Urban School is committed to supporting all students, however differently they may learn. Urban’s approach combines the best teaching practices with up-to-date technology and a range of support services, all in recognition of the school’s mission to ignite a passion for learning for all our students.
Best practices incorporate traditional techniques – models, a consistent classroom routine, study guides for tests – with new approaches made possible by technology and skilled teachers. At Urban, best practices are common practice, not necessarily accommodations.
As a longtime laptop school, Urban’s use of technology benefits all kinds of learners. In addition to the many tools available on every student’s laptop, all classrooms are wired for sound and projection and notation capture. All students are provided graphing calculators for use in math classes, and SmartBoards in each classroom enable teachers to post class notes online.
Urban also has a host of support services available to all students, including:
- Multiple weekly study periods during which students can consult one-on-one with teachers
- Writing, reading and study skills support with the Learning Services Coordinator
- Social-emotional support with the School Counselor
- Audio, video and digital library
- Individualized academic advising
- Peer tutoring
- Referrals to outside tutors and learning specialists
Examples of accommodations for students diagnosed with a learning difference include:
- Extended time on school and standardized tests
- Testing in a quiet place, such as the Learning Services office
- Extra breaks during testing
- On-site standardized testing for students with special accommodations, such as laptop use.
How can my child receive accommodations at Urban?
Students who need accommodations must provide an educational testing report that is less than five years old. Please note that middle schools do not provide this confidential information. Any student who receives accommodations on the SSAT and wishes to have accommodations on standardized testing must submit documentation early. Waiting until junior year may be too late to receive accommodations. The report must include:
• The dates of the testing.
• The examiner’s name, address, telephone number and credentials.
• A complete educational, developmental and medical history relevant to the disability.
• The names and versions of the cognitive and achievement tests administered.
• A diagnostic summary of the assessment process.
• An analysis of the test results.
• A clear statement of the diagnosed disability, including its corresponding DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual) code. Individual learning or processing differences do not, by themselves, constitute a learning disability.
• A description of the functional limitations of the disability, indicating how the student’s disability affects his or her learning.
• Recommended strategies and accommodations.
What happens after I send my child’s testing report to Urban?
The Learning Services Coordinator meets with the family to review and approve an education plan. The plan includes a summary of the student’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as suggested classroom strategies and accommodations. With the family’s consent, the Learning Services Coordinator shares the plan with the faculty.
What about accommodations for standardized tests?
The College Board, not Urban School, determines whether or not a student receives accommodations for standardized testing. Families may apply independently. Urban’s Learning Services Coordinator can also help families apply. For more information regarding College Board requirements for accommodations, including laptop use for writing, please visit the website.
My son/daughter has been tested. Will my child’s middle school inform Urban? Does Urban inform colleges?
Testing diagnoses and evaluations are confidential. Middle schools do not pass this information along to high schools. Similarly, Urban does not provide this information to colleges.
Should I disclose my child’s testing evaluation?
Yes. We encourage families to send a copy of the full educational testing report to Urban’s Learning Services Coordinator. The additional information provided in the report can help us better understand a child’s learning style.
My child has not been tested, but s/he is struggling at school. I am worried s/he may have a learning difference. What should I do?
Contact your child’s advisor who can discuss helpful strategies. S/he can also help you determine whether or not to seek advice and/or testing referrals from the Learning Services Coordinator.
Does Urban ever recommend testing?
Yes. When a student continues to struggle after having exhausted all in-house resources and suggested strategies, Urban may recommend testing to gain additional information about the student’s learning style.
May students with disabilities waive their foreign language requirement? Do you offer American Sign Language?
No, we do not waive the foreign language requirement, nor do we offer American Sign Language.