Student Support Services Policy
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The International School of Belgrade (ISB) is committed to being a Diverse, Equitable and Inclusive school community and will actively seek to embody these values in all aspects of school life. ISB is committed to being proactive in promoting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, where we consider:
- Diversity to be the representation of different and unique identities, characteristics, experiences and perspectives.
- Equity is ensuring everyone has what they need to succeed by increasing access, resources, and opportunities for all; especially for those who are underrepresented and have been historically disadvantaged.
- Inclusion to represent a welcoming culture in which differences are celebrated and everyone is valued, respected, and able to reach their full potential.
At ISB, we are dedicated to offering an inclusive environment with a diverse student body which recognises that learners are unique and have different individual learning proﬁles. Our philosophy mirrors that of the International Baccalaureate which states that ‘Inclusion is an ongoing process that aims to increase access and engagement in learning for all students by identifying and removing barriers. This can only be successfully achieved in a culture of collaboration, mutual respect, support and problem solving. Inclusion is the learner proﬁle in action, an outcome of dynamic learning communities.’ (The IB guide to Inclusive Education: a resource for whole school development p.1).
As a school, we are committed to supporting students with a variety of needs; including social and emotional needs; speech, language and communication needs; physical needs; medical needs and learning needs. We understand that learners require different levels of support as well as different strategies and tools to help them to reach their full potential. We also recognise that this support will change and adapt as the student grows and moves through the different sections of the school and will vary within the different aspects of the Learning Programme. As a school, we identify student strengths as well as areas of focus and provide an environment where every student is able ‘to develop, pursue and achieve challenging personal learning goals’ (IB Standard & Principle 0403).
Our Student Support Services department includes a dedicated and well-resourced team of Learning Support Teachers, English as an Additional Language Teachers, School Counsellors as well as a Health Ofﬁce. The team work closely with all stakeholders, who include students, their families, grade level teachers, subject teachers and external therapists, to provide the necessary guidance and support to ensure learners are able to thrive, ﬂourish and be successful in all aspects of the Learning Programme. ‘It is the responsibility of every teacher, as a teacher of all students, to make sure that each student is exposed to teaching and learning that reaches them as individual learners’ (Learning Diversity and Inclusion in International Baccalaureate Programmes p.7). ISB’s Student Support Services team inquire, reﬂect and communicate regularly to address student needs and create a framework of effective instructional strategies and accommodations.
ISB’s Student Support Services Team aims:
- To promote an inclusive ethos which fosters the social, emotional and physical well-being of its students and teachers;
- To ensure teaching practices and learning opportunities provide equitable access to the curriculum;
- To work closely with teachers to provide students with opportunities to progress throughout the whole school program and reach their full potential;
- To provide clear expectations about how ISB can support students based on their learning and language proﬁles as well as being clear what our limitations of inclusion are;
- To create an atmosphere of trust and open, respectful communication when discussing learners and their individual needs;
- To build awareness, foster respect and create conditions throughout the whole school community to celebrate translanguaging and embrace the diversity of all learners;
- To foster intercultural understanding by communicating in more than one language and prevent linguistic discrimination.
These aims take into account the following rationale:
- Students make more progress when teachers, supporting them, work collaboratively as an effective team and all stakeholders have a shared understanding of learning needs;
- Curriculum is personalised to address the diversity of students’ learning needs and approaches to learning;
- Teaching and learning is multi-sensory and relevant and takes into account individual proﬁles and approaches to learning;
- Assessment tools provide insight for teachers and students to set individual, appropriate goals and to support the design of appropriate activities in line with their abilities and needs;
- Relevant information on student learning proﬁles and progress is shared with all necessary stakeholders.
ISB is able to support students by:
- Empowering students to understand their learning needs, take ownership of their learning and advocate for themselves.
- Utilizing instructional strategies and materials that support different approaches to learning.
- Providing accommodations during class time and assessments.
- Assisting students with goal setting and planning.
- Modifying tasks and assessments if needed.
- Facilitating collaboration with other teachers.
- Communicating regularly with parents, teachers and students to build awareness.
- Assisting parents with home support.
- Making recommendations for in-school or external assessments.
- Providing progress assessment as well as in-school evaluations.
- Providing a continuum of services including but not limited to, consultation, collaboration, in and out of class support.
- Providing short term school-based counseling services.
- Conducting Round Table meetings with relevant parties including the student
- Ensuring the creation and development of individual learning plans, including the ISB Learner Proﬁle, detailing speciﬁc needs of the child inside the classroom along with strategies on how to best serve that child.
- Providing professional development opportunities for staff related to inclusion and student needs.