Academic Support Syllabus

Academic Support Syllabus

Course Description:

The Academic Support program is designed to supplement the general education program by providing additional support to students with identified learning needs. Participation in the Academic Support program replaces the Middle School foreign language requirement. The Academic Support instructor and core subject teachers collaborate to develop and implement appropriate programs for Academic Support students.  The collaborative process includes the identification of strengths and needs and the use of specific strategies to develop the student’s strengths for optimal learning. In cases where the needs are such that they significantly impede the learning process, compensatory modifications are implemented in the general education academic program.

The Academic Support team for each student consists of: the student, parents, subject teachers, administration, counselors and Academic Support staff.  Collaboratively, we will work to create a holistic, effective, individualized program for each student.

Course Aims:

  1.   Specially designed instruction to support student learning in identified areas of need;
  2.   Support students in their core subject classes;
  3.   Teach strategies to develop student independence and self-advocacy in the learning process;
  4.   Teach organizational strategies and study skills, including note-taking;
  5.   Consult with core subject teachers to implement modifications and accommodations in the core subjects as appropriate;
  6.   Communicate with parents about the educational program and student progress.


Based on the AES school-wide learning goals and as appropriate to each student’s individual educational plan, each student will:

  • strengthen discreet academic skills
  • strengthen organizational strategies and study skills, including note-taking
  • strengthen higher order thinking skills
  • strengthen verbal and written expression
  • develop strategies for self-advocacy in the learning proces
  • work effectively in group situations

Assessment and Grading Policy:

In the middle school, students are assessed using a Standards Based Grading system. The purpose of the grading system is to provide accurate information about a student’s level of understanding with respect to specific content standards.

In Academic Support, students will be graded with respect to their habits as a learner inside and outside the classroom (Learning Habits). To support the development of a growth mindset, students will have multiple opportunities to demonstrate their understanding through a variety of assessments. To help establish a clear vision of the intended learning, students will engage in on-going reflection as a means to identify learning strengths and areas for improvement.  

Academic support staff works closely with classroom teachers to assess student strengths and needs in academic, organizational and social/language areas. Regular assessment of student learning helps us develop and refine student learning plans and specially designed instruction. Student progress on individual goals will be reported quarterly via progress notes mailed or emailed to parents.

Expectations for Learning Success:

Students are expected to be ready to begin class when the second bell rings. Additionally, students are expected to:

  • Be prepared to work hard in their learning.
  • Come prepared and on-time.
  • Positively contribute to the classroom community.
  • Self-Advocate – Use self-advocacy skills to clarify school expectations and communicate understanding or lack of understanding.
  • Schedule time for additional assistance with teachers, peers and tutors (and honor the appointments).

I am available to meet with students and parents individually to discuss any questions or concerns.  Please contact me to schedule an appointment.

Michael Creighton


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