The individual student is at the heart of LREI’s learning support program. The learning support department works closely with faculty to address the needs of all students, scaffolding learners so that they can be successful in all areas of the program. The goal is to ensure educational equity by looking at the individual learner and targeting specific needs.
Our team of learning specialists utilizes both push-in and pull-out models of support, collaborating with teachers across all divisions. Of equal importance is the learning specialists’ role in curriculum design and implementation. Additionally, learning specialists work with school psychologists to align support of social/emotional needs with academic needs. Learning specialists stay in close communication with families and act as a liaison between home, school, teachers and outside support providers. Goals for our students include knowing themselves as learners, persevering through challenges, and becoming advocates for their own learning.
Across the span of our program, support manifests in a wide variety of ways. In the three divisions, learning specialists collaborate on curriculum design and implementation with teachers and help consider classroom supports for a variety of learning styles. Depending on the grade level, learning specialists may be guiding a reading group, teaching foundational reading and writing skills, or supporting individual students through the research and writing process. In the kindergarten classroom, writing takes place in small groups with three teachers, including an early childhood learning specialist, who is accessible to all children regardless of their level of proficiency. Teachers meet students at their developmental level, encouraging them to take risks and fostering courage and creativity. Students independently choose topics to write about, and individual students who need additional support work in small groups or one-on-one with the learning specialist. This lays the foundation for continued support as students move through all three divisions. Students are able to grow into strong, creative writers, given this foundation of early literacy strategies and targeted support.
The high school’s model of learning support, contextualized in the Learning Center @ LREI, is a student-driven model that allows all students access to support in all academic subject areas. Students can work with learning specialists in the learning center from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. in most subjects across grades. Students learn to identify when they need help and access the learning center as a tool to deepen understandings. In addition, many students work with the learning specialists to overcome challenges of academic anxiety, which often negatively affects a student’s abilities to produce best work. By pushing through the barriers that make school challenging and by using students’ inner courage, LREI’s learning center model reinvigorates the sense of joy in learning.