Columbus School Graduate Joins High School Learning Center


Camilo Diez

Susana Arias assists a student working on an article for the school´s newspaper.

Camilo Diez Velasquez, Staff Writer

Susana Arias has been hired this year to work in the HS Learning Center to provide TCS students with the support they need to achieve academic success. 

Ms. Arias has expertise in psychology and has previously worked in the Elementary School Learning Center. Her main goals are to align all of the Columbus School’s learning centers and implement the PRTI to help students grow academically and as people.

“The growth of the learning center is beneficial for students who need more support,” Jorge Vasquez, High School Learning Center Coordinator, said.

The fact that there is one more member in the learning center makes accessibility easier, therefore, students benefit by receiving more personal and in depth support. 

“The learning center has improved because there are more people help you, making the school a more organized place. I’m very happy Susana is here,” 11th grader Antonio Pardo said.

Susana does not approach students only with academic work, but talks to them about their life, what they’ve done, their problems. According to students, this type of approach changes the way the school operates because it varies the routine and avoids monotony and repetition.

“It used to be boring to go to the Learning Center because it was the same stuff over and over again. Now with Susana it’s fun,” 10th grader Santiago Trujillo said.

Another goal is to implement PRTI, an American program that supports students who need help in academics by intervening according to their needs, learning styles and motivation. Arias works with each student to determine their specific needs.

“It’s a system that classifies students by levels, and depending on those levels students get the amount of  help they require,” Arias said.

Professional Learning Community meetings are also held frequently to help all of the learning centers align. The whole learning center staff in the school meet and talk about policies, processes, strategies to help students achieve their potential.

“We hired Susana to apply the PRTI and help us merge all of the learning centers for students to improve their learning,” Ms. Vicky Jaramillo, HS Vice Principal, said.

According to, learning centers are a place where students go when they are struggling with their learning and they receive the extra help they need. A learning center should provide materials and strategies for students to expand on and master the information learned in class.

“I feel really excited to be here. I’ve felt a really warm welcome, not only from students but staff too,” Arias said.