Special Educational Needs (SEN Policy)

Guiding Principles, Definitions and Practices, Policies and Practices

1.The primary purpose of the Special Educational Needs Policy is to recognize individual learning needs of students and to support all learners to access the full curriculum and succeed.

2.Bi-weekly, Student Services meetings are held throughout the year, attended by the five Upper School Counsellors, MYP Coordinator, DP Coordinator, Vice Principals and School Psychologist, where learning and behavior issues are discussed. Teachers report student concerns through emails to the Student Services Team prior to the meeting.

3.When a potential learning challenge is identified by teachers and discussed in the Student Services meeting, it will be brought forward to students and parents through face-to-face meetings. At these meetings there is the student’s guidance counsellor plus one or more of the following individuals: MYP Coordinator, DP Coordinator, Vice Principal, School Psychologist, Principal. In the case of DP students, as the recommendation, intervention, modification invariably has an impact on the student’s DP programme, the DP Coordinator is always a part of these meetings.

4.All students who are identified as having substantial learning challenges will be recommended for diagnostic testing (Psycho-Educational Assessment) through an outside agency. The school psychologist and counsellors have a list of recommended local certified and reputable psychologists that they will make available to parents and students. These psychologists have worked with the school for many years and the school has a high level of confidence in the testing done and the recommendations made.

5.As a result of recommendations of the formal Psycho-Educational Assessment, adjustments will be made in the classroom setting to enable student success. (These adjustments may include change of position in the classroom for students, extra time and/ or private room for writing quizzes and tests, scribes, use of keyboard, etc.)

6.Any adjustments to teaching and learning that are made (as a result of the Psycho-Educational Assessment Report) are discussed in advance with parents and students and their wishes are considered.

7.All teachers will be made aware of recommendations and asked to make adjustments accordingly. These recommendations are reviewed regularly at Student Services meetings and counsellors and coordinators communicate regularly with teachers to make sure that recommendations are being followed up.

8.In the case of DP students, the IBDP Coordinator will send the Psycho-Educational Assessment Report to the IBO with completed Special Consideration (D1/D2) form to the IBO one year in advance of the IBDP Exams.

9.The IBDP Coordinator will report back to individual students, parents, counsellors and teachers regarding the outcome of the Special Consideration decision by the IBO for exams.

10.During the May IBDP Exams, extra rooms with invigilators will be organized, scribes made available, laptops cleared and time extended in compliance with the recommendations for special consideration by the IBO.

11.All Upper School Teachers are required to hold weekly tutorial sessions (at a regular posted time and location) to provide individual and smaller group instruction to support student learning and individual student learning needs. All teachers are aware of the importance of differentiated learning and the required weekly tutorial time allows for more one-on-one interaction and focus on differentiated teaching. Department Heads are asked to include differentiated learning in their regular department meetings and to discuss successful differentiation methods within their subject discipline and best practice.

12.An extensive process of course selection happens upon entry into the IBDP. Recommendations by Teachers, Counsellors and IBDP Coordinator are made to assist students with course selection that is a best fit for each student, considering success and challenges in the MYP Programme. A distinct advantage of the CDNIS Diploma Programme is that we have a wide variety of course of offerings (e.g. 4 in Group all offered at the HL and SL level; 4 in Group 4 with three offered at the HL and SL level and ESS as an SL elective; 4 in Group 6 all offered at the HL and SL level). It is our firm belief that we can find a programme that fits every student’s needs and we look to support each and every student as an individual learner in their learning path through their final two years of secondary school study. Students have the option of doing certificates only and we have had a few students do this (6 out of 286 in our first 3 cohorts) because it is truly the best learning path for them. Nevertheless, we endeavour to keep students in the full programme to the greatest extent possible, giving them options to maximize their success and create the opportunity to gain the full rich DP experience.

ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Administrators

Upper School Vice Principals attend the bi-monthly Student Services meetings and are made aware of all students who are having learning and behavioral challenges. The Upper School Principal is involved in on-going discussions, support of students, and is made aware of all assessments for special consideration.

MYP and DP Coordinators

The IB Coordinators are in attendance at the bi-monthly meetings and contribute to all discussions on student learning needs. Along with the counsellors, the IBDP Coordinator meets with students and parents regarding recommendations for Psycho-Educational reports. Copies of Psycho Educational reports are kept in the IBDP Coordinator office and copies are sent to the IBO for Special Consideration in DP. The IBDP Coordinator is responsible for communicating with students, parents and teachers on Special Consideration granted by the IBO. The IBDP Coordinator (with the help of the IB Assistant and Invigilation team) arranges for extra rooms, extra invigilation time, cleared computers, scribes, etc. for all students who have been provided with special consideration for exams by the IBO.)

Counsellors

The five Counsellors are in attendance at the bi-monthly Student Services meeting. Along with the IB Coordinators, Counsellors communicate with students and parents regarding learning challenges identified by teachers. Counsellors provide on-going support to individual students and make recommendations of psychologists who can administer the Psycho-Educational assessment when required. Copies of Psycho-Educational reports are kept in the student services offices in student files.

School Psychologist

The School Psychologist attends the Student Services meetings and is made aware of any challenges students have. The School Psychologist, along with Counsellors makes 3 recommendations of outside specialists to support students with testing and further support. The School Psychologist works with the IBDP Coordinator to determine recommendations to the IBO for Special Consideration from the Psycho-Educational report.

Subject Teachers

Subject teachers have a key role in recognizing students with learning challenges at the school. It is the responsibility of Subject Teachers to communicate any concerns regarding learning needs to Counsellors and IB Coordinators on a regular basis. Any significant concerns should be forwarded for discussion at Student Services meeting. Subject teachers are expected to engage in and conduct differentiation in their classrooms to acknowledge and support different learning styles and learning pathways.