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Learning Resources at CDS - NEW

The learning resources team strives to help each student experience personal achievement and emotional well-being.  

Working within the context of a school-wide collaborative support model, our learning resources team provides differentiated and coordinated support to students, families, and teachers in order to nurture and sustain optimal learning conditions at home and in school. Our goal is to support the needs of children who demonstrate a variety of learning styles, ensuring that all of our students continue to grow and be challenged in their learning.

Learning Specialists

Our learning specialists team with students, teachers, and families to understand learning challenges and identify the appropriate instructional strategies and supports needed for a child to understand the core curriculum and succeed academically. Over time, the goal is to help children develop strategies which allow them to demonstrate independence and agency in the learning process.

Our learning specialists do this by observing learners in the classroom, teaming with teachers and departments to differentiate instruction, and working directly with students both inside and outside of the classroom to provide targeted support and accommodations.  

Sometimes, school assessment data is not enough to get a full picture of a child’s learning profile, strengths, and challenges. In these cases, our learning specialists work in close collaboration with families to identify the appropriate specialists and resources needed to gain further information about  a child’s learning in the classroom, serving as advocates and support to families navigating the terrain of learning differences and neurodiversity.

 

Lower School Learning Specialist

Trudy Hamm, Middle School Learning Specialist, joined CDS in 2009. Trudy earned multiple subject and special education teaching credentials at San Francisco State University, as well as a master’s degree in special education. Trudy is trained in Lindamood-Bell, All Kinds of Minds and completed a two-year internship at the Pediatric Diagnostic Clinic at Langley Porter. She has been a mentor teacher for the Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment program of SFUSD. She has completed Responsive Classroom training. Prior to CDS, Trudy was the Reading Specialist and shared the Learning Specialist position at Creative Arts Charter School. She enjoys watching movies with her son.

 

School Counselors

Our School Counselors team with students, teachers, and families to understand the students’ social and emotional lives and to identify the appropriate language and support strategies which can help them navigate challenges. In addition, they support community health and well-being by helping develop our social-emotional curriculum and our approach to managing children’s everyday emotions and behavior.

Kate Corliss, Lower School Counselor, joined CDS in January 2017. She holds a master’s degree in School Counseling from George Washington University. At various schools in Washington DC and Maryland from 2004-2012, she served as a Pre-K classroom teacher, as a K-8 art instructor, as an administrator for a Summer Academy program targeted at failing and below-proficient students, and as a counseling intern for District of Columbia public schools. After moving to the west coast in 2012, she served as a case manager for the Raphael House of San Francisco, where she developed an implemented a wide-ranging counseling program for homeless children and families. 

Wendy Macias Walker, Middle School Counselor, holds a M.Ed. in Secondary Counseling from the University of South Carolina and a B.A. in Sociology-Anthropology and Spanish from Knox College. Before joining CDS in 2016, Wendy spent 18 years at Punahou School, a K-12 independent school in Hawaii, first as a teacher and subsequently as a counselor. There, Wendy maintained long-term counseling relationships with students; developed curriculum; and taught psychology, ninth grade guidance, peer helping and advanced peer helping. Prior to her work at Punahou, Wendy worked as a teacher at various schools in the US and Mexico. She is fluent in Spanish.

 

Academic Program Support

Our Lower School Literacy Specialist teams with our primary grade (K-2) teachers to follow each child’s reading and writing development across the K-2 developmental span. Research tells us that about twenty percent of children will struggle to take on the reading and writing process and that early intervention is key to ensuring that all children develop a strong foundation in reading and writing. The literacy specialist and teachers identify students who need support and ensure that they  enter their third grade year with a solid foundation in reading and writing.

Our K-4 Director of Teaching and Learning meets regularly with grade-level teams to support instructional planning, emphasizing differentiation and the use of co-teaching strategies to meet the needs of a diverse range of learners. In addition, the Director of Teaching and Learning mentors and supports each teacher’s professional growth, providing non-evaluative feedback and coaching that improves teaching and learning in our classrooms.

Our Middle School Learning Support Teacher serves as a resource for 7th and 8th grade students who need extra support in writing or study skills. The learning support teacher collaborates with the 7th and 8th grade humanities teachers to develop writing assignments, organizers, and assessment tools, and also holds individual conferences with students during all major writing assignments.  In addition, the learning support teacher partners with core academic subject teachers to identify and support 7th and 8th graders who are struggling with organizational and study skills, and also to develop strategies and materials to support English language learners.

Lindsay HershenhornAssistant Lower School Director and Elementary Literacy Specialist, was previously our first grade Hawks head teacher for several years before returning to school to pursue her doctorate in educational leadership at Mills College, where she currently teaches in the education department.
Ginny Spivey, K-4 Director of Teaching and Learning, joined CDS in 2006 after teaching in the Virginia public schools for five years. She has also worked as an instructional coordinator and assistant principal, and piloted a partial Spanish immersion program in the Charlottesville City Schools in Charlottesville, Virginia. Ginny has a BA in Spanish and a master in teaching (dual certification in special education and elementary education) from the University of Virginia, and is National Board certified. She loves to travel, read, eat great food, and explore San Francisco.
Trudy Hamm, Middle School Learning Support Teacher, joined CDS in 2009. Trudy earned multiple subject and special education teaching credentials at San Francisco State University, as well as a master’s degree in special education. Trudy is trained in Lindamood-Bell, All Kinds of Minds and completed a two-year internship at the Pediatric Diagnostic Clinic at Langley Porter. She has been a mentor teacher for the Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment program of SFUSD. She has completed Responsive Classroom training. Prior to CDS, Trudy was the Reading Specialist and shared the Learning Specialist position at Creative Arts Charter School. She enjoys watching movies with her son.


Frequently Asked Questions

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