AACS is dedicated to serving the needs of our families. Our Christ-centered approach to education includes our Educational Support Program (Ed Support Program), which is committed to providing academic support for students with learning differences. One of our core principles - educating the whole child – means that we honor God-given gifts, talents, and challenges while providing an excellent education and a firm foundation in which students can flourish. A hallmark of the AACS Ed Support Program is the partnership, collaboration, and communication between Ed Support Team members, classroom teachers, parents/guardians and students.
During the admissions process we will evaluate your son or daughter's needs and determine whether we can serve him or her well. Our Education Support team will be part of that process. It is our goal to excellently meet the needs of any child admitted into AACS. We encourage parents to be part of that process by providing all relevant information about learning needs.
How to Engage the Ed Support Team
The Ed Support Program begins with the referral process to determine a student’s eligibility to receive Ed Support Services. This referral process includes:
- Review of screening information, evaluations and/or assessment data (including standardized testing – NWEA’s MAP tests – for grades K - 9)
- Consultation with students, parents, and teachers If eligibility is confirmed, this referral process culminates in the development and implementation of an Educational Support Plan which specifies:
- Services such as tutoring, small-group support, and/or direct instruction
- Student progress monitoring
- Student-specific accommodations as appropriate
- In some cases, students may require modifications - more intensive interventions, individualized instruction, and curricular changes.
Once developed, a student’s Ed Support Plan becomes the guide for his/her academic success. Age-appropriate changes and updates are incorporated as warranted, including typical secondary and post-secondary educational criteria.
Ed Support Services Available
Excellent instruction at AACS incorporates dozens of practices and strategies executed in each classroom every day. These are used for all students, including those with learning differences. Classroom instructional best practices include differentiated instruction, universal design for learning, learning centers, reading groups, leveled courses, homogeneous groups, occasional supplemental instruction (e.g., after school tutoring) and technology integration in order to reach a broad spectrum of learners and develop the skills needed for academic success. When these are insufficient to meet the learning needs of students, then student-specific accommodations are engaged.
The Ed Support Team provides four areas of service in support of students with learning differences; each an essential component of a cohesive, high-quality program:
- Diagnostic assessment (from broad universal screening and targeted tools to a full psycho-educational battery of tests)
- Collaboration with classroom teachers (from initial input, questions and surveys, to regular monitoring and in-class support)
- Direct instruction and support for students with Ed Support Plans (scheduled throughout the school day with a member of the Ed Support Team)
- Coordination among and between each campus’s team members (for consistency and smooth transitions from campus to campus as a student progresses)
The direct instruction and support varies with each age group, from regular individual and small-group pull-out for specific skills, to coaching on study and organizational skills, to academic support and re-teaching throughout each week.
Each campus team has dedicated facilities, rooms, resources, and technology to work with their students, including text-to-talk software systems.