The Andover Way: A Culture of Learning, Teaching and Leading
- We Won’t stop until all students:
- FEEL safe, connected, confident, valued and honored for their uniqueness
- THINK globally, deeply, creatively, and take ownership of their learning
- BELIEVE they can achieve their goals and their growth is unlimited
- KNOW they are the center of a collaborative team of caring adults
- SHOW PRIDE to be part of the APS community.
Delays in language skills may impact a student’s ability to access the Reading, Writing and Math curriculum in the general education setting. The curriculum is modified for more specific targeting and review of essential skills. Classroom emphasis is on full-engagement and internalization of classroom material, as opposed to mere memorization. Students are highly motivated to learn, but typically have difficulty with long-term retention of material and require frequent review, repetition and re-application of skills. In addition, students in this model often require a high level of support, as well as a slower pace compared to their grade level peers.
The student’s language impairments often impact social functioning and comprehension of materials. Within this model, lessons and discussions are highly teacher-mediated for language development. Teachers continually model language and questioning techniques, and frequently cue students for elaboration of their responses.
At the high school level, students carry a traditional load of high school classes (although modified and highly structured) which reflect state standards and which are designed to help them pass the MCAS exams. Students receive small-group instruction in the four core academic subjects during both freshmen and sophomore year. By junior and senior year, however, they have opportunities to take certain science and social studies classes outside of the program, with assistance and modifications. Each year, students take all Health, Physical Education and elective courses within a fully inclusive environment (with assistance and modification when needed). The high school also has an Advisory Block (“H” block), in which our students fully participate with the rest of the school.
Given that the students in this program struggle with longer-term retention of material, the program also has a strong transitional curriculum focusing on career/vocational and community skills. This transitional work begins in earnest during their sophomore year, where personal interests, strengths and adaptive skills are investigated and discussed to help with future planning. In subsequent years, vocational opportunities and more intensive daily living services are incorporated if it becomes apparent that they are needed for a successful transition to post-high school life. Summer programming may also be a part of this curriculum.
In the event that a student defers or does not receive a diploma, and needs more vocational and community training, the district offers a post-high school Transitional Opportunities Program (TOP) which follows high school programming (18-22). This post-high school program focuses specifically on the application of functional academics, vocational and community skills, and exposure to community college work at the student’s individual level. In all cases, emphasis is on developing a well-rounded life that includes meaningful employment, community engagement, continued academic learning and leisure opportunities.
Key Components of Student Profile
- Primary diagnosis of Developmental Delay, Communication, Neurological, or Autism. Students that fit this model typically would not have a specific learning disability given the cognitive profile of the cohort as noted below.
- The student requires a higher level of coordination of care than the typical special education student.
- There have been multiple systematic interventions utilized in an effort to help the student access the curriculum. These have been well documented.
- The student typically requires support in three or more of the following domains:
- Written Language
- Student Skills
- Social Skills
Student Skills Profile
Student demonstrates the ability to access essential features of academic curriculum with increasing independence.
Student requires a lower level of case management
Students are able to learn academic, social and student skills as a related service, as well as apply them to the larger group setting with minimal adult support.
Referrals for the SAIL model are generated by early childhood coordinator, building-based evaluation team facilitators (ETF), district program heads (elementary, middle, high school) schools and/or building based administration.
Following a referral, the admission team will:
- Discuss student’s strengths and areas of need with current IEP Team
- Review current IEP and updated evaluations (administered within last 12 months)
- Conduct an observation of the student
- Review and discuss observation with current IEP Team as well as next steps
THE EDUCATIONAL TEAM
The SAIL model comprises a multi-disciplinary team, which may include::
- Special education teachers
- Highly trained Instructional assistants
- Board certified behavior analyst (BCBA)
- Speech therapists
- Occupational therapists
- Physical therapists
- Adaptive physical education teachers
- Assistive technology consultation to the model
All members of the SAIL model have extensive experience working with students with comprehensive needs.
DIBELS (Elementary) are conducted at least 3 times annually to assess literacy skills.
NWEA MAP (Grades 3-10) testing in Math and Reading is conducted 3 times per year
Every three years, all students participate in a formal evaluation in their area of suspected disability, as part of their tri-annual assessments.
Curriculum-based measures are administered, depending on the intervention(s) and/or supplemental program(s)
In addition to individualized programming to access grade level curriculum standards, the SAIL model has access to a variety of supplemental curriculum.
Example English Language Arts:
- Early Literacy Skills Builder (Elementary)- Provides a multiyear curriculum for students who use a variety of methods to communicate, Adaptable for individual or small group settings. ELSB is based upon the principles of systematic and direct instruction.
- Early Reading Skills Builder (Elementary)- Includes progressive levels with five structured lessons each. Lessons follow an eight-step activity sequence, which includes identifying, blending, and segmenting sounds; decoding words; reading sight words and connected text; and answering comprehension questions. In addition, students use a writing journal to reflect on what they learned in the level.
- Reading Mastery (Elementary/Secondary)- Systematic approach of Direct Instruction to accelerate reading.
- Reading A-Z (Elementary/Secondary)-Books and resources are correlated to state and common core standards. Materials include explicit reading lessons, decodable books, reader’s theater scripts, and assessments.
- Language for Learning (Elementary)- Language for Learning is a highly systematic and explicit program. New content is introduced carefully and integrated with previously taught content. The focus of Language for Learning is oral expression. Daily exercises provide the building blocks of listening and reading comprehension by teaching the language of instruction (the phrases and vocabulary used by teachers in instructional settings), word knowledge, common information, concepts, sentence forms, classification, and problem solving.
- Language! Live (Secondary) - Language! Live is a systematic, language-based, comprehensive reading skills, comprehension, and written expression program.
- Essentials for Writing (Elementary) - Provides writing lessons and assignments in small “chunks” to help students understand, apply, and retain concepts.
- Handwriting without Tears (Elementary) - This program uses fun, engaging, and developmentally appropriate instructional methods to enable children to master handwriting as an automatic and comfortable skill.
- Number World (Elementary/Secondary)- is a highly-engaging, research-proven, teacher-led math intervention program that was built on rigorous state standards to bring math-challenged PreK-8 students up to grade level with Real World Applications.
- Connecting Math Concepts- introduces ideas gradually and teaches students the connections between concepts. Focusing on the big ideas.
- Math in Focus (Elementary/Secondary)-Math in Focus is a curriculum with problem solving as the center of math learning and concepts taught through real-world, hands-on experiences.
- Khan Academy (Elementary/Secondary) -a non-profit educational organization that provides free video tutorials and interactive exercises. The Academy's declared mission is “changing education for the better by providing a free world-class education to anyone anywhere.”
Example Social Skills:
- Everyday Speech (Elementary/Secondary) - Everyday Speech materials are based on video modeling and contrasting behavior videos for building social skills.
- Skillstreaming (Elementary/Secondary) -Skillstreaming employs a four-part training approach—modeling, role-playing, performance feedback, and generalization—to teach essential prosocial skills to children and adolescents.
- Social Thinking (Elementary/Secondary) - a curriculum to help people develop their social competencies to better connect with others and live happier, more meaningful lives. This curriculum creates unique treatment frameworks and strategies to help individuals as young as four and across the lifespan develop their social thinking and social skills to meet their personal social goals. These goals often include sharing space effectively with others, learning to work as part of a team, and developing relationships.
- Teachtown (Elementary) -Teachtown modules focus on improving academic, behavioral, and adaptive functioning skills.