1. What sort of documentation is required in order for my student to recieve reasonable accommodations and services with DSO.
DSO will accept any form of documentation from a health professional, which includes school psychologists and counselors. DSO is open to many different forms of documentation, including IEPs, 504 plans, and personalized letters from a student's counselor. For learning differences such as ADHD and dyslexia, we strongly recommend submitting a neuropsychological evaluation. For letters from a counselor, DSO prefers to see information from counselors who have had ongoing and consistent contact with the student, and is therefore very knowledgeable about the student's mental and physical needs.
2. How are reasonable accommodations determined?
DSO works closely with the student themselves to determine the sort of reasonable accommodations that provides equal access to their education. This discussion and conversation is the most important basis for determining reasonable accommodations. DSO also uses documentation to supplement and inform the understanding of the student's needs. Because of Olin's unique curriculum, sometimes the accommodations that worked well for a student in high school needs to be reexamined and modified to suit our curriculum. This is why there is a strong emphasis on collaboration and discussion with the student specifically.
3. If I want to talk about my student's needs with someone, who should I talk to?
You can speak with the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, Adva Waranyuwat, to update her on any information you think will be relevant to the student's experience at Olin. However, due to FERPA restrictions, any information about the student cannot be shared with the parent. Adva can only speak in generalities about school policy and procedure and cannot disclose any information about the student without the student's permission.
4. How can I best support my student in their transition to college?
Parents and guardians are a vital part of a student's success in college. A primary goal of DSO is to provide the student with agency and choice in their educational decisions but having this added responsibility might be a new experience for your student. You can help support them by remaning mindful of their transition to independence and encouraging them as they encounter new challenges. As students are asked to become more independent in their learning and self-advocacy, parents and guardians can be critical supports to help the student navigate these new responsibilities. Another understated piece of this support is in the recognition that this is often as much a transition for the parent or guardian as it is for the student, so we encourage you to ask the student about their needs and how you can best support them, as well as expressing to the student your own needs during this time.