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A first-of-its-kind seminar was held in New York City last week to enable heads of independent schools to learn more about children with learning disabilities.

The National Center for Learning Disabilities, which has long worked with public schools, sponsored the April 18 seminar to help independent-school administrators better respond to the needs of their learning-disabled students.

Representatives of more than 30 schools attended the session, which was chaired by Anne Ford Scarborough, chairman of the board of the ncld The seminar was co-chaired by the heads of the Chapin, Spence, Brearley, St. Bernard's, Nightingale-Bamford, and Horace Mann schools.

The ncld plans similar seminars in at least five other major cities. The center is a nonprofit national organization that promotes awareness about learning disabilities. Its address is 99 Park Ave., New York, N.Y. 10016.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh is the latest diocese in which a corporate foundation has been founded to support Catholic schools.

The Extra Mile Foundation will seek to raise $12 million to $20 million over the next five years to aid the 139 schools in the diocese. Leaders of nine Pittsburgh corporations will head the effort, which is needed to erase an operating deficit for diocesan schools, as well as to improve school facilities and establish a scholarship endowment.

The chairman of the foundation is John C. Marous Jr., the chairman and chief executive officer of the Westinghouse Electric Corporation.

Similar corporate foundations have been formed in recent years to support Catholic schools in the Philadelphia and Chicago archdioceses.

Meanwhile, diocesan officials announced last month that three elementary schools would be closed at the end of the current school year. They are St. Mary Magdalene's School in the Pittsburgh suburb of Homestead, St. Mary School in Sharpsburg, and St. Philomena in Pittsburgh.

Eight elementary and four high schools were closed last spring in an effort to reduce the deficit, which was $741,000 last year. The diocese has an enrollment of 37,000 students.

Peterson's, the publisher of college and school guidebooks, is offering a new feature in its latest edition of Peterson's Guide to Independent Secondary Schools.

This year's guide lists a toll-free number that parents, students, and others can call to order copies of the official videos of schools participating in the publisher's new video library.

The guide is available in bookstores beginning this month.--mw

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