Our students realize that everyone is unique and learns in different ways.
- ASH Teacher
Inclusion at ASH
It is a shared school belief that students from our international and mobile community deserve high quality education. Embracing each student’s differences and unique abilities adds to the rich diversity of our school community and establishes a culture of mutual benefit, where students learn from and care for one another. We believe that inclusion is the careful and intentional union of quality education, equity, and resources.
We understand the complexity of providing support for students with learning differences and we thoughtfully manage the number of students representing a wide range of learning abilities (i.e. mild, moderate, and intensive) to ensure a quality and equitable education for all of our students.
Our Learning Support team includes experienced professionals with specialized expertise in learning and intellectual disabilities, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, and evaluation and assessment. At this time, we have limited resources and abilities in meeting the needs of students with intensive emotional and behavioral challenges.
Learning Support is for students in grades 1–12 with identified learning disabilities or demonstrated learning difficulties. Learning Support provides remediation and academic support within the grade level curriculum; with a focus on supporting students in their areas of learning challenge while capitalizing on their strengths in order to bypass educational barriers.
Students who qualify for Learning Support work with our Learning Support teachers. The Learning Support teachers work in collaboration with classroom and special area teachers to ensure students have access to the grade level or appropriate curriculum. Learning Support teachers work directly with students who require additional academic support. This support takes place in both the classroom and Learning Support Class (LSC). The Learning Support teachers are responsible for collaborating with classroom teachers to ensure accommodations are implemented and to help differentiate instruction. Learning Support teachers maintain data in order to monitor student progress and to guide teacher instruction. They serve as resources for classroom teachers and parents, and provide insights related to disabilities and the impact of those disabilities in the classroom.
Learning Support teachers are also responsible for:
Providing parents and teachers with effective strategies and interventions related to a student’s disability or academic difficulty.
Assessing and reporting student progress.
Completing necessary paperwork (i.e. report cards, progress reports, Learning Support Plans (LSPs), etc.) in a timely manner.
Facilitating and/or participating in team meetings, Student Support Team (SST) meetings, and parent conferences
Case managing student programs.
Collaborating with classroom teachers throughout the referral process.
Collaborating with SLP, OT, Educational Psychologists, and other professionals providing services to students on caseload.
Advocating for the educational and social/emotional needs of students on their caseload.
Maintaining current knowledge of best practices in the field of learning disabilities.
Providing professional development to school faculty.
“Will the results of this evaluation inform our teaching and thus improve the student’s learning opportunities?” This is a critical question our Student Support Teams (SSTs) ask and answer prior to recommending a student undergo a psycho-educational evaluation.
Students may obtain an evaluation through the SST process. A complete referral form should be completed and the SST will analyze the data and determine if the evaluation is recommended in the following circumstances:
Change in program
Suspected disability & strategies tried overtime have not remediated or improved student progress and learning
Formal testing accommodations
To determine which program is most appropriate for student (i.e. Special Education, General Diploma, etc.)
Parent request (this is not a prioritized request; the evaluation will be administered after other recommended evaluations have been completed)
As a general rule, psycho-educational evaluations used to diagnose disabilities should document the following information:
The specific disability according to the DSM-V or other formal professional standards criteria.
The date the evaluation was administered. For an evaluation to be considered current, it must have been administered within 3-5 years of the evaluation date.
Relevant educational, developmental, and medical history.
Description of the evaluation tools administered. Standard and scaled scores must be included for all tests and subtests.
Description of the functional limitations or how learning is affected.
A comprehensive list of individualized accommodations and strategies that will allow the student to access the grade level curriculum or modifications if the student is unable to learn the grade level curriculum.
Professional credentials of the evaluator.
The School Psychologist will obtain written parent permission prior to conducting a psycho-educational evaluation. When a psycho-educational evaluation is completed, the School Psychologist will share the results with the parents, the student’s school team, and the student.
Speech and Language Description
In collaboration with the classroom teachers and other specialist teachers, the Speech & Language Pathologist (SLP) works individually with students or with small groups to support students with language development and communication difficulties. This support may take place in the classroom or in the speech room.
To qualify, a communication disorder must be evidenced that:
Adversely impacts educational performance
Interferes with intelligible communication, and/or
Affects social/emotional development or adjustment in the school setting.
Occupational Therapy Program Description
Occupational Therapy is provided by a qualified and experienced Occupational Therapist who specializes in providing therapy in the motor (gross, fine, planning, sequencing), sensory (tactile, self-regulation and modulation, vestibular), and functional (handwriting, visual/spatial, attention, organization, self-help) domains. Should the Occupational Therapist's caseload be at capacity, we will refer students to outside therapists.
The Occupational Therapist is also responsible for:
Providing parents information about occupational therapy strategies and interventions
Consulting with teachers about classroom strategies
Evaluating and screening students
Providing direct therapy to qualifying students
Completing necessary paperwork (i.e. evaluation reports, report cards, progress reports, LSPs, etc.) in a timely manner
Facilitating and/or participating in team meetings, SST meetings, and parent conferences
Case managing student programs when occupational therapy is the only support provided
Providing professional development to school faculty
Collaborating with other team members and school professionals
Our Special Education Program is classified as a self-contained classroom, with a large emphasis on inclusion. Leading this class is a certified special education teacher, whose expertise in educating students with intellectual disabilities will ensure that your child is provided with the opportunity to reach his or her potential at American School of The Hague. The teacher will develop and guide student programs, modify the curriculum to make it accessible to your child, and ensure that students have the support needed for gaining greater independence and functional academic skills. In a small classroom environment students will receive both individualized support as well as the maximum opportunities to be integrated into mainstream classes.
Teacher assistants will support students with their individualized plans in addition to working with them in their mainstream classes. Close American School of The Hague is committed to the development of an inclusive school environment. Our priority is to develop a quality program that meets the learning goals of children with significant special needs. This includes having a highly qualified and experienced teacher designing functional academic programs for students while also ensuring that students in the program are provided with the opportunities to become integral members of our community.
The Enrichment Model includes a continuum of services, and is based on a growth mindset where intelligence is perceived as malleable and task commitment is a key feature. In the Upper Elementary and Middle School, Enrichment Specialists provide extension opportunities for students who have reached mastery level with respect to specific knowledge and skills. The Enrichment Specialists work with identified groups of students on particular concepts with increasing depth and complexity. In ongoing collaboration, classroom teachers also provide opportunities for students to excel by providing appropriate levels of choice and challenge. These enrichment opportunities are available throughout the year, and student participation is fluid, based on demonstrated ability. This is determined in multiple ways including pre-assessments, standardized test results, teacher observations, previous identification and other referrals. The enrichment needs of students in the High School are met through classroom differentiation, mentoring, leveled courses, and a wide variety of extra-curricular activities. In addition, the Enrichment Specialists are available for consultation, as needed, about extension opportunities at the Early Childhood Center and in High School.