Students who are at beginning and intermediate levels of English are required to enroll in the ESL program. The ESL teacher works with students during their language learning time on English reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. The ESL teacher collaborates with each student's homeroom teacher to ensure continuity of learning and skill building. There is an additional fee for this program due to its small size and individualized attention.
The Optimal Learning (OL) program provides students an equal opportunity at excelling in the classroom by providing individualized and small group instruction that supplements various learning styles. The process begins with the student being referred by the classroom teacher or parent. The Child Study Team consists of the Elementary School Principal, the JK-12 Counseling Psychologist, the Elementary School Counselor, the OL Specialist and the OL Chair. The team works together to determine a program that would be most beneficial to meeting the student's needs. Admission to OLP is based on program capacity and upon the receipt of current psycho-educational testing.
A full battery of psycho-educational assessments, which are administered by non-school-based psychologists, must be completed prior to enrollment in the OLP. Based on their findings and subsequent report, standards are set according to the individual needs of the referred student. Effective strategies are developed by the Optimal Learning Specialist and are then shared with all teachers working with each particular student. Small group instruction and cooperative learning activities are incorporated within the student’s curriculum to complement various learning abilities. Specific learning goals are delineated in each student’s Individual Learning Plan (ILP) and are shared with teachers and parents.
The Optimal Learning Specialist provides support and guidance to the classroom teachers to properly support student abilities. Collaboration is established amongst the entire team and valuable tactics are adopted to enable students to maintain success within the classroom. Progress Reports are student assessments that are distributed to parents via email to validate student strengths and to determine areas that need improving. Progress Reports are sent out each Mid – Trimester. This information provides the program with evidence of student strengths and areas where additional assistance is needed for the student to excel in the classroom. It also provides an open channel of communication between home and school.
OL Consultation is determined on a case by case basis. Students that are placed in OL Consultation are monitored by the OL Specialist and their classroom teachers. Students in the Consultation Program are observed in their classroom setting for twenty minutes each week, and they receive Progress Reports. There are fees for enrollment in either the Optimal Learning program or the OL consultation.
The School Psychologist, Dr. Alessandra Sax-Lane, and the Elementary School Counselor, Mr. Demetri Pelidis, work with students individually and/or in groups to assist them in the development of skills for optimizing their strengths. Approaching students holistically will help them overcome emotional, social, and cognitive challenges. The school psychologist and the counselor work closely with parents and teachers to resolve student issues and are involved in the Child Study Team in order to suggest interventions for any special needs students may have.
The Writing Studios location and schedule will be developed in consultation with the Principal at the beginning of each academic year. The studio offers students and faculty support throughout the year.