120 Prospect St, Fitchburg, MA 01420, United States +1 978-342-6053

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Learning Support
Learning Support

Applewild prepares bright, motivated students for success in secondary school and in life. We know students have different learning styles and strengths and that progress can come on different timetables. We are committed to helping students reach their full potential.

Learning Gaps and Individual Challenges

Learning support is a fee-for-service academic support program for areas of need such as:

  • Executive Function- Challenges with planning, problem-solving, organization and time management
  • ADD/ADHD- Struggles with attention and environmental distractions that impede success in many academic areas
  • Dyslexia- Challenges with phonemic awareness, decoding, reading connected text, deep reading, spelling, and literacy within content areas
  • Dysgraphia- Struggles with written expression, including: handwriting, spelling, and composing written pieces 
  • Dyscalculia- Difficulty understanding and computing math
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K-4 Learning Support

Applewild School routinely administers assessments and collects data about a student's strengths and areas for improvement. With input from the student’s teachers and parents, it may be determined that a student needs additional support. Students in learning support are usually “pulled” from a non-core subject class, at a frequency of 2-4 sessions per schedule rotation. A written report on the student’s progress is provided monthly.

Learning Support 5-9

Learning Support in 5th through 9th grade is a support program that aims to maximize the academic and social potential of each student through 1-1 and small groups. Looking at each student as an individual with unique learning needs we use assessments and conversations with the student, parents and teachers to understand what type of program is needed. We provide reading support for students with diagnosed or suspected language-based learning differences such as dyslexia through the use of Wilson or Orton-Gillingham. We also support students who struggle with math, writing and/or executive functioning.

Learning support sessions usually take place during study hall or non-core subjects. Frequency is determined by the student's individualized program. A written report on the student's progress is provided monthly. Additionally, we offer a targeted Executive Functioning class with instruction given in small groups. This additional fee class meets during Study Hall three times a rotation and focuses on helping students become successful independent learners through explicit instruction on organization, time management, task initiation, goal setting, etc.

Reading Support

Applewild is a science of reading school. We believe in following current research and scientific evidence on how to best teach students to read.
Teachers in grades Kindergarten through 3 use Wilson’s Fundations Program for teaching reading and spelling. Students use the Geodes series to practice and reinforce what has been taught with Fundations. Faculty routinely screen students’ reading abilities in Kindergarten through 9th grade, using University of Oregon’s DIBELS-8. DIBELS-8 contains a number of reading assessments, including Letter Naming Fluency, Nonsense Word Fluency, Word Reading Fluency, Oral Reading Fluency, Accuracy of Sounds, and Reading Comprehension, depending on grade level. We use these results to gauge reading progress with individual students, the whole class, and the whole school.
Applewild School faculty and staff participate quarterly in professional development centered on reading; most recently focusing on Lexia LETRS® training.

We are deeply committed to supporting emergent and struggling readers through individual or small group sessions utilizing the Wilson or Orton Gillingham program with our highly trained specialists.

Executive Function

Executive Functioning skills are explicitly taught through direct instruction. Executive function instruction includes five main areas of instruction: Organization, goal setting, shifting and flexibility, accessing working memory and self checking. The goals of this class are for students to possess increased self awareness, utilize executive functioning strategies, improved independence, enhanced academic performance and to transfer these skills from school to home and in their daily lives. Monthly progress reports are provided and regular communication between the teacher and parent(s) / guardian(s) are encouraged.

Math Support

When a student has math learning difficulties, whether diagnosed with dyscalculia or struggling with basic number facts or arithmetic, they may benefit from 1-1 or small group session,  which can focus on the the following:

  • Daily fluency practice
  • Use of manipulatives
  • Multisensory methods
  • Creative strategies for building fluency in math facts and standard algorithms
  • Visual Models
  • Concrete-Representational-Abstract instructional sequences
  • Metacognitive approach to problem solving methods
  • Connection to real world applications
Writing Support
  • Planning/pre-writing strategies
  • Vocabulary development
  • Sentence structure
  • Paragraph structure
  • Organization
  • Editing/revision