Differentiation and Student Support
St. Richard’s strives to support both the academic and social-emotional needs of students. We also recognize the challenges that, at times, may make learning difficult. The faculty has dedicated significant time to remain current with research on brain development and the best practices in education. These experiences have enhanced learning for all students.
Student Support Services was created in order to support the learning and social-emotional needs of all St. Richard’s students.
A Student Support Team meets weekly at each grade level to discuss students. Although the process of sharing information about students may vary slightly by division, the intent is the same. During these meetings a multi-disciplinary team comes together in order to identify student needs and develop a plan to address these needs. These teams, consisting of learning specialists, counselors, administrators, and our Dean of students. They bring the resources of the school together to support individual students and groups of students. In addition to discussing students who are in need of our support, we periodically touch base on each student in order to better ensure success for all.
The structures of the support at St. Richard’s vary each year depending on the specific needs of students. Based on various assessments, support is designed to scaffold the classroom curriculum and to enrich it. Various programs are available at each division to address the different academic and developmental needs of students. Members of the Student Support Team work with strong students to ensure an enriched experience.
Moreover, parents are an integral part of the St. Richard’s community and are encouraged to work collaboratively with the Student Support Team. A student, at times, presents differently at school than at home. Therefore, the insight of a parent is essential in order for us to create an effective plan to support any child.
We know that some extremely bright children can still struggle because of learning differences. Within the context of our academic program, daily schedule, and educational philosophy, we are committed to making reasonable accommodations to assist students with learning differences.
Accommodations are given in order to bypass an area of challenge so students can participate more fully and effectively in ongoing school activities and keep better pace with overall academic expectations. Accommodations do not fundamentally alter or lower the standards or expectations of the course or assessments, but are designed to “level the playing field” and make learning accessible for students with learning differences.
All requests for special accommodations must be based upon an educational and psychological evaluation completed within the past three years or a medical evaluation for a physical disability completed within the past year. Parents have the option to have their child evaluated at no cost by Indianapolis Public Schools, or through a private evaluator at their expense.
To receive accommodations:
1. The evaluation is shared with the Director of Learning Services (Mrs. Suzann Hummer).
2. A meeting is scheduled with members of the Student Support Team and the parent/guardian to review the evaluation and make connections with the student’s performance in school. At that meeting a plan will be developed to support the student, which will include appropriate accommodations.
3. The plan is reviewed periodically to determine if the student continues to benefit from these accommodations. Changes in accommodations and strategies are made as needed.
4. A re-evaluation is then completed approximately every three years in order to reassess the appropriateness of accommodations and better meet the students’ needs.
Evaluations are confidential and kept in a file separate from the student’s academic file. Information is shared with faculty members who work directly with the student.