Supporting All Learners
Adjustable Learning Seats
At Rocky View Schools, student support begins by recognizing there is no average student. In fact, research shows we all zigzag across the average line, strong in some areas, weaker in others.
In the same way no one driver's seat fits every driver without adjustment, no one classroom or learning experience can fit all students. For this reason, supporting Rocky View students begins with a focus on creating what we call Universal Learning.
Universal learning in Rocky View Schools calls for:
1. Flexible, adaptable, student-centered learning spaces and experiences.
2. Safe and caring learning communities that nurture positive social learning and interactions.
3. Expert professional observation, testing, assessment and communication of learning needs.
4. Ongoing support, mentoring, instruction and coaching.
5. Coordinated wrap-around community services.
No two children require the same level of support, at the same time, or over the same period of time. Instead, supports are scaffolded. Buildings have scaffolding installed to support the structure until the foundation and load bearing walls are fully in place. In the same way, Rocky View students receive support customized to where they are in their growth as learners. Within a classroom, some students may begin by relying on video for their science lesson because they are not yet advanced enough in reading skills. As their reading improves, books and other typed resources can be added to their learning tools and the video support may be required less.
Some students may require short or longer-term support in addition to the support of their classroom teacher. For example, a child with limited ability to communicate verbally may require support throughout their entire school career. Another student learning English in addition to their first language may require support for just a few years. While a third student, suffering from short-term stress because of a life event, may require just a few days of additional support.
A lesson from the US Airforce showed that when cockpits were designed "for the edges," for the largest and smallest possible pilots, then all pilots could fly better. At Rocky View, we believe the same holds true for schools. Our goal is to design our learning spaces, learning experiences and targeted learning supports to meet the needs of the most gifted and most challenged learners--across a wide range of learning dimensions. This way, every learner learns better. (Learn more about Alberta's focus on Supporting Every Student.)
Rocky View Schools has a specialized Learning Supports Team of professionals that includes psychologists, speech and language pathologists, occupational therapists, behavioural specialists, learning specialists and family school liaisons. These professionals support teachers, students and families, so every RVS child can learn and grow.