Academic Resource Center led by Beth Murray-Wilson

September 3, 2013 / ALL NEWS
Beth Murray Wilson
Beth Murray-Wilson, coordinator of studies, has been in education for 30 years. During those years, parents in the Jackson Metro area have come to rely on her wise counsel regarding learning differences and optimizing curriculum to meet specific learning needs. Now, Beth is bringing that expertise to Jackson Academy on a full-time basis after having worked  part-time at JA for the past three years.

Whether working directly with students, or overseeing ARC, the Academic Resource Center, Beth’s influence is felt throughout campus.

ARC supports learning in K3 through twelfth grade with services ranging from those for exceptional learners to those with learning differences. ARC staff members are assigned to academic divisions and work with students identified with specific learning differences. The center provides accommodations on an individual basis and in small group settings. A team approach that includes the student, parent, teachers, administration, learning facilitators, and outside professionals, when needed, is available to individualize learning plans.

ARC services also support the work of the deans and faculty of JA. For example, in Preschool, Beth works with faculty to design optimal classroom set up and trains teachers to use interactive activities in which students use all senses while learning. Working in tandem with teachers allows for innovative techniques to be incorporated in the daily curriculum to enhance the curriculum of the JA population.

One of the newest programs being implemented this year is a parent “lunch and learn” called “Third Thursdays” that will be offered by ARC and the Counseling Office. These free monthly workshops will focus on topics such as how to study vocabulary effectively, understanding dyslexia and other related learning differences, organizational techniques, and college planning. Parents are free to bring a brown bag lunch. Information is forthcoming on these sessions in an upcoming Tuesday Raider.

ARC services offered to students and parents include the following:

  • Diagnostic testing (Psychometrist on staff)
  • Remediation and reinforcement of classroom instruction
  • Study skills and brain-based testing/learning techniques
  • Educational counseling/learning plans
  • Parents or students can make an appointment with Beth for an educational consultation for specific learning needs that are being experienced by anyone in the JA community
  • Parent workshops

Services offered to faculty and staff members include the following:

  • Professional development on brain-based teaching and learning differences
  • School site visitation
  • Behavioral management, classroom management, and organization
  • Consulting with academic deans to develop and enhance curriculum that meets the diverse learning needs of the community
  • Evaluating current achievement test scores to look for strengths and weaknesses to enhance curriculum development
  • Working with the counseling office to support students who are struggling in school in the academic realm

“My vision for the Academic Resource Center at JA is to offer an optimal educational setting for students with a strong aptitude but who have learning differences that interfere with their achievement. It is also for the JA community to grow and learn from each other so that students, faculty, and parents communicate effectively and maximize the potential of students enrolled at JA,” said Beth.

Beth completed a bachelor’s of science degree from the University of Mississippi with emphasis on educationally handicapped studies. She earned a master’s of science from Mississippi College in educational supervision and administration. She also holds a reading endorsement and is certified as an Alphabetic Phonics Language Therapist, Dyslexia Specialist.

The ARC Department is well staffed with experienced and passionate personnel.

  • Katrice Hadley, B.A.-Preschool
  • Betsy Crawley, B.B.A., B.S., M.Ed.-1st-3rd
  • Dixie Gray, B.S.-4th-6th
  • Nancy Dickens, B.A.-7th-8th
  • Elizabeth Beacham, B.A., M.A.-9th-12th
  • Jean King, B.S., M.Ed.-9th-12th/math
  • Cori Ciacco, B.S., M.S.-math
  • Kate Bowman, B.S., M.S.-math
  • Virginia England, B.A.-support personnel