Our Student Support Department has its foundation in the AISZ mission, which states:
We develop skills and character for futures rich with promise:
Each child comes to us with her or his own particular strengths, personalities and passions. We see each of them as a ‘story of possibility’, filled with promise. We build on that promise, working together to develop them into highly educated learning experts. As we map their learning journeys, we show them exceptional care, making sure that every student is known, challenged and supported. By personalising their learning we work towards realizing the futures our children imagine for themselves. We believe that each one of those futures can be truly extraordinary.
As collaborative professionals, the AISZ Student Support Team (SST) works closely with students and families and includes:
- Learning Support,
- English as an Additional Language,
- Social and Emotional Counselling and
- Postsecondary Advising and College Counselling
Caring for the academic, emotional, moral and physical learning needs of a group of children is complex. For this reason, we are firmly committed to a collaborative and holistic team approach to problem identification and the design of interventions that will enhance student learning. The SST successfully serves a managed number of students representing a range of learning differences with mild, moderate and exceptionally able learning profiles. Service delivery is based on a tiered, Response to Intervention (RTI) approach through push-in or pull-out, small group or individualized support. The SST monitors progress using classroom and standardised data points. There may be times when students, after admission, are identified as benefitting from support. At this point an intervention plan is developed. At times, a referral for a full educational evaluation may be made with the goal of helping students to successfully access the learning program at AISZ through structured support services.
AISZ strives to service students’ needs to the extent of the resources available. At this time, the school is unable to diagnose students or to provide long term remediation and therapeutic treatment plans. If a child’s needs reach a level beyond our service capabilities, the school may refer and recommend for outside educational evaluations, remediation programmes, consultations and therapeutic services at extra cost to the family or may recommend a different learning program altogether.
Our Admission Policy and Student Support Team does not provide services needed for Intensive Support.
Due to limited resources, we are unable to support students requiring the following levels of intervention:
- A self-contained intensive learning classroom or life skills program
- Special day classes
- Severe behavioural support training
- Complex and comprehensive curricular modifications or individually designed inclusion opportunities
- Adaptive physical education and / or physical therapy and motor support
Dear AISZ Families
Counseling at AISZ takes a three-pronged approach in that not only is emotional support available to students but also to the caretakers of children, the parents and the teachers. The philosophy behind the counseling of students at AISZ is that the emotional needs of children go hand in hand with academic needs. In other words, if students are distracted by an emotional concern it will be difficult to focus their energy and attention on the academic task at hand in the classroom.
The role of the AISZ Counsellor is to provide social and emotional counseling to both Lower and Upper School students. This can be initiated through student request, teacher request, and parental request or via the counselors’ observations. Clear procedures are implemented to ensure that communication occurs between appropriate parties.
AISZ feels that it is important to have available an adult who is viewed as safe and trustworthy by students so that they can talk through troubling issues of concern. Being able to express their worries often allows them to return to the classroom with a greater degree of emotional balance which enables them to work more enthusiastically in the academic realm. It is important to be aware that young people from the ages of 11 to 18 are experiencing profound physical and psychological changes as they move through puberty and into early adulthood. Because of these changes, issues that may seem trivial to an adult take on huge proportions in the mind of an adolescent.
Primary care is provided by teachers and the counsellor supports the teachers by meeting with the student at any time via teacher, student or parent request.
I am here to help students be successful. I look forward to working with your children and getting to know them throughout the school year. If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to contact me via email.
In the Lower School all children whose mother tongue is not English are tested upon entry to AISZ. The language assessments help to determine the appropriate placement in the EAL program and classroom. On-going assessments are used to determine the language support needed to help children access grade-level content, as well as when their English language proficiency is adequate for exiting the EAL program.