At IST, we value diversity in our learning community, including students with a diverse range of learning profiles. We work together to ensure that all students fulfill their potential. In other words, 100% of IST teachers are responsible for challenging, supporting and inspiring 100% of IST students.
The Student Services department works collaboratively with all educators at IST to remove barriers and ensure that each student receives the support they need to be an active and engaged member of their classroom community. IST uses a Multi-Tiered System of Supports model (MTSS) to adjust support based on academic, social-emotional and/or English-learning needs. At each tier of support, Student Services teachers, classroom teachers, specialist teachers, counselors and administrators work together to take collective responsibility for all students’ learning.
While service delivery models are flexible based on the needs of our student population, we prioritize Universal Design for Learning, co-planning, co-teaching and small group intervention as particularly effective models.
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a way of thinking about teaching and learning that helps give all students an equitable opportunity to succeed. While aiming for consistent learning objectives, we provide flexibility in the ways students access material, engage with it and show what they know. Developing lesson plans and assessments this way helps all students, especially those who learn and think differently.
Through co-planning and co-teaching, Learning Support and EAL teachers partner with classroom teachers, using a UDL lens to anticipate & eliminate barriers and create varied opportunities for students to demonstrate what they are learning.
Some students will also benefit from small group interventions. We have skills groups at elementary school and Learning Support or EAL classes at secondary school. During these classes, teachers focus on building skills to help the student access their general education content.