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Accommodations and Modifications

Apr 17, 2020

Accommodations and Modifications

by Lower School Teacher, Ann Kavanaugh

When students struggle, it is important and common for schools to utilize needed accommodations and modifications to support these students and help them to be successful in school relative to their same-age peers. Yet, these should not be relied on as the only resource to help students. To be effective, accommodations and modifications are most beneficial when used with an evidence-based teaching approach by experienced teachers. It is essential that students who struggle receive these specialized services, by well-trained teachers, if they are expected to bridge the gap as they get the valuable in-class accommodations and modifications that allow them to keep up with their peers and demonstrate their knowledge. In other words, the supports are of most benefit when they are used in conjunction with an approach that remediates the specific areas of struggle, helping them to truly close the gap and become academically adept, confident and competent in their academic endeavors.

 Unfortunately, teacher education programs typically do not teach approaches that are most successful for struggling students, and few schools have educators that are trained in appropriate teaching approaches. Among the things that makes Horizon Academy so successful is the combination of supportive services, along with educators with strong experience in evidence-based teaching methods that can help students soar.

 When schools continue to rely on accommodations and modifications but students are not demonstrating strong academic improvement, it may be time to consider the teaching approach and the educator training.

Horizon Academy offers educator training every summer to the community. This year, Horizon Academy is hosting an online Orton-Gillingham Educator Training where teachers will learn the principles of teaching students diagnosed with dyslexia or language-based learning disabilities to unlock the code of reading and spelling. There will also be an online Multisensory Math Workshop that teaches specific concepts which all students must master if they are to succeed in higher math. 

These training sessions give teachers the tools needed to help struggling students in the classroom, empowering them with the knowledge and skills to create the accommodations and modifications that are needed for students to succeed.

You can find more information at https://horizon-academy.org/resources/teacher-training/