Inclusions and Interventions
(Special Ed and TAG Students)
The Village Community believes that inclusion is a core component of the learning theory. This inclusive community strives to meet the needs of individual learners and provide opportunities for growth. All children, ages 5 to 14 are invited to explore, risk, and learn in a safe, accepting climate. The staff and families at WVMS are committed to building a positive sense of community and this helps enhance self-respect, and connect each child with a group of caring adults. Every adult expects all students to achieve, and excuses are never based on demographics. Hard work, responsible behavior, and persistence are valued above perceptions of native ability. Student achievement as measured by performance tasks scored with state scoring guides and state tests, is expected to outperform district averages. The Village expects and does what ever it takes to move each child forward.
All students regardless of their special program designation are included. There are initiatives in place to make the school fit the child; rather the child fit the school.
Special Programs staff collaborates with regular education staff to provide differentiated learning strategies and direct support for all students. Collaborative support includes the design of instructional activities, modifications, social/behavioral and academic interventions, learning extensions and classroom structures to positively impact the development of individual students. Staff provide different types of materials to different students, use a variety of instructional strategies that match a child's current developmental stage, help students overcome language barriers, provide opportunities to access outside support services, and use carefully tailored instruction. Staff extends the curriculum and encourages higher level thinking projects and activities that meet the needs of individuals. "Figuring out what a student needs in order to succeed is not all that difficult. Providing the appropriate type of education and amount of learning time is the hard part. That's where differentiation can make a huge difference." (Grant, 2002) Direct instructional support enables resources to be used to benefit all students resulting in reduced student/teacher ratio and more flexible grouping in learning experiences.
The staff is committed to collaboration; the special case managers are members of the teaching teams and everyone works together to meet the needs of individuals. The facilitator that manages the gifted and talented population incorporates enrichment and expansion strategies into the curriculum. This benefits all students, not just those that are identified as gifted.
The Village believes in an inclusive community that will "lead to a lifetime of meaningful work, lifelong learners, contributing citizens, caring and ethical individuals and healthy people." (Carnegie Council on Adolescent Development, Turning Points: Preparing American Youth for the 21st Century)
A fundamental assumption of the Village Learning Theory is that all students can achieve at high levels if the staff, parents and students work together to develop strategies that provide students with extra time and support. At Westside Village, when a student struggles, facilitators do not assume the student is incapable of learning, they look for ways to provide time and support that lift students to success. Teachers make a commitment and work closely with parents to find support and commitment. Staff works collaboratively to ensure that every child receives that necessary time and support. Check out our Extra Curricular Activities for before or after school programs for more information on specific after hour interventions.
Please call us if you have questions about students with special needs including Special Education and Talented and Gifted students.