Duke School is committed to addressing the needs of our students. As is true in all schools, some students have learning differences or social/emotional needs that require additional support. Therefore, we have the Student Support Team as a resource for children, teachers and parents. This team is comprised of classroom teachers, the Student Support Specialist, and the Lower and Middle School director. In the Middle School, this team could also include the Guidance Counselor.
While our low teacher-to-student ratio, flexible curriculum, and social-emotional learning program enable teachers to differentiate instruction for our students, the Student Support Team may determine that interventions, specialized instruction through the Learning Center, and/or classroom accommodations are necessary to ensure success in the classroom. Interventions and strategies used in the school setting must be within the resources, scope and philosophy of Duke School. Parents are actively involved in all stages of the Student Support process. Classroom teachers and/or a representative of the Student Support Team will keep parents updated about next steps, plans and interventions.
If an evaluation is needed to obtain further information to effectively support the student, teachers and a representative from the Student Support Team meets with parents to discuss this request. The Student Support team will provide names of professionals who perform in-depth evaluations. Testing is arranged and paid for by the parents and funds are available to assist qualifying families with the cost associated with evaluations. Duke School requires that parents seek testing in a timely manner, share a copy of the full report with the Student Support Team, and follow up with recommendations of the evaluation as it pertains to the student’s success. It is also important to establish communication between professionals outside the school in order to maintain a cohesive intervention and follow-up plan. Duke School will adhere to the ethics of confidentiality pertaining to psychological testing and evaluation results.
THE LEARNING CENTER
The Learning Center is an additional fee service that Duke School provides to students who could benefit from specialized instruction and is initiated through a teacher referral. The supportive environment of the Learning Center allows students to become aware of their individual learning styles and develop strategies that address their strengths and challenges. The Student Support Specialist collaborates with teachers so aspects of the classroom curriculum can be integrated into the student’s work in the Learning Center which allows the students the opportunity to apply targeted skills to their classroom work.
Students enrolled in the Learning Center work with the Student Support Specialist during the school day, either within the classroom and/or in a small group setting, up to five times a week. Goals are established by the team and monitored on an ongoing basis. Progress is shared with parents at conferences and in conjunction with Progress Reports.