Philosophy of Inclusion
This policy serves to ensure that all students are provided the necessary support to allow them to achieve academic success, reach their fullest potential, and grow as internationally-minded, creative, critical thinkers.
At Hill-Freedman World Academy, it is understood that:
- Inclusion is about “responding positively to each student’s unique needs” and removing barriers to learning and participation (Learning Diversity in the International Baccalaureate Programs)
- Students have different educational and behavioral needs that require different strategies for learning.
- Students need a range of different teaching approaches and learning experiences.
- Are unique and capable individuals who have the ability to become active, compassionate, inquisitive, lifelong learners..
There are a number of ways students can receive accommodations to satisfy their unique academic, physical, emotional or other needs and allow them to be successful. These methods follow the requirements of the state of Pennsylvania and the School District of Philadelphia.
- Students who are assigned Individual Education Plans (IEPs) or 504s are granted the accommodations that their plans dictate.
- Students with temporary emotional or physical difficulties can work with their counselor to create a plan to address their needs
- Students who do not qualify for an IEP or a 504, can petition the DP Coordinator to create an intervention that addresses their needs
In addition, students with an IEP or 504 are assigned a Learning Support teacher who provides them specialized services and accommodations on their IB coursework. As all of Hill-Freedman’s students are in the MYP and full DP program, there is no barrier to participation in IB courses and programs; teachers, students, and Learning Support teachers collaborate to ensure that SEN students are successfully managing the IB workload, assessments, and expectations. In the classroom, teachers collaborate with the Learning Support teacher to ensure that all accommodations are made, which might include special testing settings, extended time, provision of outlines or graphic organizers.
As per the IB guidelines, the Hill-Freedman Diploma Coordinator will request appropriate accommodations on exams. “Additional time may be authorized for written examinations according to the candidate’s assessed needs. The amount of additional time given to a candidate is directly linked to the degree of the access requirement.” In addition, “Candidates who require inclusive assessment arrangements to access writing may be authorized a scribe, word processor, word processor with spell checker/speech recognition software and transcripts. Candidates who require inclusive assessment arrangements to access reading may be authorized a reader or reading software.”
To request this additional time, Hill-Freedman will submit the most recent copies of the student’s IEP and their psychological evaluation. Parents of students with special needs will authorize the release of these records to the IB.
Roles & Responsibilities
- Request from the SEL a list of students who have IEPs and 504 plans.
- Apply to the IBO for accommodations for the current testing session
Special Education Liaison
- Supply the coordinator with the names of DP students with IEPs and 504 plans
- Evaluate individual student needs on a case by case basis
- Provide copies of IEPs and psychological evaluations
- Read and follow the accommodations laid out on the students’ IEPs and 504 plans
- Inform DP coordinator of perception of student need in one or more accommodations
- Provide the necessary accommodations for students
- Advocate for individual accommodations and academic needs
- Inform coordinator of need for specific accommodations
- Send medical or psychological documentation to DP Coordinator for submission
- Sign off for release of information for DP Testing Accommodations
- Attend IEP meetings and advocate for student needs