Tackle Learning Challenges

Significant learning differences can be found in one out of five individuals (National Center for Learning Disabilities). If you are helping your child work through a learning or attention issue, discovering the strategies that work for them can be a daunting task. Join our Tackle Learning Challenges Working Group to find community with other parents who are seeking support in educating their children who learn differently. Together we will work to create a plan for your child to develop greater awareness of the strategies and supports that help them learn best and achieve their goals.

In session one, this working group will consider how the strategies within the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework can support success for learners with many types of learning and attention issues. Subsequent sessions will be customized to the particular needs and interests of the group (e.g. support for attention and executive function, support for a learner who has dyslexia, support for a learner who has auditory processing challenges). 

Girl and Boy Studying

This four week experience will: 

  • Introduce parents to the Universal Design for Learning Framework and Guidelines as a tool to make any learning experience more accessible to your student. 

  • Equip parents with specific strategies to try with your student, based on their individual strengths and needs.

  • Coach parents through the roll-out and evaluation of learning strategies with their students, helping analyze which strategies are effective, which strategies need troubleshooting, and which strategies can be abandoned. 

At the end of the four-week session, parents will leave with a “toolkit” of strategies to support their child and a plan for the student to test and evaluate the effectiveness of different strategies as part of their journey to becoming a self-expert.

This working group is designed for parents of children in elementary grades through high school.   


Alison Gillmeister

Alison Gillmeister

Before leaving the classroom to work on co-founding a school, Alison Gillmeister was a special education teacher focused on English Language Arts for middle school students. She has a passion for working with students to grow as “self-experts” who understand how they learn best. In addition to English Language Arts, Alison also has experience co-teaching math, science, and social studies with a focus on supporting English language learners.

Alison grew up in Buffalo, New York and counts playing basketball and living in the same house as her maternal grandparents as some of her most educational experiences as a young person. After graduating from Yale University with a B.A. in Humanities, she spent a year in Atlanta with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps before coming to DC to learn to teach through the Capital Teaching Residency.

For the past eight years, she has worked as a special education and English language specialist at Center City Public Charter Schools. Alison is interested in practical steps she can take to support students in becoming lifelong learners and confident communicators.