A partnership of St. Francis School and the Langsford Learning Acceleration Centers, The Learning Center began in 2012 on the Goshen Campus and expanded to the Downtown Campus in 2014. The Learning Center is supported by WHAS Crusade for Children.
Langsford was co-founded by SFS Goshen alumnus Stephen McCrocklin G‘80, and has at its core a skill set in reading and learning that is unmatched in this region. This partnership allows St. Francis to offer services to its students unlike anything offered at any other school in town. Langsford’s other co-founder, Claudia McCrocklin, serves as the Director of The Learning Center at St. Francis School. Claudia’s role is to assess the needs of any students with learning difference profiles and recommend, in conjunction with The Learning Center Team on each campus (Head of School, Campus Head/Lower School Dean, Counselor), what services might be used to address a need. Parents will then determine what, if any, services they would like to use. The Director of The Learning Center and The Learning Center staff then monitor each student’s progress, communicate that progress to the The Learning Center team and parents, and work with each student’s teachers to ensure seamless integration of The Learning Center work into the classroom.
Summary of Services – Downtown Campus
- Academic Check-in: daily check-ins assist students in developing the habit of using their planners, as well as an optional weekly homework sheet to ensure they are current in all of their classes
- Accommodation Plans: written and managed for all students with evaluations that document individual learning differences/needs
- Academic Support: coaching to build executive function skills, including planning, time management, organization, task-initiation, goal-setting, and problem-solving for all school assignments
- Content Tutoring: specific subject support, primarily in math and science, to build skills for greater classroom success
- Homework Hall: after school from 3:30-5:00 for support in completing homework, long-term assignments, and studying for tests
- Organizational Support: for students who need help developing an individualized system for managing assignments, paper flow, and time
- Standardized Test Preparation (PSAT, ACT, SAT): small group classes and one-to-one sessions are available to build student’s confidence, tools, and strategies to achieve their best score
Claudia McCrocklin, M.Ed. (Director of The Learning Center)
Claudia is co-founder and co-director of Langsford Learning Acceleration Centers. Claudia earned her B.A. in special education from Bellarmine University and an M.Ed as a reading specialist from the University of Louisville. She leveraged her 25 years of experience in exceptional childhood education and leadership to establish The Learning Center at St. Francis. As Director of The Learning Center, she is active on both campuses.
Downtown Campus-Specific Staff
Michelle Salerno (Coordinator of The Learning Center)
Michelle Salerno has a B.A. in Theatre from the New School: Eugene Lang College in New York, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Theatre (History, Literature, and Criticism) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She holds two graduate minors in Gender and Women’s Studies and European Union Studies. Michelle has taught a variety of courses in the humanities focusing on aiding students with writing, research and library skills, organization, and critical thinking. She specializes in academic support employing creative strategies, current research in learning differences, and a commitment to motivating students to discover their own path to classroom success.
Audrey Morrison (Test Prep)
Audrey is a summa cum laude graduate of EKU, with a double major in English and German. She was awarded a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship and a Fulbright-Hayes study grant. She has 24 graduate hours in English from Vanderbilt and holds a Master’s in Education from Spalding and a Rank I (30 hours past a Master’s). She taught at JCTC one year and in Jefferson County Public Schools for 22 years, along with substitute teaching. Audrey also taught one year at Bryant and Stratton College in Milwaukee, and was an instructor at Kaplan Test Prep for six years (ACT, SAT, GRE).
Don Esbenshade (Science and Math tutor)
Don has physics degrees from Franklin & Marshall College and the University of Louisville, as well as additional graduate work in physics from Washington University in St. Louis. He has taught various levels and topics of high school physics and chemistry for over thirty-five years. Don was a founding faculty member of St. Francis High School and taught here for seven years before moving out of the Louisville area. We are thrilled to have him return to the St. Francis Community!
Natalie Hubbard (Science and Math tutor)
Natalie has an undergraduate degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Michigan. She has worked as a field biologist in Michigan and Panama, and as a farmer in Detroit and New Mexico. While she loved working in applied science, she wanted to pursue a teaching degree so she could share those experiences with kids in the classroom. She moved to Louisville in 2009 to enroll in the Alternative Certification Program for Education at the University of Louisville. She taught science and engineering in JCPS for five years and in Detroit for another year. Natalie also has experience developing out of school time curriculum and tutoring programs for school aged youth.
Penny Ridgdill (Math tutor)
Penny received her B.S. in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Georgia. She then went on to the University of Massachusetts to obtain her M.S. and Ph.D. in Mathematics, where her focus was Algebraic Number Theory. She has over 10 years of teaching experience, and started tutoring when she was still in high school. She left full-time teaching in order to focus on individualized mathematics support. She enjoys working with students who are trying to find confidence and comfort with mathematics, and has worked with students with a variety of backgrounds and learning challenges. Penny is also a working textile artist here in Louisville, KY.
Lauren Jones (ESL tutor)
Lauren has an undergraduate degree in Foreign Languages and International Studies from Bellarmine University, during which she spent a summer in England and a semester in France as a student abroad. She has completed her Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) Certification in Chicago from the International Academy and has experience teaching largely diverse ESL classrooms. Lauren takes pride in being an asset to the international students at St. Francis School.