Elementary School Support Services

The Elementary Academic Support, or Resource Program at the American Community School of Abu Dhabi is a program specifically for students who require more intensified academic support than the regular classroom teacher can provide.

The program targets students who are fluent speakers of English, but can also support English Language Learners if the Student Support Team (SST) determines that they need support in lieu of the ELL program. Resource students do not have to have a formal diagnosis determined from a psycho-educational evaluation in order to receive services.

The classroom teacher initiates entrance into the Resource Program by referring the student to the SST, comprised of the classroom teacher, counselor, resource teacher, ELL teacher, principal and parents. After academic and/or language testing is conducted, the SST determines the placement in the resource program. It is not necessary that a child be identified as a special education student in order to receive services. The SST reconvenes to exit a student out of the Resource Program when Team members determine the student no longer needs services.

The purpose of the resource program is to provide quality instruction to at-risk elementary aged students in order to prevent more intensive learning concerns in the later years; therefore, the focus is on remediation of academic weaknesses. Each child receives a maximum of 40 minutes per day of support. The parents are kept informed through comments on the quarterly report card as well as parent conferences as needed.

The decision to exit the Resource program will be made by the SST. Students who are struggling to make adequate progress given maximum support may need more home intervention in order to remain at ACS. This home intervention may include tutoring, summer school, outside testing, or other appropriate support. The SST committee will recommend home interventions, continuing with Resource services, or exiting the Resource program.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNING (ELL) PROGRAM

The Elementary English Language Learning, or ELL, Program at the American Community School of Abu Dhabi is a program specifically for students who require specific instruction to develop English language proficiency. The program targets students who do not have sufficient English to achieve success in the regular first-through fifth-grade classes without support.

In order to enter the ELL Program, the Admissions Committee initiates the referral for new applicants, or the classroom teacher refers a current student to the Student Support Team (SST). The ELL teacher will screen referred students to determine their English proficiency level using an English language proficiency assessment tool, the IPT, and the DRA. They will be rated on their speaking, reading, and writing skills. In order to be placed in the program, the student’s English proficiency level must match the appropriate level for the grade in which s/he is applying. After language testing is conducted, the Admissions Committee determines placement in the ELL program based on the testing results and recommendation from the ELL teacher.

The purpose of the ELL program is for students to acquire the language of the classroom. In addition to expanding vocabulary and survival skills, students will be exposed to the content of the regular classes. Rigby’s On Our Way to English program is the ELL curriculum resource for grades 1-3. The program contains materials and activities to meet the oral, reading and writing needs of our young ELL students. For grades 4-5, the ELL teacher will focus on content area language skills; this is to help prepare students to participate in the regular classroom. The activities will focus on developing and reinforcing their oral, reading and writing skills. Students will spend the time normally reserved for Arabic class each day in the ELL classroom. Students will receive a report card indicating that they are ELL students. ELL students’ progress will be monitored to ensure they make appropriate gains in language acquisition. A quarterly narrative by the ELL teacher will be included in their report cards to show their progress.

The decision to exit the ELL program will be made by the SST. Students who are unable to move through the program at the expected pace may need more home support or Resource services in order to remain at ACS. This home support may include tutoring, summer school, etc. The SST committee will recommend home support, Resource services, or exiting the ELL program.

Elementary School Counseling

For detailed information about Elementary School Counseling Services, click here.