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Seton Program

Elizabeth Ann Seton Scholars Program of the Saint John’s Catholic Preparatory School attempts to accommodate the needs of students who have been diagnosed with mild to moderate learning challenges and whose psycho-educational reports (as well as referrals from guidance counselors and teachers) indicate that intervention is critical to the student’s academic success at SJCP. This unique academic support program is designed for motivated students with learning differences who desire to pursue a college preparatory high school diploma and continue their education following high school in a post-secondary school environment. Canonized in 1975, Elizabeth Ann Seton is one of the founding educators of Catholic schools in America, opening the first Catholic school for girls in America in 1810 in Frederick County. Her legacy serves as an inspiration for our program that addresses learning differences in students.

Seton Scholars attend weekly classes (two – three students per class) providing strategy instruction and support for scheduling, planning, study skills, organization, as well as tutoring help and support for self-advocacy. A separate resource program is also available for identified students who may not need academic support, but who would benefit from strategy instruction and interventions to improve their executive function skills or who need a quiet place for completing work. In addition, classroom and testing accommodations are provided as identified by the Seton Program staff based on individual student’s needs.

Families interested in the Seton Program for their child may contact the school for more information. An interview with the Seton Program Resource teacher, Janet Ryczko, or school counselor may be required once the enrollment application and psycho-educational report are received. Educational psychology reports should be sent to the attention of the Seton Program director, Janet Ryczko. If the psychologist can provide electronic copies of the reports, please send these to Janet Ryczko at

The goals of the Seton Program are:

  • To help students develop compensation strategies for addressing their learning disability.
  • To teach students to advocate for their academic support needs.
  • To prepare students to be successful in college.

Q & A:

How do I know if the Seton Program is appropriate for my student?

  • If your student has received academic support in previous school settings, he/she may require similar plans in high school.
  • Students who have recently been diagnosed with a specific learning challenge that affects their ability to access high school curriculum may require an academic support plan at SJCP.

How does my student apply for the Seton Program?

  • During the general SJCP application process, families indicate prior academic accommodations and provide documentation of learning challenges.
  • Professional documentation should include diagnosis, recommendations for accommodations, copies of prior accommodation plans.
  • An interview is scheduled with the director of the Seton Program, where families discuss the details of the program and indicate desire to be enrolled in the Seton Program.
  • Once accepted into SJCP, families will receive a letter of enrollment into the Seton Program and will be able to indicate their desire to reserve a spot.

What are Seton classes?

  • Seton classes are study skills resources classes offered weekly as part of a student’s class schedule.
  • Classes meet 3 – 4 times per week for about 1 hour.
  • Seton class are non-credit classes which replace a class in the student’s schedule. This may require summer classes for electives to maintain the appropriate number of credits for graduation.

Is it possible for my student to receive classroom and testing accommodations without enrollment in the Seton Program?

  • Yes, students who demonstrate need for academic support (based on information documented in professional, educational testing) but who do not require intensive study skills training are still able to receive academic accommodations.
  • Families should provide documentation and discuss previous and or current accommodation plans with the Director of the Seton Program who will develop an individual accommodation plan for their student.

Are there any additional charges for the Seton Program?

  • No, there are no additional fees for the Seton Program.
  • As a Seton class replaces one class on the student’s schedule, families may incur additional costs to take summer classes for missed electives, in order to maintain required graduation credits.

Is my student required to be enrolled in the Seton Program for all 4 years at SJCP?

  • Students may enroll in the Seton Program for the amount of time appropriate for their learning needs (i.e., 1 semester, 1 year, 2 years, 3 years or 4 years).
  • Evaluation of continued enrollment is decided upon through a family and student meeting during the registration period in the spring.
  • Please be advised that if students require non-credit Seton classes for multiple semesters, the Seton class will be replacing a required course credit and summer classes may be needed to account for missed credits needed for graduation.

How will teachers be advised of my student’s needs?

  • Before the fall semester, the Seton Program Director prepares an official Individual Accommodation Plan for each student in the Seton Program.
  • Teachers of students with academic accommodations are provided with a summary of that student’s classroom and testing accommodations as identified on their plan.
  • Teachers receive training on addressing and implementing accommodations during professional development training.

How am I notified of my student’s academic progress while in the Seton Program?

  • Families of students in the Seton Program meet with their student’s resource teacher and/or the director of the Seton Program during parent conferences in the fall and during re-registration in the spring.
  • If a specific concern is identified by a teacher, the student’s resource teacher will contact the family.
  • Families are encouraged to contact the student’s resource teacher or Seton Program director directly with any specific concerns they may have at any time throughout the school year.

Resource Teachers

Janet Ryczko

Director of the Seton Program

Ashley April

Class of 2009
Teacher - English, Seton Program Resource Teacher

Emily Kurtyka

Class of 2010
Enrollment Specialist, Seton Program Resource Teacher, Girls' Volleyball (Varsity) - Head Coach