Additional Student Learning Supports
Addressing the Needs of Special Populations
The virtual schedule across the division is structured to provide opportunities for targeted services for special populations. Students receiving EL services will receive services virtually through a dedicated English Language Development block. Special Education services will be provided in accordance with the student’s IEP in a virtual format.
- Students with Disabilities - Students with disabilities receive services across an educational continuum. Teachers and case managers will coordinate schedules and communicate with parents as to how these virtual services will be provided in conjunction with general education programming. Students in the citywide classrooms will receive their direct instruction in a virtual format beginning in September. ACPS is exploring the feasibility of a phased face to face return to brick and mortar schools for students with disabilities beginning with students in citywide classrooms beginning in late September and into October. As that plan is finalized, it will be communicated with the community. Related service therapies will continue in a teletherapy format.
- English Learners (EL) - English learner students will receive language services in the general education classroom and during a dedicated English language development block. English learner teachers will collaborate with general education teachers in the planning of content lessons and activities for EL students, scaffold content materials to ensure that ACPS EL Best Practices are integrated in the design and delivery of lessons and activities, participate in Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) to support instruction for EL students, and support EL students through small group instruction embedded in content learning. Through the dedicated ELD block, EL students will receive direct instruction from EL teachers utilizing curricula that are aligned with the WIDA ELD standards, incorporate the four domains of language (listening, speaking, reading and writing) in the explicit teaching of academic language across the content areas, specify language objectives that encompass the language functions and features of the content themes, skills and genres, and are differentiated to meet each student’s language level.
- Talented and Gifted - Talented and Gifted (TAG) students receiving General Intellectual Aptitude (GIA), Specific Academic Aptitude (SAA), and Young Scholars services will be served via a schedule determined at the school level. GIA and Young Scholars instruction may be delivered as part of the regular classroom instruction or during an Intervention/Enrichment(IE) block. TAG 4th and 5th grade reading and math services will continue to be delivered by the TAG teacher. Differentiated Education Plan (DEPs) will be sent to parents by their homeroom or Honors teachers online either via Canvas, email or both during the first week of October and then at the end of each grade reporting period throughout the year.
- Disconnected With School During Spring Closure - As a part of identifying student needs, each school’s Student Support Team members will work with classroom teachers and administrators to identify students who were disconnected with the school in the spring. Additional outreach will take place to remove any learning barriers that students might have experienced during the spring. Staff will emphasize relationship building with any student who has been disengaged and will work to provide wraparound services as needed to ensure students are available for instruction in the fall. School social workers will work with classroom teachers to monitor attendance patterns and intervene with students and families if concerns continue to exist. The social-emotional screeners will also be used as a part of the MTSS process to assist in identifying students who require additional support.
- Young Learners - Young children benefit from positive adult-child interactions, a predictable routine, and a play-based approach to learning. Teachers support children’s learning through differentiation of instruction and by addressing students’ strengths and needs through flexible grouping, support for social-emotional and self-regulation skills, Guided Language Acquisition Development strategies (PreK-GLAD), and one-on-one instruction. Evidence-based instructional practices will include actionable feedback, non-linguistic representations, cooperative learning, and work samples. Pictures, visuals, real objects, and physical movement will be embedded into the learning. Learning will be synchronous and asynchronous, and access to these opportunities will be facilitated by the district’s provision of tablets for each of our youngest learners. Preschool families will receive a choice board activity packet and materials kit to support and supplement teacher instruction.
Across the division, we will create a family engagement professional learning committee (PLC) responsible for effectively implementing family engagement best practices identified with guidelines, and for working with ACPS FACE to facilitate virtual quarterly workshops for families. Additionally, we will create a school-based family engagement PLC to identify a member to serve as a liaison between the school community and the Office of School and Community Relations to ensure collaborative, two-way communication. This PLC will also collaborate with the Office of School and Community Relations to develop a train-the-trainer model for developing skills to engage and support families effectively. This PLC will also survey family and school communities to identify family engagement workshop topics (i.e., how to connect online, supporting academic learning at home, and promoting social-emotional well-being of their children). This PLC will also collaborate with other offices/departments to determine processes for holding virtual Parent-Teacher conferences
Additional strategies at the school level may include:
- Host monthly multilingual virtual principal chats.
- Parent Liaisons/Student Support Teams (SST) to provide direct calls weekly to check-in and share essential information and resources to families.
- Communication Liaisons share essential information/resources in multiple languages through social media and school newsletters to families and key stakeholders (i.e., PTA and community organizations that directly serve school community/families).
- Parent Liaisons to share essential information/resources through multilingual text messaging to school community/families.
- Teachers facilitate virtual home visits to support families and students.