The Educational Support Division (ESD) at GIS emphasizes communication and cooperation between parents and teachers, in order to identify and address academic, emotional, and/or behavioral challenges. We encourage parents to inform ESD and their child’s teachers if they anticipate challenges or have information that might help a teacher understand why the student may be experiencing challenges. In response, teachers work with ESD to implement strategies that serve students who are struggling academically, emotionally, and/or behaviorally.
Depending on available personnel, educational support services may include:
As a first step to addressing any concern, the teacher, parent, and student (as appropriate) can meet to discuss their concerns and agree on new strategies to try in school and at home. Most commonly, teachers can make adjustments in seating arrangements, behavior cues, and movement. Educational Support staff may be consulted to suggest ways to help the student in the classroom setting and, if necessary a Grace Accommodation Plan (GAP) can be created for the student. Students who qualify for an Individual Education Plan (IEP), can receive modifications in the: amount of workload, oral testing, extra time for assignments or tests, and modified grades.
Many of the students served by the Educational Support Division have a GAP that communicates the student’s challenges and needs to the classroom teacher. This plan enables our staff to utilize the best methods of accommodating and modifying curriculum within the mainstream classroom.
A GAP is a document that was developed considering the U.S. Federal Guideline of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. It is designed to plan a program of instructional services to assist students with special needs who are in a regular education setting. A GAP is not an Individual Education Program (IEP) as is required for special education students.
IEPs are a student’s support tool. It is an educational document that is provided to students who have diagnosed academic, behavioral, or cognitive disabilities that require educational and/or behavioral goals. Students with this support tool receive access to curriculum by way of accommodations and/or modifications for school work, assessments, and presentation.
Inclusion Support is provided when a student needs an additional support person in the classroom to help with academics, focusing, behavior, etc. This provides support for both the student and the teacher. Inclusion support is typically an Ed Support staff member, but may be a school aide who has been trained to be an Inclusion Support member.
In Secondary, we have Guided Study Halls for students with a GAP or IEP. This is a study hall with an Educational Specialist who supports students by teaching organizational skills, study strategies, behavior management, self-advocacy, and supports classroom instruction.
The TESOL program at Grace International School provides Academic English language support services to students whose first language is a language other than English, and who have been classified as English Language Learners (ELL). TESOL support is provided mainly in the ESOL classroom and through collaboration with content teachers. The goal of our program is to help ELL students develop a level of Academic English proficiency that allows them to function independently at their grade level.
If a student is not succeeding, teachers or parents can request a Student Success Team (SST) meeting, in which, teachers, parents, and students (when appropriate) meet with an Ed Support staff member, principal, and other school specialists or counselor to analyze the problem and commit to specific actions to help the student.
For more information, contact Edu.Support.firstname.lastname@example.org.