Student Support Services
Inclusion at AISD
Our educational community serves students who meet admissions criteria and can be supported by our inclusionary model, given the services available. Support is provided within each divisional curriculum in order to meet a variety of needs. While AISD does not modify the curriculum for students, we provide accommodations based on identified needs. All three divisions at AISD use a collaborative approach when identifying and meeting the needs of students. We have the training and resources to address the needs of students requiring English as an Additional Language, counseling services and learning support services for learning difficulties. We promote curricular integration and student engagement, and hold ourselves accountable for differentiating instruction and collaborating with colleagues to best address each child’s learning needs.
- A diverse student population contributes positively to the school community.
- Each of our students has unique learning characteristics and interests.
- Providing support for students within their regular classrooms is an effective means of creating a welcoming community and successful educational experience.
- Creating a welcoming community and successful educational experience.
- A strong partnership between school and home is essential to a child’s success.
The English as an Additional Language (EAL) Program
The EAL program is designed to provide academic and social language support for non-native speakers of English in grades one through twelve. The primary purpose of the program is to ensure that all students become proficient in English and achieve academic success. Therefore, language skills and strategies are integrated with content area and subject matter whenever possible. The EAL program addresses individualized needs and learning styles through one-on-one, small group instruction, in-class (also called push-in) support, and consultation with the mainstream teacher.
The second purpose of the program is to promote multilingualism and cultural pluralism. Based on the latest research regarding language and cognitive development, children should be encouraged to maintain and develop their mother tongues. The diverse linguistic and rich cultural backgrounds brought to our school by the non-native English speakers enrich the learning opportunities for all students.
Our EAL Program promotes curricular integration and student engagement. We hold ourselves accountable for differentiating instruction and co-teaching with colleagues to best address each child’s learning style and language needs.
Developmental School Counseling Program
A developmental school counseling program may be viewed as an educational philosophy as well as a distinct, defined program of services. As a philosophy, the program is founded on the belief that each student possesses intrinsic worth and specific rights, and is a unique and dynamic personality capable of personal growth and self-direction. As a program of services, it is preventative, developmental and remedial in nature. The former identifies appropriate developmental needs through a planned sequential program of individual, group and classroom activities. Developmental counseling services look toward meeting the needs of all students and developing positive attitudes/skills in the areas of self-awareness, interpersonal relations, educational and career awareness, goal-setting and decision-making. While the developmental aspect of the program focuses on prevention and developing coping skills, the remedial aspect of the program ensures the provision of services that respond to immediate needs and concerns of students, whether these concerns involve information, counseling, consultation, crisis intervention or referral. It is collaborative in nature and depends on the continuing support of school administration, school staff, students and parents.
Ultimately designed to promote autonomy and a sense of personal responsibility in an increasingly complex global society, the program is vital to young people as they learn to cope with and emerge into adulthood.
Learning Support Program
The learning support model at AISD is based on the philosophy that all students have unique abilities, learning styles and interests. These differences are valued, as they add to the richness and diversity of our school. Learners respond best to developmentally appropriate programs designed to develop their strengths and provide for their individual needs through differentiated instruction. Accommodations, both in the ways educators instruct and assess, are required in order for students with additional needs to learn and succeed. The goal for all students is to meet or surpass grade level standards in the AISD curriculum. In order to reach these goals, students must engage in positive learning experiences that promote both academic growth and selfesteem.
Learning support instruction is most effective when employed in the classroom in collaboration with classroom teachers, understanding that early intervention is critical for optimal learning. While the primary focus of learning support teachers is to provide direct services to students identified with additional support needs, they also assist classroom teachers by sharing their knowledge and expertise. Through this sharing, a partnership is built with teachers in promoting evidence-based best practice in the classroom. To this end, inclusion, co-teaching and collaboration models are fundamental to our learning support delivery.
In addition to differentiated lesson planning, classroom and learning support teachers work together to develop and implement individualized learning strategies for identified students. Withdrawing students for individualized instruction outside the classroom is supplemental and used to assist identified students in developing specific skills required to meet classroom standards.
Within the guidelines of confidentiality, all educators communicate with one another, parents and supplementary support services outside the school, as communication is key to collaboration.
Source: AISD Student Support Services Handbook