The number of students with different learning needs has increased in recent years. These differences are not observable in most cases. As a result, students with learning needs are often overlooked or misunderstood. Faculty members and school staff must understand the implications of learning differences so they can advocate for classroom accommodations and provide them with opportunities to thrive and succeed.
What are accommodations?
Accommodations are modifications in the way tasks are presented that allow students with learning differences to complete the same assignments as the other students. Accommodations do not change the content of the assignments, alter how tests are evaluated, or give these students an undue advantage. Rather, accommodations enable students to demonstrate what they know and not be impeded by their learning differences.
Learning differences that can require accommodations include:
Auditory perception and processing. The student finds it difficult to understand lessons communicated through class discussions.
Visual perception and processing. The student finds it hard to distinguish subtle differences in shapes or focus on images. They might skip words or repeat sections when reading or misjudge depth or distance.
Comprehension speed. The student needs more time to process information.
Abstract reasoning. The student has difficulty understanding the context of certain subjects.
Memory. The student is not able to recall information easily.
Spoken and written language. The student switches letters or says phrases in reverse.
Mathematics. The student finds it hard to calculate figures or convert word problems into mathematical expressions.
Executive functions. The student is not able to break down a big project into smaller tasks, follow a schedule, or meet a deadline.
The following accommodations can be recommended for students with learning differences:
- Present lessons in different formats (i.e., oral and written) to address different learning styles. Hand out printed materials early to give students sufficient time to read and understand the material.
- Allow students to record lessons so they can review concepts as needed.
- Inform students of supplementary learning resources available such as tutorial centers, study skills labs, counseling centers, and computer labs.
- Allocate time for questions at the end of the class, where students could clarify assignment instructions and other important information.
- Provide study guides and review exercises.
- Administer tests through a series of timed sessions or over several days at a particular time.
- Have different ways to evaluate class performance. Students can take a written test or an oral exam, work individually or with a group, or videotape a presentation.
- Help students map out the workflow of their assignments, especially when it comes to big projects.
- Schedule frequent breaks during classes.
- Allow for preferential seating arrangements in the classroom. Provide special lighting or acoustics if necessary.
Brentwood private school Currey Ingram Academy provides an individualized approach to teaching and learning; after all, students learn differently. The academic support provided by the school is based on each student’s learning profile.
Language! Live is a comprehensive literacy intervention program for struggling students in grades 5–12. Using a blended approach, it reinforces the literacy foundations students need while using authentic text to engage and accelerate them to grade-level proficiency.
Math Labs are multisensory and remedial strategies taught on a one-on-one basis or in small groups.
Self-Regulated Strategy Development teaches strategies students need to be able to write while providing them with the necessary motivation.
Wilson Reading System (WRS) is an instructional program that helps struggling readers.
Additional academic support includes:
- Extended time for quizzes and tests for students who qualify for this accommodation
- Scaffolded and supplemental notes
- Interactive math notebooks
- Movement breaks
- 1:1 technology
- Concept mapping
- Providing examples of what success will look like
- Giving lesson summaries in advance, which bridges previous knowledge and what is to be learned
A full-time licensed counselor is on campus to provide personal, social, and academic support.
Currey Ingram knows how essential Executive Function (EF) skills are determining a person’s success at school and in life. EF skills make it possible for individuals to pay attention, think flexibly, keep information in mind, and resist distractions.
Students participate in classes that teach EF skills and academic habits. Each student is assigned a mentor who monitors their use of these skills and habits. The skills learned are then applied in core classes and are reinforced even out of the classroom.
Designed to enrich a student’s strengths and talents, Explore courses cover a wide variety of subjects and are non-graded. Students are encouraged to explore not only areas of interest but also topics new to them such as Italian Language and Culture, Darkroom Photography, and Salsa Dancing.
Mentoring sessions are also available. Students are assigned faculty mentors who serve as role models, advocates, and motivators, inspiring students to reach their full potential.
Students can attend teacher office hours four days a week to receive additional academic support they may need. Teachers can schedule additional meetings if necessary.
Students in the Residential Life Program receive extended academic, social, and personal development support after school and in the evenings through intentional academic study and social pragmatic programming.
A boarding school in Brentwood, Currey Ingram Academy empowers students with learning differences to achieve their fullest potential – academically and socially – within an environment that fosters holistic student development. Get in touch by calling (615) 507-3173.