Auxiliary Studies Program

Taking into account individual student learning differences and needs, Santa Margarita's Auxiliary Studies Program facilitates student engagement, success and independence within a college preparatory curriculum through responsive and comprehensive academic support services.

What is ASP?

Established in 1995 in response to a growing need to extend additional educational and support services to students with diagnosed learning challenges, Santa Margarita Catholic High School's Auxiliary Studies Program continues to be the leader in providing innovative academic support, in-house comprehensive and responsive assessment and cutting-edge interventions and remediation programs for students who learn differently. Since its inception, the ASP program has continually increased in both scope and size. ASP services are offered in a rigorous college preparatory setting where students with learning difficulties are competing and succeeding with their non-learning disabled peers.

Why ASP?

The program results in a dramatic improvement in self-esteem and substantial documented gains in academic performance. Most notably, students are going on to attend reputable colleges and universities throughout the country with skills and initiative to self-advocate and achieve goals well beyond previous expectations.


Services and classes available through ASP will be extended only to students formally accepted and currently enrolled in the ASP Program. An application should be completed and documentation of the student's learning problems should be attached. Documentation consists of a written report of assessment either by the SMCHS Auxiliary Studies Department or by a qualified and licensed clinician/psychologist. The assessment should have been done within the past three years and the documentation must specifically demonstrate the presence of a learning issue. This evaluation is the cornerstone of an effective, focused plan of supportive education for the students.

Download more information AND the application

ASP Services

A student’s individual educational program will be based on the recommendations determined to best help the student succeed. Please note that some of the optional programs available may have fees in addition to ASP tuition fees.


  • In-house and responsive academic and neurological battery of assessments
  • Full-time dedicated school psychologist
  • Consulting clinical psychologist

An evaluation is the cornerstone of a sound academic plan. Assessments readily available that respond to students' individual learning needs.

Intervention/Academic Assistance

  • After school support classes (Period 8)
  • ASP appropriately paced classes in Math and Science
  • Six full-time ASP faculty and an additional staff of six
  • Full-time dedicated ASP counselor
  • Academic support period (in lieu of an elective for non-academic elective credit)
  • Organizational, time management and study skills building
  • Individual subject tutoring (by appointment)
  • Fast For Word™, Lindamood Bell Learning Processes®


  • informed, purposeful and measured accommodations for testing and in the classroom
  • Distraction-limited environment/use of ASP Testing Center
  • Extended time testing/special format testing
  • Test reader services
  • Essay scribing services
  • Scantron bubbling services
  • Eligibility for accommodations on standardized tests including the PSAT, SAT, ACT and AP and IB tests
  • Advising on accommodations and special service programs beyond high school

The ongoing evaluation of special accommodations allows students to successfully access content, demonstrate capabilities and promote growth.

Extended Time Finals

Students not enrolled in the ASP program who do qualify to receive accommodations based on documentation can request special accommodation services only during final exam times. Students must provide a psychoeducational report which has been conducted within the last three years to qualify for special accommodations on finals. (A doctor's note is not sufficient documentation.)

Non-ASP students who qualify based on documentation must submit their request in writing no later than two weeks prior to final exams and pay a $50 proctoring fee for each semester they choose to use extended time for finals. Additional fees may apply if the student requires a reader, scribe or other individual proctoring services for final exams.

Special accommodations for finals may include*:

  • Additional time of up to 100% extended time for test-taking
  • Reader services, if qualified
  • Scribe/writer, if qualified
  • Scantroning services
  • Distraction-limited environment

*Accommodations available depend on the individual student's psychoeducational documentation. The student may use some or all of these special accommodations.

Finals Procedures

  • All qualifying students (ASP and non-ASP) are required to sign-up for extended time and other special testing accommodations in the ASP office at least two weeks prior to finals week. No last minute changes to sign-ups are allowed unless the ASP department deems them necessary.
  • All extended time-only finals are given in the classroom, not in the ASP Test Center. Students are to arrive 45 minutes prior to the first exam of the day and may stay 45 minutes after the last exam of the day for the extended time portion of the exams.
  • Students who require 100% extended time may report to the ASP Test Center at 1p.m. on the testing day to receive the additional extended time and complete their exam.
  • Reader and scribe services are provided in the ASP classrooms and offices. Students who use these services are assigned a proctor who will supervise their testing and is responsible for test security.

After School Drop-in Class

During Period 8 (2:10 - 2:55 pm) ASP offers a “drop-in” option for all registered ASP students. Our drop-in support class is for students that need extra help or a quiet place to study. Drop-in class begins right after school and is held Monday –Thursday. 8th Period is not held on Fridays, Rally Days or Early Release days. Drop-in class meets in rooms S131 A & B.

ASP 8th Period Drop-in Session Teacher Schedule

Mrs. BrakkeMr. ArredondoMrs. Freeman

Ms. Ruiz
Mrs. Bigdeli

Students are encouraged to make appointments with specific teachers by email or by stopping into the ASP classrooms to make arrangements.

Other Schoolwide Services

In addition to support services for students formally enrolled in the program, ASP also offers the following services to the entire SMCHS community.
  • Comprehensive assessment services
  • Administers and oversees special accommodations and extended time for finals, SAT, ACT, AP and IB tests
  • Maintains records of documentation for all SMCHS students qualified for special services due to learning or attention issues whether or not they are formally enrolled in ASP
  • Qualified to make recommendations relating to special needs and services for all SMCHS students

Contact the ASP Office at ASPinfo@smhs.org or 949-766-6085.

Faculty & Staff

ASP Department

John Arredondo

Auxiliary Studies Program (ASP) Teacher

Bahar Bigdeli

Auxiliary Studies Program (ASP) Specialist

Sara Brakke '91

Auxiliary Studies Program (ASP) Teacher

Suzie Cutter

Auxiliary Studies Program (ASP) Secretary

Agnes Freeman

Auxiliary Studies Program (ASP) Teacher, Math Teacher

Susi Hughes

Auxiliary Studies Program (ASP) Part-Time Testing Room Coordinator

Mary Manese

Auxiliary Studies Program (ASP) Director

Dr. Blake Oldfield '99

School Psychologist

Tina O'Rourke

Part-Time Testing Room Coordinator

Anthony Rouzier

Football Linebacker Coach, ASP Teacher

Liliana Ruiz

Auxiliary Studies Program (ASP) Teacher