Caring and Learning for the WHOLE STUDENT
It is important for educational practices to be flexible and responsive to the strengths, needs and learning preferences of individual students. This helps create inclusive learning experiences that ensure all students aresuccessful.
At CIS we know all children can learn and reach their full potential when they are given opportunities, effective teaching and appropriate resources. Decisions related to the placement of students are best made on an individual basis in a way that maximizes their opportunity to participate fully in the experience of schooling.
Here are the ways we support individual student learning:
- Intensive ESL programming from grade 3-12;
- Individual Support Plans created collaboratively with teachers, parents and the student to ensure academic success;
- Differentiated instruction to ensure remediation for those requiring extra time to learn and understand key concepts and enrichment for those that are learning at a faster pace;
- Student choice seating plans. Each classroom has been designed with our students’ comfort and learning needs in mind. Students learn best if they are comfortable and in an environment that is conducive to their own needs;
- Use of technology inside and outside the classroom. CIS has subscriptions to a variety of online programs that students can access both at school and at home (Raz Kids, Solaro, NO RED INK and many others personally selected by the homeroom teacher);
- Yearly testing and evaluation to monitor student growth and progress. Fountas and Pinnell, Provincial Achievement Tests, Diploma Exams and ESL Benchmarking are a few of the tools we use to assess academic potential and success;
- Student Services support and counselling services to ensure each student is healthy, happy and ready to learn;
- Behaviour Support Plans;
- Parent and Teacher Conferences to discuss academic achievement and school progress;
- Acknowledging and understanding that each student is unique, special and deserves to receive an education that is tailored to help them achieve all of their academic goals.
Response to Intervention (RTI)
Response to Intervention (RTI) is a student support model that gained momentum with the educational community in the early 2000’s. After extensive research, CIS began implementing RTI this year. In order to ensure students are meeting their personal and academic goals, RTI emphasizes the importance of adult role models and content specialists. Currently, our RTI team consists of fifteen staff members: the principal, vice-principal, counselor, ESL coordinator, seven high school teachers and four EA’s with TOEFL certification. The team is designed to deliver RTI for students requiring academic or linguistic support.
RTI places students in one of three areas of need called “Tiers”. Tier one is for students who are slightly behind or need clarification on certain curricular outcomes or concepts. Support is delivered within the classroom in small groups. Tier two is for students who have difficulty learning for a variety of reasons. Perhaps their English proficiency is low, perhaps they missed extensive time due to illness, perhaps the student struggles in Math or Chemistry. Regardless of the obstacles, Tier two students are provided with one to one classroom support with one of our team members. Tier 3 interventions are reserved for students with the highest learning needs. These students may have very little linguistic or academic capacity. Tier three students are the only ones who are removed from class and placed in a one to one environment to help improve their skills.
Students benefitting from RTI gain the benefits of targeted intervention with qualified staff. For example, if a student is having difficulty learning English, one of our TOEFL trained team members will provide support. If a student requires amath intervention, one of our high school math teachers will provide support – so on and so forth. The goal is to have students graduate from Tier to Tier. Students do not simply go from tier three interventions back into the regular classroom environment. Students who do well in tier three proceed to tier two, and then to tier one, and hopefully graduate out of the program. CIS is committed to student growth.We have allocated our resources generously to ensure each student has every opportunity to succeed. In the words of economist John Campbell, “The job of an educator is to teach students to see the vitality in themselves.” RTI builds that strength, that vitality, within our students. Our goal is to foster resilience in our learners to ensure that, years after they left us, the skills they learned at CIS serve them still.
We have allocated our resources generously to ensure each student has every opportunity to succeed. In the words of economist John Campbell, “The job of an educator is to teach students to see the vitality in themselves.” RTI builds that strength, that vitality, within our students. Our goal is to foster resilience in our learners to ensure that, years after they left us, the skills they learned at CIS serve them still.