This handbook provides you with information that will help you become acquainted with the aims and objectives of the school, a brief overview of the curriculum as well as practical day-to-day information.
At ISZL, each child’s diversity, strengths and uniqueness is celebrated. The Learning Support (LS) department at ISZL for the Primary School is comprised of qualified teaching specialists, and counsellors who provide support to children with varied difficulties. A Speech and Language Therapist is also available some days on campus, although at an additional cost to parents. With this collaborative team, the aim is to provide support to those children who require additional assistance to expand their education to its fullest potential within an inclusive environment.
Referrals are submitted to the Learning Support department from classroom teachers. Referrals involve collaboration between teachers, parents, and the learning support team. Once a completed referral has been received, Learning Support teachers conduct observations. If appropriate, observations may be followed by parental consent for the administration of school-based assessments to gain some insight into the student’s specific needs. However, if the school feels that a student requires more in-depth analysis, the department also maintains a list of external professionals that parents may contact for further support.
If a diagnosis identifies a child’s specific needs, the Learning Support teacher works closely with the classroom teacher and other specialists in learning for that child. Learning Support students may have Individual Learning Plans with short-term academic, social, emotional or behavioural goals.
Students are supported in small groups or on an individual basis. These sessions take place within the classroom environment, or on a withdrawal, pull-out basis. In some instances, a child is withdrawn from the German language classes in order to receive specialised pull-out services from the Learning Support department. In some cases, learning German as a third or fourth language would be inappropriate for a child with an identified learning difficulty. Learning Support students who are mother tongue German speakers are dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
The Learning Support team supports students at ISZL in every way they can and endeavour to maintain a strong link between home and school.
The Learning Support (LS) department works with students who have gone through a referral and identification process. This might initially begin with teacher/parent referrals and ultimately lead to professional testing and identification of a learning difficulty. If a student is admitted to the school with an identified learning need, that student automatically becomes eligible for LS services.
It is the policy of the Learning Support department to have professional testing administered by a qualified psycho- educational evaluator. This entails the administration of a battery of tests, generally cognitive and achievement testing, including analysis and description of learning strengths and weaknesses. A diagnosis allows the LS team to develop strategies and support systems to most effectively meet a student’s needs. This testing, particularly if students will require modifications during Middle School, must be updated at least every five years. The Learning Support department maintains records of testing and keeps in regular contact with parents of LS students.
Students who receive support from the LS department are seen on an individual or small group basis. The primary goal of the department is to effectively support students in their classes by providing a maximum of four weekly LS contact periods, whether pull-out, push-in, or a combination of both. Students who receive LS guidance for a minimum of two pullout periods have an Individual Learning Plan (ILP) tailored to students’ particular needs. Reports make mention of specific accommodations and grading takes into account students’ diverse abilities.
When needed, the Learning Support department updates faculty on arising student issues and collaborates with faculty in the process of differentiating content and making assignment modifications. The LS department provides general information about learning difficulties and recommended strategies available for teachers. The following is a list of possible modifications that may be available for students with learning differences.
- Use of notes / study guide / essay planner / outline in test
- Modification of questions
- Reduction in number of questions
- Extra time
- Preview of questions / reading passages prior to test
- Simplified wording of questions
- More specific instructions or diagrams are given
- LS department provides support during test
- Different assessment criteria are used for grading
Classwork and Home Learning Adaptations
- Quantity is reduced
- Modification of task
- Reading from a modified text
- Writing from a writing frame
- Extra time allowed
- Simpler wording/more specific terms are used in task outline
- Task is separated into more discrete sub-tasks
- LS department provides scaffolding such as graphic organisers
- Preferential seating of student
- Access to computer and calculator provided at all times