Student Support Services
AIS honors each student’s right to learn and grow in a collaborative partnership with teachers, parents and peers. In order to meet the unique needs of our diverse learners, we educate, support, and counsel students in the most appropriate and inclusive setting possible, within the capacity of the school’s facilities, resources, and support personnel. Students across all divisions can receive one or more of our support services.
Our support networks are strategically organized to guide and support students to be their most successful. All counseling, EAL, Learning Support programs, practices and procedures are designed to engage students in discovering and developing their unique path toward personal and academic success. With high quality instruction aimed at success for each student, we seek to provide a personalized approach to learning within a nurturing learning environment.
We recognize that not all students take the same path toward achieving the same curricular standards or the same path toward discovering their interests and passions. We guide students to understand their unique learning styles, monitor and achieve meaningful goals, advocate for their own learning needs and to discover their own talents and passions.
AIS believes that learning happens best when the family, caregivers, student, and school staff understand students’ overall learning profile (strengths, needs, interests, temperament, social-emotional, etc.) in order to work as a Student Support Team to provide students with an environment of inclusion, a growth mindset, and curriculum and assessment practices that:
- Measure growth
- Are data-driven
- Promote social-emotional well-being
- Include self-advocacy/self-awareness
Our Student Support Team
Supporting students with diverse learning needs is fundamental to who we are as a school and how we build a compassionate and rich learning community. AIS is committed to well-designed, research-based and thoughtfully implemented teaching and learning practices that embrace a diverse range of learning differences.
Our Student Support Team, consisting of our counselors, Learning Support Specialists, Principals, Learning Support Instructional Assistants, EAL teachers (when appropriate), and the Dean of Curriculum at the high school level, are highly trained, committed educators, dedicated to creating an environment where students can develop strategies and skills for success, while accessing core-content information. Our educators work closely with classroom teachers and administrators to offer the best services for each student, while also developing a strong, supportive connection with students in the program.
Our Learning Support teachers are specialists in the field and strive to work collaboratively with classroom teachers to design, plan and implement instructional support. AIS provides ongoing professional development and support for our faculty to meet the needs of diverse learners in the classroom.
Learning Support teachers collaborate with classroom teachers in differentiating instruction to address students’ varying needs in order to establish proficiency in meeting standards. We use a consultative model in which specialists communicate, working directly with classroom teachers in developing not only accommodations and strategies for specific students.Learning Support teachers guide and instruct students with learning differences to create a collaborative and dynamic environment in which learning is maximized. We teach students to understand their learning profile including strengths and challenges, advocate for their needs and to utilize a variety of specific learning strategies- and ultimately become independent learners.
We engage in structured, data-driven problem solving and set and measure goals relative to student strengths, needs and present-level of performance. We also engage in ongoing professional development to keep current with evidence-based best practices in the field.
Our Program: What We Offer
Our program is provided by trained professionals using a service delivery model of small group or in-class support in collaboration with classroom teachers for instructional accommodations.
We utilize a variety of intervention models such as individual and small group instruction, specially designed instruction or in-class assistance and instructional accommodations within the regular classroom. The Learning Support staff provides specific academic intervention and works with teachers to implement strategies in the classroom that result in an optimal learning experience for every child. Our goal is for students to become independent, lifelong learners. Support is in addition to core academic instruction, not in place of mainstream curriculum. Areas targeted in specialized instructional settings include, but are not limited to: social-emotional growth, reading, writing, mathematics, core-content instruction, time-management, organization, self-advocacy, study skills, and learning strategies. In the elementary grades, students in Learning Support receive direct instruction and remediation as appropriate based on individual needs. Students across the grade levels receive developmentally appropriate support, which decreases as students become more independent with their learning.
Learning differences are specific impairments that impact information acquisition, processing, comprehension, organization, memory recall or use. Our program offers a range of academic support services to children with mild levels of need, by providing learning accommodations. The distinction between mild and moderate needs is commonly defined by the services provided. Mild levels of student learning needs are met predominantly by flexible in-class support, accommodations and small-group support. Moderate levels of need would be serviced through individualized intervention at all levels; however, modifications to the curriculum are not provided at the middle and high school levels.
Overview of Support
AIS Vienna is a college preparatory program that accepts and serves students with a diversity of mild and moderate learning differences. We enroll students with documented mild and moderate learning differences who can be successful within our mainstream classrooms with support.
As a school, we can:
- Differentiate instruction
- Implement accommodations
- Provide learning support and/or Study Skills classes
- Provide support with instructional assistants in the classroom
- Monitor student progress towards defined goals
- Communicate regularly with parents and teachers
We are not able to:
- Make modifications to the curriculum
- Accept students with significant behavioral or emotional challenges
- Accept students with significant learning differences or cognitive impairment
- Accept students who require services or facilities not provided by AIS
AIS is unable to provide support for students who:
- Require learning support that exceeds our staffing capacity
- Are likely not able to access grade level curricular demands with accommodations
- Have emotional/behavioral controls that are beyond the staffing and facility limitations at AIS
Our counseling team is committed to providing services to support all our students and their families throughout their school experience in a safe and supportive environment.
We have four counselors serving the school community: one at elementary, one at middle, and two at high school. Our collaborative approach with students, parents, and teachers supports the positive social emotional well-being and growth, as well as the building of resilience and academic success.
Elementary Reading Intervention Program
The purpose of reading intervention services is to increase the reading comprehension skills and reading levels of students approaching grade level reading standards. Our program is guided by the following principles:
- Decisions are data-driven; benchmark and progress monitoring data will be triangulated with classroom assessments
- Intervention instruction is explicit, sequential, and direct
- Phonological skills (phonemic awareness, rapid letter naming, sound-letter correspondence) are early predictors of future reading success
English as an Additional Language
The English as an Additional Language (EAL) Team believes that students who are developing proficiency in English learn best when learning includes access to grade level academic language and inclusion in the social-cultural context of the grade level classroom.
Our EAL program is committed to providing each EAL student with the English language support they need to be socially and academically successful, while valuing their home culture and mother tongue development. This program allows our non-native English speakers to acquire the level of English they need to communicate effectively and successfully in social and academic situations for the whole of their educational career.
We are proud to serve a large population of students from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds. We strive to respect, value, and celebrate our diversity. Our students come to us with a wide variety of previous experiences and social/emotional needs. We believe that all students deserve compassionate and responsive support at each step in their educational journey.