Cooperative & Academic Support Programs

Father Ryan High School's Cooperative Support Program (CSP) is designed to offer additional help and focus for students with learning differences. Our primary goal is to facilitate a student's efforts to become more independent in processing information and developing self-reliant learning proficiencies - fundamental skills for a student's success.
Our CSP Coordinator is a State Certified Learning Disabilities Specialist who identifies strengths and weaknesses in each student's ability to process information and apply it to daily classroom assignments. In addition to the CSP Coordinator, Father Ryan has three Learning Specialists, one of whom is a licensed psycho-educational evaluator. Several dedicated teachers with expertise in specific academic areas also work one-on-one to provide assistance and specialized tutoring for these students.

The coordinator works closely with the student, the classroom teacher and parents to make any necessary accommodations and provide essential support. Helping students become self-sufficient, responsible, life-long learners is a crucial objective.
The Academic Support Program is a parallel program that provides extra assistance for students who do not meet the qualifications for Cooperative Support but still require special monitoring and/or assistance.

The primary difference between the two programs is the level of assistance. Cooperative Support students receive daily assistance while Academic Support students receive weekly or bi-weekly assistance, as needed.

For more information, contact Sarah Kieffner, Director of Academic Counseling, at 615-383-4200.

How Do These Programs Work?

The program coordinators evaluate each student's needs from a variety of source information, including psychological/educational testing and personal interviews.

This evaluation helps the coordinators create an educational plan that recognizes how the student processes information most effectively, thereby helping the student improve study and test taking skills.

What is the Educational Plan?

The educational plan is determined by the program for which the student is best suited, either Cooperative Support or Academic Support. This is followed by determining appropriate class selections with the student and parents to establish the basis for a positive learning experience.

During the student's freshman year, smaller class sizes are available in mathematics, English and Spanish to allow the teacher to reinforce fundamentals and provide more individual support. The student can continue into the sophomore year with smaller class sizes in these subjects, if necessary.

The goal of the programs is for each student to be mainstreamed into a traditional curriculum by junior year. However, the program coordinators will continue to monitor the progress of each student throughout his or her educational experience at Father Ryan.

Students in both of these programs are eligible for an after-school study hall (Monday-Thursday) supervised by a Certified Learning Specialist.

How is a Student Selected?

Students are selected for admission to the Cooperative Support Program separately from regular admission to Father Ryan. To apply for CSP, the candidate must submit the following:
  • Scores from the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC)
  • Scores from a complete academic battery such as Woodcock-Johnson Educational Battery
  • Teacher Recommendations
  • Personal interview(s)
  • A copy of current grades
Students needing Academic Support are not required to have the psychological or educational evaluation.

Contact Us

List of 5 members.

  • Photo of Sarah Kieffner

    Sarah Kieffner 

    Director of Academic Counseling | Speech and Debate Team Coach | Elliston House
    (615) 383-4200 x 2238
  • Photo of Ann Arnold

    Ann Arnold 

    Mathematics Teacher | Cooperative and Academic Support Programs Coordinator | Immaculata House
    (615) 383-4200 x 1228
  • Photo of Nina Annunziata

    Nina Annunziata 

    Cooperative and Academic Support Learning Specialist | Norwood House
  • Photo of Jessica Bain

    Jessica Bain 92

    Cooperative and Academic Support Learning Specialist |Assistant Soccer Coach | Trinity House
  • Photo of Lisa Patterson

    Lisa Patterson 

    Psychoeducational Evaluator | Cooperative and Academic Support Programs Staff | Elliston House
    (615) 383-4200 x 1212

Goals of the Cooperative and Academic Support Programs

The intention of these programs is to create an environment that unites parent and faculty involvement, in cooperation with the student, and to address and meet the student's learning and emotional needs.

The programs focus on developing self-discipline and necessary skills to overcome academic challenges, such as organizational skills and time management.

As part of this program, students will be known and loved in an atmosphere that fosters independence and growth. In accordance with the Father Ryan tradition, students are encouraged to pursue their academic goals and are given the opportunity to succeed beyond the intellect.