Academic Center for Excellence

The Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) at Hammond serves students in our Middle and Upper Schools to help them be successful and reach their full potential through academic, social, emotional, and general support. Students utilize the ACE to study individually or in small groups, receive tutoring, take or make-up tests, and meet with our staff members for support. The goal of the ACE is to provide students with resources to improve or enhance their academic and personal experiences.

As the ACE is connected to our Middle and Upper School Library, students are welcome to use the ACE as a quiet space to study and to utilize a variety of supplies including group tables, whiteboards, novels, and organizational materials. The ACE offers occasional study skills and organizational support ranging from locker up-keep and helping a student organize binder materials to practicing note-taking skills and study plans.

Personal Support and Counseling

List of 5 items.

  • HAWKS

    All 5th and 6th grade students take a quarterly life skills class called HAWKS (Health, Academics, Wellness, Knowledge, and Skills) that covers a variety of topics.  Students work with our School Counselor, ACE Coordinator, Dean of Students, and Head of the Middle School for a comprehensive course and have a chance to apply those skills in every area of school life.
  • Parent Partnerships

    Hammond School Counseling strives to partner with parents to best support the needs of all students. Parents are always welcome to reach out with questions or to request support. We work to provide parent education programming in all divisions and foster a sense of community among our families.
  • Student Support

    Hammond provides resources for all students to support them personally, emotionally, socially, and academically. Forms of support often include individual counseling and support; group counseling sessions; periodic “check-ins” with students; and classroom lessons on wellness.
  • Teacher Partnerships

    ACE staff provide information and support to faculty throughout the year. They also work with administration to create opportunities for professional development on topics of mental health, child development, and learning needs to help enhance the educational journey.
  • Wellness Program

    The Hammond Wellness Program focuses on helping students make wise choices for a healthy future and offers opportunities for students to realize their potential. The curriculum includes interactive lectures and activities, advisory group discussions, and seminars on topics such as stress, peer pressure, social media, healthy relationships, alcohol and drug use, and nutrition. 

ACE Staff

List of 4 members.

  • Photo of Rachel Shefelton

    Mrs. Rachel Shefelton 

    Director of the Academic Center for Excellence/Upper School Counselor
    (803) 776-0295
  • Photo of Mary Lance Garrison

    Mrs. Mary Lance Garrison 

    Administrative Assistant, Upper School/Tutoring Coordinator
    (803) 776-0295
  • Photo of Elizabeth Ahern

    Ms. Elizabeth Ahern 

    Middle School Counselor
    (803) 695-8622
  • Photo of Monica Boothe

    Ms. Monica Boothe 

    Teaching Faculty for the ACE
    (803) 776-0295

Academic Support

List of 2 items.

  • Tutoring Support

    If a student needs more consistent, one-on-one assistance, our Hammond Tutoring Program is a great option. Tutors range from undergraduate and graduate students to retired teachers and come to campus to work with students individually or in small groups. Tutoring is available for all academic subjects, organizational/study skills help, and SAT/ACT preparation.
  • Learning Support

    For students with diagnosed learning differences and/or an outside psycho-educational evaluation, Hammond works closely with students and families to provide learning accommodations through the development of an Academic Plan.

Development Enrichment Center

The Developmental Enrichment Center (DEC) is located in the Lower School for grades PK-4th.  The DEC staff collaborates with teachers and parents to coordinate the most appropriate support services for a student. These support services may include parent/staff conferences, classroom interventions, and group or individual support within the DEC. After extended observation of a student and appropriate conferencing with parents and teacher, DEC staff will create a plan of support and communicate scheduling, fees, and ongoing feedback with parents. These interventions should be seen as a short term way to bridge a gap in skill development. The goal of our program is to target learning problems and teach students strategies that will help them to compensate for learning deficits. It is our hope that with additional support students will feel confident in the classroom and will be able to successfully meet the requirements of the curriculum at Hammond. 

DEC Personal Support and Counseling

List of 6 items.

  • LS Guidance Program

    All Lower School students participate in regular guidance lessons.  These lessons support the social and emotional development of all students, as well as strengthen the level of respect and inclusivity in each of our classrooms.  Through our guidance lessons, students also learn ways to increase mindfulness, manage academic pressure, and resolve conflicts with peers. 
  • Tuesday Talks

    As an extension of our Guidance Program and Honor Code, all classrooms participate in a Tuesday Talk topic that supports community and civic development.  Through our Tuesday Talks, students explore such things as what it means to care for our campus, our Lower School Skyhawk Honor Code, and opportunities help our community through service learning. 
  • Parent Partnerships

    As in the Middle School and Upper School, our Lower School Guidance program strives to partner with parents to best support the needs of all students. Parents are always welcome to reach out with questions or to request support. We work to provide parent education programming in all divisions and foster a sense of community among our families. 
  • Student Support

    Hammond provides resources for all students to support them personally, emotionally, socially, and academically. Forms of support often include individual counseling and support; group counseling sessions; periodic “check-ins” with students; and classroom lessons on wellness. 
  • Teacher Partnerships

    DEC staff provide information and support to faculty throughout the year. They also work with administration to create opportunities for professional development on topics of mental health, child development, and learning needs to help enhance the educational journey. 
  • Occupational Therapy

    Hammond offers occupational therapy on campus.  Occupational therapy may be recommended for an individual student for reasons that might be affecting his or her learning or behavior, such as motor skills, cognitive processing, visual or perceptual problems,  difficulties staying on task, or inappropriate sensory responses.  

DEC Staff

List of 5 members.

  • Photo of Susan Barden

    Mrs. Susan Barden 

    Director of Lower School Guidance/Student Learning Plan Coordinator
  • Photo of Teri Daniels

    Mrs. Teri Daniels 

    DEC Coordinator/Speech Language Pathologist
  • Photo of Cynthia Driggers

    Mrs. Cynthia Driggers 

    Orton Gillingham Tutor/Literacy Specialist
  • Photo of Susan Shuler

    Mrs. Susan Shuler 

    Literacy Specialist/Coach
    (803) 776-0295
  • Photo of Beth Oliver

    Dr. Beth Oliver 

    Math Specialist
    (803) 776-0295

DEC Academic Support

List of 2 items.

  • Instructional Support

    If a student needs more consistent, one-on-one assistance, our DEC learning specialists are a great option. DEC learning specialist are able to meet with students and provide individual or small group support in all academic subjects, organizational/study skills help, and SAT/ACT preparation. 
  • Learning Support

    For students with diagnosed learning differences and/or an outside psycho-educational evaluation, Hammond works closely with outside professionals, students and families to provide learning accommodations through the development of an Academic Plan.