Learning Strategies


Dunn's Learning Strategies program has a long-standing reputation for success. 

Since 1973 we have been providing extensive, individualized support and encouragement to help students master their own cognitive strengths and achieve their academic goals. This program is a vital component of the school’s overall mission to develop and nurture the whole child within a warm, caring environment.  

Our Learning Strategies program provides individualized and comprehensive academic support in an encouraging, structured, and fully integrated environment.  As the students develop their meta-cognitive skills they become independent and effective learners, gaining self-confidence in the classroom and beyond. 


Director of Learning Strategies

(805) 686-0632 


Celebrating and Supporting Cognitive Diversity

Our program is made up of all kinds of students, including those enrolled in our most challenging classes, athletes, student leaders, artists, and more. There is no one “kind” of student in the program. In fact, it is the celebration of the cognitive diversity and individuality of each student that makes our Learning Strategies program exceptional. We identify personal academic strengths and help students capitalize on those strengths to achieve academic success while teaching them strategies to overcome their challenges. Along the way they acquire the skills and confidence that allow them to flourish.

We offer two levels of support in our learning center: one-to-one learning strategies and Executive Group.  

In the One-to-One Program, students are paired with a learning strategies specialist and will meet with him/her individually.  Learning Strategies will be built into the schedule in one of our class periods. Students meet with their specialist three-to-four times per week — just like all of our other classes! The learning strategies specialist will also serve as the student’s advisor, facilitating student-teacher-family communication.

Executive functions are the most important predictor of future academic success. In the Executive Group Program, students meet with their Learning Strategies specialist in a small group setting. Support will be tailored to the individual needs of the student within a warm group environment. Students have advisors outside of the Learning Strategies program who work closely with their specialist.

Some of the skills that you might work on in your Learning Strategies session:




Time management

Long-term planning

Presentation skills and dry run (or "rehearsal")  of class presentations



Test and Quiz Preparation




Teaching others (demonstrating the highest level of understanding)

Specific assignment support

The Learning Strategies Specialist

Each student in the program is paired with an experienced learning specialist who provides support and encouragement as well as individualized course advising. These full-time faculty members have dedicated themselves to helping students become more efficient, effective learners, while significantly reducing student stress and anxiety about learning. By developing a strategic plan that is tailored to each student’s needs, they help the students achieve success in a rigorous prep school environment while simultaneously preparing them for future success in college and beyond.  

Your Learning Strategies specialist will be the faculty member that knows you best.  They will be your biggest supporter and your sounding board, providing proactive support and facilitating student-teacher-family communication. The relationship that a student has with their learning specialist often develops into a lifelong friendship.  

Our learning specialists also work closely with classroom teachers to ensure that they are well acquainted with the profile of each student, giving them guidance about individualized academic support and accommodations while receiving feedback about classroom performance.  This relationship ensures that the teachers understand the unique learning style of each student and gives the learning specialists valuable feedback about ongoing classroom performance and areas that need to be addressed in the learning strategies session to ensure classroom success.  These sessions help students gain confidence and acquire skills that will allow them to overcome their learning challenges and enjoy success at Dunn and at the college of their choice. 

"I’m here to help these kids successfully navigate their high school years." — Mark Geriak