With each child being created in God’s image and being a reflection of Him in many ways, we get a broad spectrum of beautiful gifts and learning styles. At Byron Center Christian School, our goal is to help every child to work to their fullest ability. Our school is blessed because of this great variety. With this in mind, we take a special approach to inclusive education. The thing is, you might not ever notice the amazing work that our Educational Support Services (ESS) team does, because it is meant to blend seamlessly within the classroom. Our desire is to educate parents on what an amazing benefit and blessing ESS can be to a wide range of students. ESS Director, Kathy Fleet, said last spring in the New Family Orientation, parents often take an apprehensive sigh when they get a call from her, thinking, “What’s wrong with my child?” If there is frustration in the home or at school for the student or parent concerning their education, ESS is a welcome set of eyes on each student.
The analytical and intervention approach are all geared toward each student’s success. Anything that interferes with a student’s ability is covered by ESS. There are many factors, such as attention, anxiety, learning differences, physical and/ or social skill needs. This is why our team has a response to intervention framework that includes four tiers. Intervention is simply the word used when ESS becomes involved with helping a student.
FOUR TIERS OF INTERVENTION
1. The ESS staff provide consultation to the general education teacher to assist with meeting student needs in the classroom (i.e. seating placement).
2. ESS staff design a more targeted approach for various students which could include a paraprofessional in the room. Progress is monitored.
3. When Tiers 1 & 2 have not met the needs, then a more intensive intervention is provided outside the classroom by a highly qualified teacher (one of the ESS staff). One example is Reading Recovery.
4. Students will have an Individual Education Plan (IEP) to include frequent and complete monitoring of all academics by ESS staff. Most of these students will have a full time instructional aide throughout the day to promote inclusion.
It is often thought that the current children placed in Tier 4 are the only children that our team services. However, there are approximately 75 students in their care. Our ESS team meets with each teacher weekly to assess each plan in place and diligently reviews all of our students’ needs. Parents are contacted if a student requires Tier 2 involvement. If you feel that our team would be beneficial in helping your student succeed, the ESS team is here for you.
An ESS plan can be initiated by our team or the parent. Our team creates individual plans to build on your student’s strengths, providing opportunities for them to develop strategies surrounding triggers that prohibit education for themselves or others, and they are always solution-finding in their approach. As parents, you wonder if you are making the right choices for your child, and with an ESS partnership, you can feel more confident in how your child is doing at school. Discover the Difference of what Educational Support Services can do for your family.