AASSP Special Education Needs (SEN) Department

Mission Statement

Our mission is to support AAS in providing an inclusive Pre-K through Grade 12 multidisciplinary student support system that respects learner differences, facilitates attainment of AAS-SP’s high educational standards and promotes the development of lifelong learners. 

The Special Education Needs (SEN) Department believes:

  • Students build self-confidence and better prepare themselves to be lifelong learners by developing self-advocacy skills and by understanding their learning needs.
  • It is important to work with the whole child (intellectually, socially, emotionally, and physically) and to build on a student’s strengths as well as to address areas of concern.
  • Learning issues may change as the child grows and developmental differences need to be considered; resources should be allocated as needed.
  • An effective student support program requires a team approach with all team members sharing responsibility for the child’s learning. Teams may include students, parents, teachers, student support personnel, or administrators.
  • Staying current with research and best practices helps the team determine how to address student needs.
  • An effective support program is articulated in Pre-K through Grade12, including procedures and policies, vocabulary, assessments, entrance and exit criteria, transition plans, and other essential components.

Meet the SEN Faculty

We have a group of talented educators comprised of a learning support teacher, counselors/school psychologist, EAL teachers, assistant principal and an occupational therapist assistant, who collaborate effectively to assure each student’s individual academic and holistic excellence. We support students individually to personalize their learning and work with classroom teachers to differentiate their classroom instruction, co-teach, and develop lesson plans. We also set individual goals with each of our students, support them to meet those goals, and review their progress regularly.  These goals range from academic support in a particular subject, to learning behaviors such as organization, self-advocacy, study skills, note-taking, and time-management. While our primary focus is supporting students who are having learning difficulties, we work diligently to support any student who is in need of additional support.

Learning Support Teacher (Special Educator)

Our learning support teacher for the Elementary, Middle and High School provides academic support to students with identified educational needs by working with teachers and students in the regular or resource classroom.  In addition, the learning support teacher evaluates referred students, participates in the development of individualized intervention programs, and monitors the progress of students receiving learning support through observations and administration of standardized tests. Our learning support teacher is Shawntel Allen shawntel.allen@aas.ru

Counselor / School Psychologist

The AAS-SP school psychologist supports the Elementary, Middle and High School Teams to assure quality, consistency, and continuity of services. Assessment of academic, developmental, and severe emotional/behavioral disturbances is provided to facilitate the development of individualized academic programs.  

In addition, the AAS-SP Counselor provides academic and social support to all members of the school community. This is done through interventive and preventive strategies in individual, small group and classroom settings.  In the Elementary, Middle and High School he works with students, teachers and parents to coordinate home and school issues.  He offers college counseling as well.  Counselor referrals may be made by students, teachers and parents. Our school psychologist/counselor is Frank Becvar. frank.becvar@aas.ru

EAL Teachers and Assistants

The EAL specialists work in collaboration with mainstream teachers to ensure students can understand the language and the content of the classroom, as well as participate in classroom activities.The teachers and assistants in this department are: Deanna Vajpeyi, deanna.vajpeyi@aas.ru; Tatiana Kladova, tatiana.kladova@aas.ru; Marina Novikova, marina.novikova@aas.ru; Yana Mamonova, yana.mamonova@aas.ru

Assistant Principal

Through behavior interventions, crafting behavior plans and discussions with students who are struggling to meet behavior expectations in class, our assistant principal plays an integral role on the SEN team. Our assistant principal is Tamara Doak. tamara.doak@aas.ru

Occupational Therapist Assistant

Through purposeful activities and intervention, the occupational therapist assistant helps AAS students of all ages who face everyday challenges to promote, regain, or maintain their health and improve their participation in the school environment. Treatment varies by student needs and may include environmental modifications and special equipment, with the goal of improving students’ ability to carry out activities independently and confidently. Our occupational therapist assistant is Debra Johnson. debra.johnson@aas.ru.

SEN Evaluation Process

Consideration for SEN services can be requested by a parent, student, or AAS staff member to any member of the SEN team. A request for consideration does not guarantee that a student will receive services. Some requests are responded to as consultations, which are brief and do not involve ongoing SEN support.  Parents are notified of any request made on behalf of their child, and are encouraged to take an active role as a member of the support team.

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