Resource Specialist Program

At Archbishop Riordan High School, we appreciate and celebrate the diversity of student learning styles. In 1994, the Resource Specialist Program (RSP) was established to better serve students with diagnosed mild to moderate learning disabilities, and help them succeed in Riordan’s rigorous college-prep curriculum and prepare for their academic career beyond high school.

The core of the RSP rests on the philosophy that students can receive accommodations to support the way they learn, but the curriculum is not modified in any way. In addition to developing individual strategies for academic success, the program uniquely teaches students to become advocates for themselves in the classroom, among their peers, and in the community. Receiving support from the RSP is just one aspect of a student’s high school experience at Riordan that is filled with athletics, activities, community service opportunities, and friendships.

Children’s Health Network
Riordan partners with the Children’s Health Council (formerly PEN), a coalition of parents collaborating with educators, students and the community to empower and bring academic success to students with learning and attention difficulties. This organization continues to provide parent education and support through events and resources, and professional development for teachers, learning specialists and others.

Program Overview
Archbishop Riordan offers students in the RSP a tiered structure of support to meet their individual needs, with flexibility as the student moves through the college preparatory curriculum.

Tier 1: For students who primarily need testing support and homework help.

Tier 2: For students who need both academic and testing support.

Tier 3: For students who need intensive academic and testing support, and after-school tutoring.

In their first year, Tier 2 and 3 students take courses designed specifically for individuals in the RSP: two UC-accredited English courses with a 7:1 student-to-teacher ratio taught by Special Education credentialed instructors, and a study skills course with a 5:1 student-to-teacher ratio. Beyond those courses, students follow the regular academic curriculum.

Each Tier has a structured study group (PODS) that uses specific interventions to help students in their area of need. To encourage collaboration and inspiration, PODS are made up of 8-10 students across all grade levels, and are lead by a faculty moderator. There is also a designated faculty coordinator for each Tier who facilitates communication between students, faculty and parents about accommodations, grades and other aspects of academic life.

Students also have access to the RSP Lab on campus where they can meet with staff, take tests, and receive help with research projects, term papers and other coursework. The Lab is equipped with the latest technology to aid learning.

How to Apply
In addition to Archbishop Riordan’s regular online application, students interested in applying for the RSP must submit a recent (within three years) psycho-educational evaluation that shows a diagnosis of a mild to moderate learning disability, spectrum disorder, NVLD, ADD/ADHD or any OHI. An interview is also required with RSP staff.

More Information
For questions about the program, including possible educational tax benefits and financial aid specific to the RSP, please contact: Mr. Nate Simon, MA, Director of RSP, or (415) 586-8200 ext. 222.

RSP Fees
Please see this document for fees for the 2018-19 school year.
updated 2/26/18