Every Resource for Every Student's Success
At HIES, we do everything we can to provide each student the guidance he or she needs to thrive as a scholar and as an individual. We are a school that respects the dignity of all students, and we recognize the gifts, talents and academic strengths each student brings. In addition to the support our faculty, deans and advisors provide our students, we recognize that students learn differently, and have a learning resource department that spans each division, committed to creating an environment for all our students to thrive.
The Best Start: Recognizing the enormous span of developmental levels at this age, the Primary School strives to meet the needs of each individual student using differentiated instruction in math and literacy in the classrooms. The Primary School learning specialist assesses each student in these areas in a program we call The Best Start. These assessments help to identify learning challenges and areas of academic strength. We employ both pull out and push in academic support as part of our learning environment and offer contracted communication experts and occupational therapy support on an as needed basis. Ultimately, this differentiated approach meets students where they are to help each student be equipped and achieve their full potential in preparation for the academic pace in the lower school.
The goal of the Lower School Resource Department is to support students who learn differently, to guide teachers in making accommodations for these students, and to educate parents on dealing with learning differences in their children. The learning specialists may observe, assess, conference, and make recommendations utilizing internal or external support. Differentiated instruction is utilized in the classrooms to address individual learning needs. Academic intervention with a learning specialist is available for students who qualify for extra support.
Literacy coach/ learning Specialist (Grades 1-5): A learning specialist/literacy coach is available to provide internal, interim support for students with learning challenges.
Strategies Class (Grades 3-5): Students may qualify to take the Strategies Class by way of teacher recommendation and a psycho-educational evaluation that reveals a diagnosis of a learning difference. The class provides the planning, organization, study skills, and content support necessary for Lower School students with diagnosed and remediated learning differences to be prepared for success in Middle School.
Homerooms (Grades 1-5): Lower School homerooms provide the students time to settle into the school day, gather materials, and share time with classmates and the teacher. Often homerooms will have “morning meeting” to bond, counsel, and focus for the day’s activities. At the end of the day, Lower School homerooms come together again for a “tutorial” period to begin homework, get extra help, or take advantage of the time to gather materials needed for home.
The Middle School Learning Resource Department strives to provide supports to students with remediated learning differences that have current psychoeducational testing on file. This is provided through monitored support during the weekly tutorial periods as well as through the Strategies class, which meets four times a week.
Strategies Class (Grades 6-8): The Strategies classes are open to students with documented and remediated language-based learning differences. Students are taught self-advocacy skills, executive functioning skills, and academic skills in conjunction with their learning profile and accommodations. The Learning Resource Department works closely with students, parents, and teachers to provide a team approach to building student success and independence.
Advisors (Grades 6-8): In the middle school, advisors are the main communication link between home and school. Students begin their day with an Advisory period. Students know to seek out their advisor when having difficulties in any area of school life, while parents are encouraged to turn to this educator when concerns about their child arise. Advisors receive grade reports from their advisees' teachers and conduct conferences with the students' parents.
Grade-Level Deans: Deans are assigned a specific grade so that a close-knit community might be developed within each grade level. Deans advise and support students on a variety of issues, including academics, discipline, and overall wellness. In effect, the grade-level Dean is the principal for his or her grade and the first point of administrative contact for students and families.
Study Hall (Grades 6-8): Each student has a study hall which included in their schedule where they may access academic support from their teachers.
Faculty Office Hours: Three days a week a 30-minute period is dedicated to office hours, where students are able to meet with faculty members to address any concerns or questions in their specific classes.
There are multiple ways in which upper school students can seek out academic support to ensure success in the demands of the Upper School.
Strategies Class (Grades 9-12): Students with documented and remediated learning differences continue to receive support in the Upper School. The Strategies class is offered in grades 9 through 12 to provide support and guidance to some of those existing students who have documented and remediated learning differences so they may better navigate the rigors of our college preparatory curriculum.
Advisory (Grades 9-12): The advisory system in the Upper School ensures that throughout a student’s high school career they will have at least one adult who knows them well. The faculty advisor follows that student throughout their four years at HIES, monitoring grades and academic progress and watching for signs of emotional distress or social difficulties.
Grade-Level Deans: Deans are assigned a specific grade-level so that a close-knit community might be developed throughout high school. Deans advise and support students on a variety of issues, including academics, discipline, and overall wellness. In effect, the Dean is the principal for his or her grade-level and the first point of administrative contact for students and families. In the Upper School, the Dean remains with the same grade-level as the students matriculate through high school.
Faculty Office Hours: At the end of each day in the upper school is an open 30-minute period dedicated to office hours, where students are able to meet with faculty members to address any concerns or questions in their specific classes.