Types of Support Available at AAS

Kindergarten to Grade 12 Continuum of Support

Elementary School

The primary focus of the learning support program in the elementary school is identifying areas of concern, learning styles, social and cognitive development. In pre-K through grade 2, we work on basic skills and helping students begin to love learning. In grades 3-5, we offer a variety of support for our students. We focus on literacy, reading and writing, as well as other academic subjects which may require support. We work very closely with the classroom teacher, counselors, administrators, and parents to develop specific goals for the students we support. A student who is successful in the learning support program in the ES is one who is capable of working in their regular classroom environment, understanding their learning needs, and works towards specific goals.

Middle School

The primary focus of the learning support program in the middle school is to develop a learning skill set that emphasizes organization, self-advocacy, study skills, note-taking, and time-management as well as support learning in specific content areas. The middle school offers a learning support class which provides student’s the time to complete their work at their own pace as well as a highly-qualified teacher who has the capacity to tutor the students in any particular subject area necessary. Along with this learning support, the students are taught how to create goals, advocate for themselves, and become familiar with their learning needs. The middle school’s learning support teacher also works hand-in-hand with the classroom teachers, often co-teaching courses, with the intention of differentiating instruction in the classroom and assisting students in need.

High School

The primary focus of the learning support program in the high school is to support students in their academic endeavors. The high school offers a learning support class to students in need during an elective block. This course emphasizes building strong work habits, communication with teachers, organizational skills and time-management. The students set goals for their academic year and begin to think about their academic and career interests beyond high school. The learning support teacher works with the teachers and students to meet the demands of a highly rigorous IB program without compromising the standards of the curriculum. The large majority of our students receiving learning support services in the high school not only take the IB exam, but score at or above the school’s average score.

Levels of Learning Support

1. Mild – Identified students who need some support. Typically these students have a range of achievement from on or above grade level to below grade level by about one year in any given area. Mild support is provided by trained professionals in a balanced service delivery model of consultative support, accommodations, small group instruction or in-class support. Mild support can include short-term plans for struggling students. The dimensions of Mild support include:

- Consultative support from a learning support specialist
- Monitoring student performance
- Literacy support (reading, writing, speaking and listening)
- Mathematics support
- Small group instruction
- Learning Support Center (strategies and focused skills classes)
- Assistive technology (e.g. voice to text software)
- Speech and language therapy (as needed)
- Occupational therapy

2. Moderate Support can be thought of as a program through which children with more specialized needs are supported in a combination of co-taught and small group support, in conjunction with appropriate therapies. The following factors are considered in determining a moderate level of support:

- Identified cognitive or learning disability with evidence of at least 2 grade levels behind peers
- Existing level of support in math and language work identified as insufficient
- Has possibly already repeated a year of school
- Amount of required teacher time in the homeroom classroom
- How much support is needed for social and emotional development
- Borderline or very low average IQ

The dimensions of Moderate Support often include:

- Individual Learning Plan - Co-taught classes in core literacies
- Specialized small group instruction
- Social skills support
- Study and organizational skills support
- Assistive technology
- Formal accommodation (e.g. extended time for in-class and standardized testing)
- Curricular modifications (when required and appropriate)
- Speech and language therapy (as needed)
- Occupational therapy

3. Intensive Support – AAS is generally unable to serve students requiring intensive support.

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