Academic support at Community School of Naples (CSN) is designed to meet the needs of students with language-based and executive functioning learning differences. CSN students who receive academic support possess average to superior cognitive abilities, are motivated to learn and have healthy social and emotional relationships with peers and adults. Support is provided through small group and individualized remediation explicitly taught strategies, and/or consultative services. We provide all students with access to research-based methods and high-quality instructional techniques that aim to maximize their learning. Academic support consistently focuses on helping students capitalize on their strengths while developing skills and strategies in areas of challenge. Our goal is to nurture personal and academic growth, self-confidence, and self-advocacy to develop independence, ownership and needed competencies to help each child realize his or her own success.
Academic support is organized by the division to ensure that all levels of remediation, reinforcement, and transition are implemented to effectively serve students with learning differences in grades Pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade. Teachers, administrators, and support staff work closely to monitor student progress to ensure timely interventions as needed. In addition to the School Support Team, CSN collaborates with Naples-based speech therapists, occupational therapists, and tutors to provide students with assistance and extra support during the school day. Support personnel work with each division to schedule their pullout time and are provided an on-campus space to work with their designated student(s). CSN believes that working with providers in the community reduces the logistical challenges of traveling to appointments after the school day has ended. Additionally, our relationship with these specialists allows them to work closely with classroom teachers to ensure that the educational team is working to achieve shared goals. Academic support presents itself differently as students transition from Lower School to Middle School and Middle School to Upper School. Transition meetings are held across divisions to anticipate the needs of individual students and prepare support plans for the following academic year.
To assist CSN with personalizing the educational environment through academic support, students who wish to receive accommodations must:
- Submit to CSN a current (no more than three years old) psycho-educational evaluation completed by a licensed psychological professional. To ensure that learning plans are customized to the CSN experience, public school IEPs, 504 plans, or other learning plans issued by other schools cannot serve as substitutes for a full psych-ed evaluation.
- Literacy and math support teachers provide academic support, remediation, and organizational strategies to students in one-on-one and small group settings.
- Literacy and math support teachers provide resources and multiple levels of materials and texts to classroom teachers for remediation of skills taught.
- Literacy support teachers are trained in Lindamood-Bell’s Seeing Stars, a research-based program for students with dyslexia and other language-based learning differences.
- Literacy support teachers visit individual classrooms to further reinforce skills and strategies within the classroom-learning environment.
- Math support teachers meet with identified students in a small group setting to provide a slower pace, remediation, and reinforcement of skills and strategies.
- Students with language-based learning disabilities are permitted exemption from world language to allow time for additional one-on-one support from literacy and math support teachers.
- Core and special area classes are typically executed with a multisensory instructional approach that allows students to process information using a variety of senses simultaneously, i.e., visual, auditory, tactile, and kinesthetic.
- Assisted technology is utilized as a support strategy; students learn to use programs such as voice to text and audiobooks to further ensure their academic success.
- Classroom teachers design and develop curriculum to accommodate student diversity, including learning gaps, challenges, and differences. Support is integrated into the pedagogical model.
- Each Middle School student is assigned to a Middle School Advisory. The advisory program includes academic coaching as well as a daily, designated study hall.
- Students with documented learning differences and recommended accommodations receive the accommodations offered by the division; additionally, time and space before, after, and during the school day are available for outside tutors and specialists who are secured by families to provide additional support services on the CSN campus.
- Students are assigned math support classes when supplemental instruction and/or time are needed in mathematics.
- Middle School teachers, as outlined on individual course syllabi, offer time to meet with students outside of class, not one-to-one tutoring, but in course-specific, assignment-specific support
- Upper School students offer peer tutoring to Middle School students in numerous subject areas; the tutoring is sometimes scheduled during the school day and sometimes before or after school as availability allows.
- The Upper School Academic Dean, in conjunction with the Head of Upper School, coordinates academic accommodations as documented in the psych-ed evaluation, including:
- 50% Extended Time
- Small-Group Testing
- Assistive Technology (including voice-to-text and text-to-speech)
- Supplemental Notes (provided by the teacher or a class peer)
- Use of Laptop
- Preferential Seating
- CSN administrators will assist students and families in submitting the required documentation to the ACT and/or College Board, both of which make determinations on standardized testing accommodation independent of what CSN recognizes.
- Flex period, offered every day for 30 minutes after lunch, allows students a common time to collaborate with each other and their teachers as needed.
- Peer tutoring is made available to all students seeking additional support across a variety of disciplines.
- The daily advisory program provides each individual student with his or her own advisor, who helps to develop a student’s self-advocacy and executive functioning skills, which will be essential as the student progresses through Upper School and enters post-secondary education.
- Advisors meet (by grade) on a monthly basis to update administrators on the academic and social well-being of their students. For students struggling in either/both of these areas, the advisor or an administrator will call a meeting with the student, parents, and his/her teachers to share concerns and set an action plan for improvement.