Specialists » Learning Specialists

Learning Specialists

Our Learning Specialist team is Maria Carrillo and Loxie Hoshino.
Maria works with students from the WOOD, WATER, and FIRE classes on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
Loxie works with students from the SPIRIT, EARTH, and AIR classes Monday through Friday.
Their role at Berkwood Hedge is based on their knowledge and experience that there is great diversity in learning and their belief that the better we understand how students learn, the more positive and successful their school experiences will be.
Furthermore, it is important that parents/guardians share any previous evaluations or reports from other professionals. The main role of the Learning Specialists is to provide support to the classroom teachers and students by:
Discussing students’ individual needs
Conducting classroom observations
Recommending classroom accommodations and curriculum modifications
Providing small group remediation, based on data gathered from teachers and results of screenings (two 8-week remediation sessions are provided per year)
Administering in-house screenings
Suggesting outside referrals
Conferencing with parent/guardians, and/or other professionals
Providing resources
In grades K-2, they work closely with students to support the development of foundational skills in reading and math while in grades 3-5, they focus on building upon these skills, dependent on students’ individual needs.
How does the Learning Specialist Program work?
At the beginning of each academic year, the Learning Specialists assess students' foundational skills in Kindergarten, 1st grade, new students and those who have received Learning Specialst support the previous academic year. Results from these screenings as well as teacher input determines whether a student is eligible for targeted support (two 8-week sessions per year). Progress updates will be provided to parents/guardians after each session. Occassionally, meetings with parents and the educational team are scheduled.

If you have a concern regarding your child’s learning, please contact your classroom teacher directly who will then initiate the referral process.
Interfacing with Outside School Support Services
If a child is receiving any support services (e.g., tutor, educational therapist, occupational therapists, psychological therapist), it is the parents/guardians’ responsibility to notify the child’s classroom teacher(s) when services commence.
It is our intention to maintain an ongoing dialogue with service providers to ensure that their therapeutic/educational approach complements and supports what is happening in our classrooms.

Summer is a long break from classroom instruction.  Many families ask for suggestions to ensure that students maintain their skill level over the summer.  Here are some recommendations for the summer months:
Students are encouraged to read books at their independent reading level (both silently and aloud). Reading lists can be found at the Berkeley Public Library. Most public libraries offer a summer reading program where children sign up to read a certain amount of books and receive prizes for their efforts. Contact your local branch for more information.