ISB has a range of policies that support student learning and ensure the well-being of all in our school community. Our policies are read and reviewed regularly. As an international school with a culturally diverse student body, our policies aim to nurture each student’s linguistic and learning abilities in line with our L21 curriculum.
Learning Support Policy
Learning Support Policy: In support of the mission, purpose, and philosophy of the School, as existing space and resources allow, students with mild to moderate learning differences will be admitted. For example, this might include students with learning disabilities, ADHD and some high-functioning students on the autistic spectrum. However, learning support services are not determined by diagnoses. Services are determined by the level of support needed to be successful. At this time the School does not have an educational program for students who requires a self-contained learning environment or a completely separate curriculum.
Description of Services: At ISB we use a multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) model. Most services are provided through a push-in, inclusion approach, with the exception of first and second grades in which a pull out model is utilized some of the time. Presently, we have eleven learning support teachers, one speech and language pathologist and a director of student support services who also covers the school psychologist position. We also employ some instructional assistants (IA) who work under the direction of a learning support teacher. We primarily use a response to intervention (RtI) process to identify student needs. Decisions regarding admission and services for a student will be made on a case-by-case basis within the policy parameters.
Language Support Policy
The International School of Beijing provides an EAL (English as an Additional Language) program for students whose English speaking, listening, reading or writing skills limit their access to the regular grade level curriculum. At ISB, EAL services follow a sheltered immersion model. Through that model, identified students are provided with full and equal access to the mainstream curriculum together with their native English-speaking peers while learning English, the language of instruction at ISB.
The purpose of EAL is to allow students to:
- Learn second-language acquisition skills and strategies
- Develop basic interpersonal communication skills (social language)
- Acquire English through the study of subject-specific content and skills in mainstream classes (academic English)
The EAL specialists and classroom teachers work together to create a language-rich environment where students feel comfortable taking risks and where individual needs are accommodated. Students are continually assessed by both teachers, move through levels and are exited from the program as their skills develop.
The EAL program provides:
- A team approach, involving joint planning with classroom teachers
- A flexible and responsive program to suit individual needs in the context of the mainstream curriculum
- Academic and social language support in the mainstream classrooms in grades 1 through 8
- Additional pullout classes in grades 1 through 8 for more focused language instruction for students who require that level support
- High School EAL support that is generally provided as a separate class in addition to EAL specialist consultation with subject area teachers