Academic Accommodations

As a caring community, many students with learning disabilities or other needs have successfully attended Cardinal Gibbons High School. It is important to note that, unlike middle school, there is a need to consider accommodations not only for in-school academic needs, but also for standardized tests required for college admissions.

Cardinal Gibbons does offer limited in-school accommodations for students with a documented need. Cardinal Gibbons can also facilitate the application for accommodations on standardized tests for students who meet the criteria of those organizations and desires to pursue accommodations. It is imperative that you review both the need of your student and the accommodations offered to determine if we are a good fit for your child.

Please note:
Accommodations are not provided for the admission placement test.

In-School Accommodations

Academic Accommodations

Cardinal Gibbons High School offers three guaranteed accommodations for students with documented learning disabilities, ADHD or other documented disabilities.

• Preferential Seating
• Extended time on tests and quizzes
• Enrollment in Curriculum Assistance class

More detailed explanations of the accommodations and application process, see the Academic Accommodations information sheet.

How to Apply

Students with documented learning disabilities or other disabilities that need in-school academic accommodation consideration may wish to apply for any or all of the academic accommodations offered. The following steps are required to officially request academic accommodations at Gibbons:

Step 1:

Admission Application - Complete the appropriate section on the Admission Application to indicate that you would like accommodations considered at Gibbons

Step 2:

Application for Academic Accommodations Form - Complete the Application for Academic Accommodations form and gather copies of the most recent full psychoeducational evaluation and other supporting materials documenting a student's diagnosis/needs and suggested accommodations. We request that a current (within 2 years) psychoeducational evaluation be submitted as soon as possible.

Additional supporting documentation may include all previous psychoeducational evaluations, copies of accommodation plans from previous schools, and any other types of assessments (i.e. occupational evaluations, fine motor skill tests, etc.).

Step 3:

Submit Request - Submit all documentation from Step 2 to Susan Ellis for review. All documentation may be emailed, mailed or dropped off at the school.


  • If you want to know what accommodations a student would received before making a decision to enroll at Gibbons or not, the Application for Academic Accommodations and documentation are due by January 4, 2019.


  • If you want to ensure your student has the opportunity to enroll in Curriculum Assistance class for the upcoming school year, the Application for Academic Accommodations and documentation are due by March 25, 2019.



  • Submissions after these deadlines will be reviewed at the earliest date possible. Since course selection and master scheduling may already be done, there is no guarantee that a student may enroll in Curriculum Assistance class after these dates.

Decision Notification Process

Once decisions about in-school accommodations are made, letters outlining approvals and/or issues with any request with be sent to the family. If a student wants to enroll in Curriculum Assistance class, information about course selection options will also be provided at that time.

Please Note: Approval for in-school accommodations does not necessarily mean that a student would be eligible for standardized test accommodations.

Application Form

Standardized Test Accommodations

The College Board (PSAT/SAT/AP tests) and the ACT are the two organizations that oversee standardized testing used for college admissions. Each organization has their own process for applying for accommodations on these tests. For additional information or to pursue these accommodations, contact Susan Ellis.

Please note approval for in-school academic accommodations DOES NOT guarantee a student is eligible for standardized test accommodations.

College Board Accommodations

The College Board oversees all PSAT, SAT and AP tests.  Application for accommodations can be made early in high school. Any approved accommodations are then available to a student for all College Board Tests throughout high school. 


The College Board offers services for students with disabilities based on unique and specific criteria. For learning differences, the following minimal requirements must be met in order for a student to apply for these accommodations:

1. A current (no older than 5 years from the date of application) psychoeducational evaluation containing both an aptitude and achievement test with.

2. A specific diagnosis

3. A recommendation that states the need for specific accommodations on classroom and standardized tests and test results that support that need.

4. A current educational plan at the enrolled school for the last 4 school months (CGHS produces this document once a student is enrolled and approved for accommodations.)

Further details about other disabilities or specific accommodations, see the College Board Services for Students with Disabilities page.


Provided a student as indicated a desire to pursue these accommodations and meets the documentation guidelines of the College Board, an online application can be made requesting accommodations. Our SSD Coordinator, Susan Ellis, will facilitate that application.

This process can take up to 8 weeks to render a decision, so applying early is important.

Applications are subject to the College Board’s Accommodations Request Deadlines for each test date.


Once a decision is made by the College Board, a letter is sent to the student and a copy is available to Gibbons that outlines the specific accommodations approved or reasons for a denial.

If approved, a student is assigned an SSD# that will be used for all future test registrations to connect accommodations to test registrations. Keep this letter in a safe place to ensure ease of access to this information.

Once a student is approved for accommodations by the College Board, they are eligible for those accommodations on all College Board tests throughout high school.

ACT Accommodations

Many students opt to take the ACT instead of or in addition to the SAT. The ACT has a unique process for applying for accommodations.



Similar to the College Board, the ACT requires very specific testing and results to show a need for accommodations on standardized tests. Generally, this will be a full psychoeduational evaluation completed within the last 3 years that outlines completed testing and results, a clear diagnosis, specific testing accommodation recommendations and the rationale for those recommendations. See the ACT’s Policy for Documentation for more details


A student indicates a desire to request accommodations at the time of test registration. S/he will be sent an email instructing them to contact their school’s test coordinator. Gibbons’ Test Coordinator is Susan Ellis.

Please contact Ms. Ellis with the following information:

1) ACT test date for which the student is requesting accommodation consideration

2) Students ACT ID# (found in the email sent or in the student’s ACT online profile)

Ms. Ellis can then submit a request for accommodations for that test date.

This process can take up to 15 days, so apply early! Applications for ACT accommodations are subject to ACT test registration deadlines for each test date.


The ACT notifies the school's Test Coordinator about accommodation decisions. Ms. Ellis will notify the student of the decision made as soon as possible.

Once a student is approved for accommodations by the ACT s/he is eligible for accommodations on all future ACT tests. However, accommodations must be assigned to each new test date in order for a student to use them. Ms. Ellis needs to be notified as soon as possible of any subsequent tests to be taken with accommodations, so she can assign accommodations to a new ACT test date.