A student’s education requires a partnership of all the responsible parties: the school, the parents, and the student. In the case of a student who has specific learning needs, this partnership becomes even more important. Parents are a valuable source of information about their student’s academic needs and as such are considered to be a significant part of academic support.
To ensure timely support that provides students with the best opportunity to take advantage of their academic program, we ask parents for the following:
- Provide the division learning specialist or division head with any educational/neuropsychological testing or history of accommodation prior to starting classes at Albuquerque Academy.
- Provide complete, accurate, and up-to-date information regarding the child’s medical, psychological, and educational background when learning or behavioral problems arise after admission to Albuquerque Academy.
Share their unique knowledge of the child’s learning and behavioral strengths and weaknesses.
- Participate in the plans developed for their student by providing support in the home learning environment.
Regularly communicate with faculty about issues that affect their child’s academic performance, requesting assistance when needed.
- Participate in the development of either an Accommodation Plan for diagnosed students or informal learning suggestions for non-diagnosed students.
Teachers work with students daily and are an excellent source of information about student performance. They are also experts in their field and have the knowledge, resources and time to provide extra support when needed. Faculty members are seen as the first source of intervention when a student is in need of extra help. Faculty may be asked to meet with a student on a regular basis outside the normal class period for a specific period of time to provide extra assistance. Teachers will provide timely feedback to parents, students, and the learning specialist about the benefit and effectiveness of interventions, academic improvement or concerns.
Students, when they experience academic difficulty, are expected to actively pursue and receive additional help from their teachers and/or the learning support program. Students may be assigned to work with the Learning Specialist or they are welcome to take the initiative to seek out support from the program. Students can best facilitate the process by scheduling an appointment with a Learning Specialist to discuss issues in person. Students working with a Learning Specialist are expected to keep appointments and follow through with any responsibilities agreed upon during their sessions.
Advisers and 6-7 Division Family Heads play an important role in academic support. Adviser/Family Head responsibilities may include:
- For newly identified students: Participate in a team meeting to develop a support program.
- For returning students: Be knowledgeable about advisee’s educational needs and learning plans. Determine the level of follow-up needed for student and parents; assist with those contacts.
- All: Encourage advisees to make use of the Learning Support Program, as appropriate.
The learning specialist provides academic support to students who are experiencing academic difficulty and want assistance. The Learning Specialist acts as a liaison to promote communication between students, parents or guardians, faculty, and administrators. Through a collaborative process the Learning Specialist may develop and monitor written plans that outline specific interventions and responsibilities.
General responsibilities include consulting with teachers regarding classroom needs of students with learning differences and disabilities; assisting with the development, implementation and monitoring of academic plans; assisting in the support and training of faculty regarding learning differences and disabilities; providing communication to parents regarding the learning needs of their students; providing direct support to students either individually or in small groups; responding to specific trends and needs of the school; consulting with counselors, the school nurse and administrators; and facilitating referrals for outside educational diagnostic evaluations if needed.