The resource program provides students with learning differences assistance in developing strategies which allow them to learn through their strengths and to circumvent their weaker areas. The program provides assistance to parents and teachers as they work together to identify areas of need, develop a course of action and monitor progress.
Description of the Program:
- Students work individually or in small groups with a resource teacher.
- Class sessions focus on developing skills and strategies to help students be more successful in their studies.
- Students learn to recognize their own learning styles.
- Students learn to advocate for themselves.
- Resource teachers consult regularly with classroom teachers to discuss progress of all students and to offer strategies and suggestions.
Goals of the Program:
- Create a climate that celebrates diversity
- Develop an appreciation of individual differences as adaptive and complementary within a community of learners
- Develop in students an awareness of their own learning profile and empower them to develop a repertoire of learning strategies that work for them
- Develop self advocacy skills that will transfer to higher education settings
- Create an atmosphere in which parents and teachers work collaboratively with students to maximize learning and personal growth.
Why A Resource Program?
Because students have different profiles of intelligence, they learn in different ways and at different paces. At time diverse learning needs are difficult to meet completely in the classroom setting. Resource provides a smaller setting and affords the opportunity of one to one or small group interaction with a learning specialist.
- Resource teachers work with a variety of students to assist classroom teachers in assessing needs and strengths.
- Resource teachers work with students to help develop basic reading skills including:
- Decoding skills
- Sight word knowledge
- Reading fluency
- Comprehension skills
- Study skills
- Writing skills used in relation to reading
- Resource teachers work with students to improve Math skills and conceptual understanding using a variety of methods.
- Emphasis shifts to working with students on “how to learn”
- Classes on Reading and Study Skills in the Content Area teach students strategies differentiated for their needs.
- how to gain knowledge from a textbook
- how to take notes
- how to study
- how to analyze errors on tests and quizzes
- Classes on Writing in the Content Area
- writing complete term definitions
- answering section and chapter questions in a complete and organized manner
- answering different types of essay questions
- following the writing process to write essays on subject area topics
- proofreading strategies
- Classes on Executive Functioning Skills
- Organization of materials, lockers and assignments
- Time management
- Classroom etiquette
- Active listening skills
- Memory and test taking skills
How are students identified for Resource services?
Teachers meet monthly in problem solving teams with a resource teacher to discuss students whom they have concerns. Problems are indentified and various possible solution strategies are implemented and monitored. Depending on the problem, at times parent meetings are convened to further discuss the issues and involve the parents in solution strategies. When strategies attempted are not working adequately, to ameliorate the problem, parents and team meet with an administrator and school psychologist to discuss further professional assessment either by a resource teacher or outside professionals. After results of that evaluation process are received in written form, another parent-school team meeting is convened to implement an intervention plan based on the findings and recommendations that service is offered to the student.
A Final Note
Parish schools across the country are welcoming students with disabilities and we are excited to be part of it. We are now working to broaden the scope of our resource program. Opening doors to better serve our parish community is an extension of what we already do. The benefits seen are not only for those with special needs but also for the faculty, staff, and other students. We look forward to joining other Catholic schools in increasing awareness that inclusive Catholic education is possible and available at Blessed Sacrament. In an effort to expand our resource department, we are interested in accepting children with broader range of low incidence disabilities. If you may not have considered Blessed Sacrament in the past because of developmental delays or cognitive impairment, we would welcome the opportunity to speak with you.