Learning Support

The American Community School aims to respond to the diverse needs of students who encounter mild difficulties in the learning process through the Learning Support program. Students experiencing a specific challenge require support in the development of learning acquisition skills and strategies that will enable them to succeed within the mainstream class.  Through on-going observation, assessment and evaluation teachers can establish the steps students need to follow in order to be successful in their learning.

ACS defines students with mild learning difficulties as students who require additional support in the areas of reading, writing, speaking, math, language processing and organizational/study habits.  Students with mild learning difficulties are within one year of grade level expectations and do not require instructional modification to the mainstream educational program.  ACS defines modification as a change in the curriculum in terms of goals, expectations, level of performance or content.

ACS provides limited services to students with learning difficulties. Students with mild learning difficulties will be considered for enrollment as long as ACS can responsibly serve their learning needs. ACS will not generally admit students with moderate to severe learning difficulties.

Admission Procedure

Parents must complete the online application. If a review of the records and recommendations raises any concerns the school will contact the parents to request additional information or clarification which may also include getting permission from the parent to contact the previous school. Updated evaluations may also be requested. In cases where the records alone do not provide a clear picture of the applicant’s ability to be a successful student at ACS, it may be necessary to screen the applicant before the child is admitted. The team completing the screening will give careful consideration to factors such as:

  • Student’s age
  • School records:
    • academic level/performance
    • attendance
    • behavior (effort, attention concerns, social/emotional/behavior concerns)
  • Type of program at former school (for example, school calendar, age to grade relationship, accredited program)
  • Time of the year student is seeking admission
  • English language development
  • Self-help skills
  • Special services required (i.e. educational support programs)
  • Grade level applied for
  • Physical abilities/limitations

When the screening has been completed, a recommendation will be formulated as to whether the school can meet the child’s needs.

Learning Support Program

Learning Support provides students with the opportunity to develop and strengthen specific skills in order for them to become successful learners in the regular education classroom. The goal of the program is to support students with mild learning difficulties in the areas of reading, writing, math, processing skills and organizational skills. If Learning Support and other strategies are not sufficient to help a student be successful in the regular education classroom, ACS reserves the right to request that parents obtain further testing from outside professionals and/or provide a qualified, native English speaking tutor at the parents’ expense. If interventions and provided supports are not successful, parents will be asked to find an alternative educational placement for their child. When a student is transitioning from Elementary to Middle School, or from Middle School to High School, ACS may deny admission to the next grade if performance and records indicate the student has not gained the necessary skills to be successful and/or has learning needs beyond the scope of support of the next division.

Individual Learning Plans 

An Individual Learning Plan (ILP) is developed for each student enrolled in the Learning Support programs. This plan outlines individualized goals, objectives, and accommodations to promote student learning and success. The ILP is reviewed and updated annually to ensure the goals and objectives reflect the student’s current needs in order to promote continued academic growth.

Typical ES Learning Support Program at ACS

  Direct Services Indirect Services

Elementary School
Grades 1 to 5

  • A need-based schedule is created by which students will receive 2 or more support sessions weekly of a minimum of 20 minutes each. This support is a combination of push-in (in the regular classroom) and pull-out (in the Learning Support classroom) depending on the needs of the student
  • Differentiation 
  • Accommodations 
  • Collaboration with content teachers
  • Provision of resources to teachers
  • Classroom level accommodations