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Learning Differences Conference 2013

Optimal Match Program

The Optimal Match Learning Support Program

The aim of the Optimal Match program is to support students to excel in the classroom by providing individualized and small group guidance that enhances various learning styles. A team of specialists work together to determine which of the programs offered would be the most beneficial in meeting the student’s individual needs.

A full battery of psycho-educational assessments, administered prior to enrollment in the OM program, helps staff determine specific individual needs. Strategies are developed by the Optimal Match Specialists as per student and these are recorded on the Individualized Learning Plan (ILP). The ILP is then shared with parents and teachers. Small group skill building and cooperative learning activities are incorporated within the student’s curriculum to complement various learning abilities.

The Optimal Match specialist also supports the classroom teachers by providing consistent guidance to optimize student learning. Placement of students in the OM program, either OM consultation or OM classroom is ultimately determined by the Child Study Team.

The Optimal Match Classroom

The OM Classroom Setting is designed to assist students in acquiring or strengthening necessary skills to succeed in school. Focus is placed on attaining student goals, as indicated in the ILP, increasing performance in the levels of reading/comprehension, study skills, test taking, research, note-taking, listening, organization, time management, writing, spelling and vocabulary.

A variety of approaches are used to facilitate learning. For example, the use of multisensory teaching helps students to process new information by using their five senses. Teaching takes place both on an individual and group setting. The Optimal Match Classroom environment is intended to help students become more independent and efficient learners in order to increase the level of their academic performance in the classroom. Ultimately, the goal of OM is the help students transfer the skills and coping abilities, learned within the small setting, to the classroom and beyond.

Optimal Match Consultation

OM Consultation is a support service for students who need monitoring and/ or testing accommodations (as indicated by the ILP) to help them succeed in the regular class.

The OM teacher meets with the student on a pull-out basis during a scheduled time. This consultation may be up to 20 minutes long and takes place once a week.

OM consultation students are entitled to accommodations which are specific to their needs. Accommodations are specific guidelines that teachers follow so that individual student needs are met. These guidelines are presented in the ILP.

Formal communication with parents takes place once a month via a monitoring sheet and via phone calls or emails as often as necessary.

The OM specialist communicates regularly with teachers to facilitate the progress of a consultation student.

The High Performing Student Program (HPS)

The High Performing Student Program (HPS) is being developed to cater to the needs of students who have exceptional abilities. The purpose of the HPS program is to challenge students and provide opportunities for them to reach their potential. Once a child has been identified, the HPS specialist works closely with teachers to differentiate the student’s curriculum and adjust his/her learning experience to suit his/her individual needs. Students will be offered a variety of services, such as mentor programs, small group guidance, individualized projects, consultations, ability grouping and advanced placement programs.

Wednesday
Jul292009