Individualization of instruction is the approach taken at St. Mary School as special needs and gifted students are integrated into regular classrooms wherever possible. Special needs and gifted students’ needs generally are met by classroom teachers on an individual basis throughout all grade levels. While we strive to work within an Inclusion model, on occasion it is necessary for us to meet the needs of specific students in a less integrated setting. The decision to educate a student for all or part of a day in an environment separate from his or her classmates is made on a case-by-case basis and the decision is based on what is deemed to be in the best interests of the particular student.
Students in the elementary grades who required additional support receive that additional instruction, often in a Reading Recovery program, in a “pull out” situation on a very limited basis. However, elementary teachers, utilizing a Balanced Literacy approach in Language Arts instruction, meet most needs.
Students in grades 1, 2, and 3 receive Language Arts instruction in small groups, as classes are split into two heterogeneous groups for Language Arts at these grade levels. The additional support this provides to the small groups of students is recognized favourably by parents, teachers, and students themselves.
At all grade levels, we strive to provide necessary modifications or classroom accommodations to meet the needs of students who struggle with regular course content or expectations. In high school, students are encouraged to enrol in the course level that is expected to provide opportunity for success.