—John Dinner, Coordinator, Student Success
It is a trademark of the RLC teaching and learning community that we work, always, to ensure the particular needs of each student are thoughtfully and carefully accommodated. This assurance is at the heart of our personalized learning approach. By participating in a student-centred professional community, RLC teachers truly know their students. The positive relationships teachers form with their students, and the dynamic and creative learning cultures they cultivate, ensures unending access and opportunities to express learning for each student.
Coordinator of Student Success
John Dinner, the RLC Coordinator of Student Success, is a certified special education teacher with a passion for supporting students that extends through his entire career. He builds and maintains the Individual Student Success Strategies (the ISS is RLC’s equivalent of an IEP) for each student requiring accommodations for particular learning needs and challenges. The coordinator of Student Success works individually with students to build learning strategies, as well as with teachers to identify and implement effective approaches to teaching and assessment.
Learning Strategies Courses
Learning Strategies Courses that intentionally support students in the development of executive functioning skills, are offered to RLC students in Grades 9 and 10. In general, any student within these grade levels who is supported by an ISS is strongly encouraged to enroll in a Learning Strategies course. Also, the Learning Strategies curriculum is embedded throughout all parts of the Foundation Years Program, ensuring a strong base of skills with which to enter high school.
Supporting students is in our nature
While we ask teachers to accommodate the needs of all students, we do not, as a school, modify programming, maintaining the overall curriculum and consistent expectations and learning outcomes for all students. It is important to note, however, that the nature of learning at RLC ensures extensive support and accommodation for each student. Learning at RLC is student centred, placing a strong emphasis on experience (often in the outdoors), inquiry and creativity. Students are often designers of their own learning and the essential questions driving learning, participating in the planning of experiences, and the creation of assessments and assessment tools.
Support for students is provided through a multi-level approach meant to provide universal strategies which can benefit all students alongside teacher and student specific strategies which support a particular challenge or provide targeted enrichment opportunities.
Level 1 - Whole School Integration
The executive functioning skills embedded into the Foundation Years Program is an example of a whole school strategy which provides valuable learning that can benefit all students.
Another whole school strategy is “chunking” or breaking down large assignments into smaller, more manageable pieces, where students have the opportunity to conference with teachers and receive feedback on their process before submitting a final project. This approach is used at all grade levels and in all disciplines to help students to learn to manage their time, content, and resources.
All students are part of Mentor Groups which meet twice weekly with their Mentor Teacher; these small groups (6-8 students) provide an excellent opportunity for regular check-ins and conversations about student learning.
Students who will benefit from enrichment and extension at any grade level or in any discipline can be provided with opportunities to stretch and dive into new areas for deeper learning.
Level 2 - Targeted Intervention
Some students may require specific strategies on an ad hoc basis to meet with success. This will look different for each student who requires this level of support, and may include some or all of the following:
Level 3 - Intensive Intervention
A small number of students may require more intensive strategies over a fixed period of time and feedback in order to meet with success. This will look different for each student who requires this level of support, and may include some or all of the following: