Student Support Services

All students learn differently; no two are the same. Students who need extra attention should not be made to feel ostracized or inadequate. The team at Student Support Services works with students to assist them to function more effectively within the classroom. This allows them to receive the help they need, while enabling them to be a participant in classes and other activities.

STUDENT SUPPORT SERVICES

The International School of Port of Spain (ISPS) has a commitment to developing the individual potential of each student as outlined in our school philosophy. Therefore, ISPS aims to provide a comprehensive, sequential framework for meeting individual student differences while simultaneously promoting high standards of academic achievement. Through differentiated instruction in the classroom, limited pull-out for specific skills, and in-class support from Teaching Assistants, ISPS provides services to:
  • Students with limited learning gaps or processing difficulties (LD)
  • English language learners (ESOL)
  • Students with attention difficulties (ADD/ADHD)
  • Students who require enrichment opportunities
  • Students who are not maximizing their potential because of behavior or motivational problems
Staff within Student Support Services use a multi-disciplinary team approach to assist students in grades pre-K to 12 primarily through an inclusion model of support. The inclusion model promotes socialization skills, as well as learning/re-teaching the content of the topic/subject.

If your child has an IEP, ILP, or an educational assessment recommending one-to-one support (i.e., remedial instruction or personal tutor) ISPS may be able to offer this support, yet there will be an additional cost to the parent for this service.

Elementary and Middle School students who are functioning academically above grade level may receive enrichment activities and assignments in addition to the general curriculum. High school students may enroll in Advanced Placement courses.


Methodology

Methodology

The Student Support Team provides support using a variety of methods to meet the learning needs of all students such as:
  • small group settings
  • supportive teaching (classroom teacher takes the lead role, the support personnel rotate among the students)
  • consultation (support personnel work in collaboration with the teacher)
  • limited one-to-one or small group instruction on specific skills

Within these methods, we are able to:

  • provide alternative formats for test taking
  • adapt or modify the curriculum and/or instructional techniques
  • differentiate the instruction and/or content
  • provide positive academic and/or behavior supports for identified students
  • teach students strategies for their unique learning style


Student Support Team

Student Support Team

In cases where students experience difficulty, or if their skills and strengths are discrepant from grade level expectations, their progress may be reviewed (for academic and/or behavioral reasons) at a grade level meeting. The Student Support Team reviews the student file, the specific areas of concern and decides on a plan of action.

The Student Support Team includes:

  1. Teachers [homeroom, core subjects & specialists]
  2. Student Support Staff (SOS)
  3. Principals
  4. Guidance Counselors.

Teams are at the Elementary, Middle, and High School levels. The focus is on a collaborative, problem-solving approach blending the expertise, services, and resources of the general education and support staff.

Student Support Identification Process


Student Support Identification Process

In cases where a student exhibits difficulty, or if their skills and strengths are discrepant from grade level expectations, their name may be mentioned (for academic and/or behavioral reasons) at a grade level meeting. The Student Support Team reviews the student’s file and the specific areas of concern, and decides on a plan of action.

This process consists of:

  • Pre-referral for support services stating the area(s) of concern
  • Individual screenings (developmental and/or behavioral) may be administered in order to gather data to assist teachers in developing a support plan.
  • Suggested teaching strategies, interventions, and accommodations to curriculum, along with positive behavioral student support
  • Occasionally the team may recommend the student have a full educational assessment administered by an outside professional. This assessment is to determine the student’s specific areas of academic difficulty, and would be the financial responsibility of the parents.
  • An Individualized Learning Plan (ILP) or Academic Improvement Plan may be developed, focusing on the student’s unique learning style, and identifying student goals and objectives. Parent and teacher input are essential in developing the ILP. Parents are asked to attend a meeting to review the plan, as their support is critical to student success.

New Student Candidates

All students applying for entrance into ISPS must complete an application form and a screening test for placement. Applications of students with English language needs, specialized learning needs or behavioral needs, must be reviewed by Student Support Services prior to placement. It is essential that the school be aware of the services each student needs in order to determine if ISPS is able to provide an appropriate placement and offer the necessary support. Besides providing the required academic record for all students, any student with a history of special needs must also provide current psycho-educational reports, special education plans, and any other anecdotal records available.

Student Programs

Student Support Services offers assistance to a variety of students who typically need help in diverse areas. Following are the main categories of students supported by the program.

Students with Learning Disabilities are students with learning gaps or processing difficulties that delay development or acquisition of knowledge.

Students with Attention Deficit Disorders (ADD/ADHD) are students with attention difficulties, who are often hyperactive, forgetful, easily distracted and have poor impulse control.

Students with Behavioral Issues are students who display maladaptive or ineffective behaviors, or have motivational problems that prevent them from maximizing their potential in the classroom and other social settings.

Students who are learning English as a second/other language (ESOL) are students whose native language is not English and are learning English for the first time, or who have a limited English background.

Elementary & Middle School students who are functioning academically above grade level may receive enrichment activities and assignments in addition to the general curriculum. High School students may enrol in Advanced Placement courses.

ESOL Students

ESOL students will be assessed and programs will be designed to meet their individual needs. Whenever possible, students will be fully immersed in general education classes with assistance being provided in the classroom. In some instances students will be pulled out for small group or individual sessions with support staff. If a student has no English background it may be necessary to provide individual instruction. If private instruction is necessary in order for a student to be successful, ISPS reserves the right to ask the parents to bear the additional cost of a tutor.

Student Support Services offers a variety of support methods within the classroom. These include using small group settings, supportive teaching (rotating among the student while the teacher takes the lead role), andconsultation (working in collaboration with the teacher).

Within these methods we are able to:

  • Provide alternative formats for test taking.
  • Adapt the curriculum and/or instructional techniques.
  • Differentiate the instruction and/or content.
  • Provide remediation.
  • Provide positive academic / behavioral support for students.
  • Teach students strategies using their unique learning styles.
  • Provide after school support to address student organization, planning and self-reliance.

Student Support Staff Is Also Available to Provide

  • Consultation and in-service for teachers and other staff members on specific teaching techniques and strategies.
  • Support for parents on how to deal with children experiencing academic or behavioral difficulties.
  • Links between parents and outside agencies offering additional therapies, evaluations or other needed support.

Why Use Student Support Services?

If a child exhibits any one of the following characteristics, he/she may be in need of academic or behavioral support:

  • Does not speak, read or write English
  • Has poor attention, or attends to everything in her environment
  • Cannot follow oral or written directions
  • Works slowly or does not complete tasks
  • Is impulsive and often acts without thinking things through
  • Has difficulty with reading or reading comprehension
  • Has difficulty with math calculations
  • Behaves erratically
  • Does not complete assignments
  • Is extremely disorganized and loses materials or homework
  • Has poor interaction with peers and/or adults
  • Tires easily
  • Has poor self-esteem and gives up before trying

Meet the Team

Luanne Chin

Luanne Chin

Titles: Student Support Services
Email:
Megan Fortuné

Megan Fortuné

Titles: Student Support Services
Email:
Samantha Gooljar

Samantha Gooljar

Titles: Student Support Services
Email:
Angelique Julien

Angelique Julien

Titles: Student Support Services
Email:
Alicia Solozano

Alicia Solozano

Titles: Student Support Services Coordinator
Email:
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