How does support work in the Lower School?
In the Lower School, the homeroom teacher develops a thoughtful and caring relationship with each of our students. If questions arise involving specific areas that may need special attention, the teacher and Lower School Head, often with the input of the Learning Specialist, communicate these questions or concerns to the parents. By partnering together, we identify and begin to implement next steps, if any are needed.
We focus particular attention on developing strong readers, so we divide each grade into smaller reading groups. This allows us to provide targeted reading instruction at each grade level. Students not reading at grade level in second and third grade receive specific support as they transition from ‘learning to read’ to ‘reading to learn’. That support continues as needed in fourth and fifth grade, often replacing the foreign language classes.
Various strategies and programs are employed to instruct delayed readers, including targeted, individualized instruction in comprehension and fluency using such programs as the Wilson Reading Program (based on Orton-Gillingham methodology), Fundations, Em-Power, and Visualizing and Verbalizing. These approaches are ideal for students with mild dyslexia and other language-based learning interferences.