Ma'alot Learning Platform & Exceptional Student Services Department


Our Ma'alot Learning Platform (MLP) provides students with diverse learning needs the opportunity to realize their full potential.


Through one-on-one and small group instruction, the MLP enhances the education of children with learning differences by using evidence-based practices provided by expertly trained staff. The platform develops and expands upon the services currently offered at Akiba.

Mission Statement


The mission of the Ma'alot Learning Platform is to provide academic support in Judaic and General Studies for a diverse population of students whose educational needs cannot be completely met within the context of the regular classroom instruction. 



  1. Highly trained professionals, certified to teach exceptional students, will supervise instruction.
  2. Students will acquire those tools necessary to thrive in the mainstream setting.
  3. Woven into every aspect of MLP will be independence, resiliency, self-awareness, responsibility, accountability, and integrity.
  4. MLP is dedicated to reaching students at their level in both General and Judaic Studies.
  5. MLP staff will provide continuous staff development for all teachers concerning the needs of exceptional students.
  6. Over time, MLP seeks to support all of Akiba's exceptional students, both in remediation and acceleration.

Eligibility Criteria for Orange & Green Services (see chart below)

  1. A psychoeducational evaluation is required for entry into MLP. An exception may be made at the discretion of the director and principal for incoming first grade students demonstrating a need for services.
  2. Students entering into MLP must be in at least first grade or higher.
  3. Students must not demonstrate significant behavior difficulties.
  4. Students should present with limited academic learning strategies in the mainstream classroom setting.
  5. Students should present with learning deficits at least one year behind grade level in at least one subject area or present with executive functioning deficits that impair the student’s abilities to learn effectively during whole group instruction in the mainstream classroom. 

Services denoted in purple are included in basic Akiba tuition. In order to qualify for additional services, students must have received a psychoeducational evaluation within the past three years. Orange and green services are available at an additional cost based on amount of services provided. Tuition assistance is available for all services. Please contact the business office for details.



Q: Whom does the MLP serve?

A: Any student who requires small group instruction to thrive in the classroom, whether through remediation or eventually through acceleration as well.


Q: Whom do I contact if I am interested in the MLP?
A: The Akiba Admissions office at


Q: What is the process once I apply?

A: The director of the MLP, in conjunction with the principals, will look through the student's full psychoeducational evaluation to determine what elements of the MLP will best benefit the student and return to the family with a proposal.


Q: What is the teacher/student ratio in the Whole Day Small Group Instruction?

A: The ratio is on average 1 to 4, although at times it may be 1 to 6.


Q: What do MLP services look like?

A: They can be push in, pull out or Learning Differences classroom depending on the needs of the student.


Q: If my child is in the Whole Day Small Group Instruction, will they still be a full member of their class?

A: Yes, all students will have an assigned class section. They will be full members of the class community. They will participate in tefillah, gym, art and all specials with their class. Additionally, they will participate in all class-wide celebrations. All MLP students will be part of their general classroom for at least one academic class.

Our Team

Amanda Walker, Director (see bio at right)
Rebecca Blomer, Gifted and Talented Specialist.
Michelle Mullens, Speech & Language Interventionist
Paula Winslow, Student Support Services Coordinator
Rebecca Steinfeld, Ma'alot Teacher
Shannon Katz, Dyslexia Therapist
Alejandra Guzman, Math Support
Esther Feldman, Hebrew Reading Support
Yael Stromer, Judaic Interventionist
Bonnie Atkins, Language Arts and Reading Interventionist
Susan Rapoport, Math Interventionist
Malorie Clay, Intervention Specialist
Jasmin Hunter, Behavior Support Assistant
Maayan Naim, Support Assistant
Need more information? Contact us at 214.295.3400 or

Amanda Walker has more than 10 years of experience working with children from diverse learning backgrounds. She is a certified special education teacher, holds a master's degree in education and community renewal, and is pursuing a PhD in educational leadership with an emphasis in special education.