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The Lloyd Harvey Hatch Center and Learning Strategies

A compelling suite of solutions and support for high school students who have significant unrealized potential and who are ready to get on track to greater success in school and college.

The Lloyd Harvey Hatch Center Commitment

Our commitment to support students with different learning styles, challenges and profiles has been the cornerstone of the School since its founding by Lloyd Harvey Hatch nearly 100 years ago.  The training, mentoring, advocacy and support provided to them through the Hatch Center programs propel them to become confident, independent learners, and empower them through their years at Winchendon, college and beyond.  Developing confidence and self-esteem are integral to their success.


Our Philosophy

The programs offered through the Hatch Center provide an individually designed path for students to achieve independent academic success. A common goal for all students in these programs is to transition out of the program over their time at the School as they become confident, independent, self-directed learners.




Students in our Learning Strategies (LSP) program are fully engaged in all aspects of Winchendon’s mainstream college prep program and benefit from the additional guidance of and coaching from a TWS Learning Strategist (LS) - with the goal of guiding them to graduate as independent, confident, and self-actualized learners - ready to succeed in college.

The Learning Strategies Program (LSP) 

Each student in the LSP program works with their dedicated Learning Strategist (LS).  The Strategist acts as a coach and advocate, guiding each student through the development and strengthening of key skills and habits including...


  • Time management
  • Study skills
  • Reading comprehension
  • Annotating and note-taking
  • Outlining, writing, and editing practices
  • Organization, chunking, and scaffolding of major assignments
  • Core recall and retrieval strategies (eg. vocab or math facts)
  • Computational processes and reasoning
  • Addressing limited skill deficiencies and “gaps”
  • Self-advocacy and how to ask questions
  • Peer/teacher relationships
  • Appropriate and effective technology use
  • Peer-to-peer collaboration and teamwork
  • Test preparation and taking
  • Being comfortable with “gray area”, the unknown, and change
  • Receiving, processing, and acting on feedback

Some students may only need to focus on a few of these, and others may want to work on a number of them over time.   The Learning Strategist works with a student and their family to  develop and maintain a personalized plan for that student - which is the Individualized Learning Plan (ILP).


The Individualized Learning Strategies and Support Program (ILSS) at TWS is specifically designed for high school students who are ready to be in an academically rigorous and highly collaborative learning setting, but who will be most successful when their daily experience incorporates significant, personalized academic and emotional support.  ILSS students participate in the mainstream Winchendon School experience, yet have time to concurrently engage in customized learning support ensuring their continued development of cognitive skills and strategies within our college preparatory program. This additional support will take on a variety of different forms depending on each student’s unique learning profile, but will include most of the following elements:

  • Skills development, learned and practiced in the context of current academic projects, assignments, and assessments.
  • Significant behind-the-scenes coordination, communication, planning, and training that goes on on behalf of each LC student every week.   Each ILSS student benefits from intensive behind-the-scenes coordination, communication, planning, and training that includes all members of each student’s team. Effective personalization is achieved through understanding: how to best engage each student, which pedagogical methods and approaches will be effective for that student, what remediation or accommodations that student needs if the student needs alternative courses or curriculum modification. 
  • Study hall support five evenings each week to support them in their independent work. Study hall ensures that assignments and projects are understood and planned for and that students work to get a good start on those assignments that will be most challenging.
  • Regular small group sessions that target specific needs as they arise, including strategies for building effective collaborative and group skills, overcoming school-related anxiety, developing strategies for test taking, and strengthening organizational habits. 
  • Curriculum modifications for students who have a specific learning “gap”, skill deficiency, or missing credit for an additional fee.      


The goal of the LSP is to accelerate the growth of each participating student and to instill in each of them the strategies, habits, and confidence that will propel the student to success at college and beyond.   The following examples of just some of the universities and colleges to which recent alumni of both the School and the Program have matriculated:

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Winch Skills and Habits 101

Winch Skills and Habits 101 (WiSH101) is a workshop for all new underclassmen each fall.   These once-a-week seminars introduce you to tools, strategies, and habits designed to help you make the transition to the faster pace of high school.

WiSH 101 is the perfect place for new students to learn more about themselves and their new school. The class meets weekly for the first eight weeks of the year.


Executive Functioning Classes 

The Winchendon School is adopting (has adopted) the SMARTS + executive functioning curriculum to support students in the important work of internalizing strategies that will give them an academic boost. The program supports the development of a student’s planning, organization, time management, initiation and self-monitoring. These classes are taught by a learning advocate but are not exclusively for students with a learning difference.  Members of the Learning Advocacy team and some of the faculty will be trained in the SMARTS+ curriculum July 2019, we believe that is the next piece to the evolving LA curriculum here at Winchendon. 

