to secondary schools.

Enrolling in learning support is initiated by the family during the application process, or at the recommendation of North Country School’s learning support director.


Students who benefit from the Learning Support Program are bright, capable, and inquisitive, but may have struggled in a traditional academic setting. The program works with students along a continuum of experience and needs, from those who are well served by an individualized plan to students who require regular check-ins and a group setting. This support is delivered by instructors in small groups, separate from classroom instruction.

Executive Function differences including: time management, homework production and planning, organization of materials, breaking down large tasks into smaller pieces, initiating tasks, and sustaining progress on a task.

Written expression weaknesses linked to dysgraphia, elaboration of ideas, organizing an essay or paper, and difficulties starting a piece of writing.

Reading weaknesses related to comprehension and fluency that are supported by assistive technology and direct instruction in reading skills to support comprehension.

Reading Intervention and Remediation: For students with more significant reading and writing challenges rooted in phonological awareness deficits, 1:1 intervention using the Orton-Gillingham Approach provides individualized explicit instruction in foundational reading, writing, and spelling skills. Intervention is provided two-to-three days a week, depending on a student’s level of need.

Essential academic skills such as how to study for a test, planning an essay, and ways to keep track of homework are taught by the classroom teachers in consultation with the Learning Support Department. The self-contained classroom setting for students in grades 4-6 allows for consistent routines, monitoring of skills, and individual attention.

Additional fee-based support in grades 4-6 focuses on reading and writing needs that are beyond what can be addressed in the classroom.

Writing Lab: $2,750/year

Support for assigned writing from ELA/English, science, and history classes, in coordination with content teachers.

Reading Lab: $2,750/year

Support with reading fluency and reading comprehension skills.

Learning Skills: $8,800/year

A year-long program, Learning Skills meets the needs of students who are currently experiencing frustration and inconsistent success with the day-to-day demands of producing schoolwork that best represents their ability. This program provides coaching and strategies instruction that is reinforced in the classroom and in guided study halls. The program supports individualized goal setting and the application of those goals to students’ day-to-day coursework. Students enrolled in Learning Skills meet with their instructor five periods per week with one other student. Additionally, they participate in a guided evening study hall during weekday evenings with a 6:1 student/teacher ratio.

Learning Lab: $3,500/year

This program serves students who may need extra time and guidance to complete assignments. For returning students, this course serves as a transition from the 2:1 Learning Skills setting to greater independence. For some new students, Learning Lab offers transitional support as they engage in a new academic setting. Students enrolled in Learning Lab meet with their instructor three periods per week with five other students. Families can elect to enroll their child in a guided evening study hall during weekday evenings with a 6:1 student/teacher ratio ($1,780/year).

Writing Lab: $2,750/year

Support for assigned writing from ELA/English, science, and history classes, in coordination with content teachers.

Reading Lab: $2,750/year

Support with reading fluency and reading comprehension skills.

ESL at North Country School develops students’ literacy, academic writing, and critical thinking skills to prepare for mainstream English courses and to support learning in mainstream science, math, and social studies courses.

Reading fiction and nonfiction, writing in a variety of genres, using technology, developing research skills, and completing interdisciplinary projects are cornerstones of the curriculum. As students’ proficiency grows, courses increasingly resemble mainstream English courses, yet with an adapted pace and special attention to vocabulary, reading skills, and writing organization and mechanics. Critical thinking, problem solving, and cultural awareness are woven throughout the curriculum for all levels.

Students in grades 4-6 have two periods of ESL daily; 7th-9th grade students have one period of ESL, and participate in Learning Lab or Learning Skills courses to receive additional support with writing skills and homework completion. ESL class sizes are kept small (two to six students) to facilitate active participation.


Jess holds a BA from St. Lawrence University and an MEd from the University of New Hampshire. Additionally, Jess holds professional certification in Learning Differences and Neurodiversity with a specialization in executive function support from Landmark College and has received her certification in Orton-Gillingham and Wilson Reading System. She is a member of the North East Association of Learning Specialists. Jess has served a number of roles at North Country School: as 7th and 9th grade English teacher, as a Primary Houseparent, as Weekend Program Co-coordinator, and Program Logistics Coordinator. Since 2017, Jess has been a Learning Skills Coach with the Learning Support Services program. Currently the Director of the Learning Support Services, Jess and her husband Larry Robjent have been members of the North Country School community since 2000.

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