As students advance through Lower, Middle, and Upper School, they learn to be successful and own their learning differences through a three-step process of awareness, acceptance, and advocacy. As students become aware of their differences, they begin to understand who they are as learners and that they need accommodations to help them learn efficiently. In a school without pull-out programs, and one where their friends also need accommodations, students find themselves in a safe environment so they accept what they need and are OK with it. Through growing responsibility and independence over the years, juniors and seniors are expected to be advocates for themselves while at school, requesting accommodations, assistive technology, and the additional help they need for success. As graduates enter college, they are prepared to advocate for themselves to ensure success. This is a place of rehearsal where students practice the skills they need to succeed.
Currently, C/A provides over 35 accommodations such as the use of headsets to minimize distractions; additional time on tests, no separate answer sheet or Scantron/bubbles, and reduction in length of written assignments. If a professional evaluation calls for an accommodation that can be provided within our systems, it will be noted in the student’s individual plan—either an IIP or IEP—and will be provided in the classroom. What’s more, C/A will assist in the request of approved accommodations from college testing agencies, and administers both the SAT and ACT for C/A students who qualify for school-based testing.
At the same time, many accommodations are directly embedded within our system and benefit all students. For example:
Because assistive technology plays a key role in the success of many of our students, it is directly taught in classrooms beginning in third grade and found on all computers. Some of the more popular software include: