STAySmart Study Skills

Mr. Ted Findler working with a student in STAySmart.

STAySmart is a study skills support program which helps students, either individually or in small groups, with their study skills. The program also offers planning for short- and long-term assignments, midterms, finals, and PSAT and SAT preparation. 

STAySmart was researched and created by Mrs. Linda DeBord, Lower School Academic Dean, with funding provided by a grant from the France-Merrick Foundation. The study skills programs, in both Upper and Lower Schools, are funded with generous support from the Marriott Foundation. Math teacher Ted Findler operates STAySmart.

This is a new site to help yourself learn HOW to learn!

The STAySmart classroom (203 Steuart) is open from 9:45 a.m. to 1:25 p.m. five days per week and until 3:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Students should feel free to drop in or make an appointment. Their Form Master will refer some students to the program. Please look at the following two sections and use the suggested sites as needed. If you come across sites you think should also be included, please let us know. Feel free to contact Mr. Ted Findler at 202-537-6435 or via e-mail at

I. GENERAL HELP (or Best Practices):

1. Starting out the year in an organized way

  • Is your workspace clutter-free, well lit, no distractions?
  • Do you have lots of supplies in one place? Stapler, tape, pens, pencils, straight edge, paper, file folder for each class (or a large accordion-style folder), high-lighters, big surface desk or table, comfortable chair.
  • Do you have all the supplies for each class and your name on everything (including your jacket!)?
  • Helpful web-sites:

2. Note-taking skill essentials

3. Reading for understanding

  • Do you have an overview of what you are reading?
  • At the end of each paragraph could you give a one sentence summary?
  • Do you know what to underline?
  • At the end of the reading could you come up with a potential essay question?
  • Helpful web-sites:

4. The point of homework

  • Do you put in quality work? (thorough and neat presentation)
  • Has it reinforced what you learned in class?
  • If it were collected, how would you do?
  • Helpful web-sites:

5. The art of reviewing

6. Preparing for quizzes and tests

7. Balancing all one's activities

  • Have you done at least one class's homework at school?
  • Do you have an order as to how homework gets done?
  • Do you use weekends to catch up or get ahead in your courses?
  • Do you get enough sleep?
  • Do you eat a healthful breakfast, lunch and dinner?
  • Helpful web-sites:


II. SPECIFIC HELP (or Frequently Asked Questions):

  1. I read but I can't remember...(Go to #3 above)

  2. I have a quiz tomorrow...(Go to #5 and #6 above)

  3. I have a test at the end of this week...(Go to #5 and #6 above)

  4. A big research paper is coming up...(Helpful web-site:

  5. My notes are not useful...(Go to #2 above)

  6. How long should I study? (Helpful web-site:

  7. Should I do my homework in any particular order? (Helpful web-site:

  8. I was absent and am behind in all my classes...(Helpful web-site:

  9. Mid-terms/Finals are on the horizon...(Helpful web-site:
  10. I'm signed up for the S.A.T.s and don't know what to expect... (Helpful web-site:


Contact Mr. Findler

Phone: 202-537-6435

Email: Ted Findler


St. Albans School, Mount St. Alban, Washington, DC 20016, 202-537-6435