The learning support (LS) programme at ISA is designed to support students with additional learning needs to reach their potential and access ISA’s academically challenging curriculum. The majority of students who are currently supported in the programme have identified learning needs and typically receive long-term support. However, students must be capable of being mainstreamed in the regular classroom for 80% of the instructional time and hold a diagnosis of their learning need so that effective support can be given.
In the Middle School and High School, Learning Support is a regularly scheduled class. The overall emphasis at this level is to provide curriculum support and to support the development of executive function skills. Skill lessons are aligned with the expectations and goals of the core curriculum and provide the students with tools that will be used in their regular classes. Students are guided and supported as they develop individual strategies for learning and self-advocacy.
The learning support teachers communicate regularly with the subject teachers and as a team address the individual student’s needs. Teachers do not modify curriculum at the High School level, but do make accommodations as to how the student is assessed or instructed based on learning needs to allow the student to access the set curriculum. Students are expected to meet the demands of our university preparatory curriculum with these accommodations in place.
Students with identified learning needs have an Individual Education Plan (IEP). The IEP is developed collaboratively with the student, subject teachers, counsellors and the parents, and undergoes a formal review process once a year. Communication and coordination with all members of the team are vital elements of the programme. ISA students with additional learning needs benefit from a strong partnership between home and school.