Learning Advocacy 


This is the most comprehensive level of Academic Support Winchendon offers. During admissions, a thorough review of previous school records and testing, combined with parental input, forms the basis of a tailored learning plan ensuring we have the full picture of each student as a whole person - where they need support, and how do they learn? The student is assisted in identifying strengths and barriers to learning. Accommodations, learning strategies, and communication plan are reviewed by parents, the student, and faculty. The student then begins with their Individual Success Plan.


At Winchendon, we consider Foundational Support program as our standard level of support and the one most new students enroll in.  With a 5:1 class ratio, students get the support they need, but in a small class setting. Regardless of the level of support, all students in the learning advocacy program get real time feedback in each session and the Learning Advocate is in direct communication with all members of the team on a bi-weekly basis.


Intermediate support is a modified continuation of Foundational Support, it's for students who are mastering some skills, or for those who need ongoing scaffolding. For students entering the program at this level, an Individual Success Plan is developed after a thorough review of the student’s past performance. The plan is reviewed with the student and family, and then shared with the faculty, dorm parents, and coaches who work with the student.

Transitional  Support is a once-a- week class with the student’s Learning Advocate. This level is for the student who can use assistance in planning and organizing time in a fast-paced environment. The Learning Advocate and student collaborate and review past performance and make updates to their Individual Success Plan. The Learning Advocate assists the student in identifying their personal learning style, developing and implementing time management strategies, and practicing self-advocacy.
Evening Study Program

All Winchendon School boarding students participate in structured evening study hall. Open to day students as well, our Evening Study Program (ESP) is designed for students who will benefit from:

  • A distraction-free place to study
  • Guidance from faculty who can help you plan out your assignments
  • Support to help you establish priorities and strategies for assignments, projects, and upcoming assessments  
  • Experience in reviewing your work when done and making sure that it is well organized before you submit it or present it to class.

In ESP, you will work in a small, quiet group setting with an experienced teacher. Each school night, you will tackle that night’s assignments and get ready for the week ahead.  The goal for each student in the program is to progress to the point that extra support is no longer needed.

Is there an extra cost to having an Evening Study Coach and participating in the Evening Study Program?

Yes, and as with Learning Advocacy, the goal of the Evening Study Program is to help you develop the skills and habits to work your way out of the program and to be studying independently. Most students achieve this after a year or two in the program.


Fiona Byrne

Fiona feels as though she was predestined to work in education given her family background. With a professor for a father and a special educator as a mother, education and pedagogy were dinner table topics of discussion. 

Fiona earned her bachelor's degree in Music Education from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. During her studies, she took a number of classes on special education. After graduating from TCD, Fiona wanted to continue studying education, with a specific focus on Special Education and music as a form of therapy. 

While earning her Masters in Special Education from Boston University, Fiona served as a corps member in the Teach for America program. Fiona she taught music and special education in a public school in a low-income community. 

Fiona has been a member of the Learning Advocacy team since Kelly Harris created it some years ago. Winchendon has supported Fiona’s desire for continuous professional development during her time here, most recently completing a graduate-level course in strategies to support executive function.



James O., '19

My learning advocate, Mrs. Harris, and the evening study program have made me a better student and have given me better study strategies. I’ve been able to maintain grades I didn’t think were possible!


Kelly developed her passion for working with students with learning differences after watching a family member struggle to graduate from high school. This was an eye-opening experience for her and is something that she carried with her to Fitchburg State University. While in the undergraduate special education program there, Kelly had the opportunity to work with students in the classroom and in 1:1 educational evaluations. As she completed this program, she wanted to learn more about how students learn to read. This led to her entry in a masters program focused on reading and the development of prerequisite skills. Kelly has earned both a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Special Education with a focus in Reading, she is a licensed Special Educator and Reading Specialist.

After completing her degrees, Kelly was fortunate to work in an urban school district where she was able to learn more about how to apply strategies to real-time classroom experiences. This only served as a catalyst, Kelly wanted to learn more about how to support students with language-based learning disabilities in a general education setting. In doing this, Kelly became level 1 Orton Gillingham certified and took master classes in the Hochman writing method. This proved to be great professional development as she was always asking why we were doing things in a certain way of both students and her teaching team.

Since arriving at Winchendon, Kelly has continued her professional training with a focus on metacognition, study strategies, and executive functioning. This work has been the foundation of the WiSH 101 and Learning Advocacy programs.



We've worked in many different independent schools in our careers, and the approach to supporting and challenging all students at The Winchendon School is unparalleled. All of our teachers, and those that support them, know that each and every one of our students can not only do well, but can thrive and excel given consistency and positivity.

laurie lambert signature sean duncan signature

         Laurie Lambert                                       Sean Duncan


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