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Learning Support Team
CMS Learning Support Team (LST)
Special Services, Screening, Evaluation
If parents have concerns about their child’s development in any area (e.g., speech, language, motor, sensory processing, and/or academic skills - as well as physical, emotional or social development), they should contact the Learning Support Team(LST) for assistance. No question or concern is too small!
The LST includes a learning specialist, school psychologist, your child’s teacher, and you! We are dedicated to providing your child with specialized academic assistance and social/emotional support here at CMS. Our services complement the educational concepts taught in Montessori classrooms by providing small group instruction in a variety of areas. We have a primary goal of teaching strategies to students to support their self-directed learning and social/emotional well-being, as well as helping you understand your child’s learning style and behavior.
In September, 2012, the Learning Support Team, formally the Learning Center, was first implemented as a new way to provide students with extra academic, social, or emotional/behavioral assistance. Services offered by the Learning Support Team, including small group tutoring and social skill groups led by the School Psychologist, are a cost-included service, as is any needed 1:1 counseling or consultation to parents or teachers.
If a teacher, parent, or any CMS staff member has concerns about a child’s development, the person should fill out either the Parent Request Form or the Teacher Referral Form. Once the form is received, the LST will contact both the child’s parent(s) and teacher(s). Both forms can be found on the CMS website under the Learning Support Team tab. Currently the following services are offered. This list may expand to meet the needs of our students.
After an observation, the learning specialist or school psychologist will talk with the teacher and parents, making suggestions as to what steps to take next, if any. Possible ideas include: an academic screening for the student by the LST; obtaining an outside evaluation; making small changes in the classroom to help the child focus or stay on task; or simply monitoring the given skill or behavior over a few more weeks to see if concerns continue. Often, the consultation is the first step in the process of having your child involved in direct services from the LST, which may be small group academic support, setting up a behavior plan for home and school, or participating in a social skills group.
assessment/screening of academic skills
multisensory reading instruction (Orton-Gillingham/Wilson)
alternative spelling instruction
help with math skills
organization/study skills assistance
help with written expression/writing skills
If the Team (which includes you!) finds that your child isn’t getting enough of a benefit from small group instruction and seems to need individual tutoring, we have excellent private tutoring resources available, coordinated with your child’s school day or offered before or after school on campus.
Should your child already have a private tutor or you choose to find a tutor on your own, the Learning Support Team will collaborate with any outside providers to maximize the benefit for your child here in school.
Individual Counseling: We know that at times, students will go through challenges that may cause emotional stress or behavior concerns. Stressors such as divorce, loss of a loved one, identity issues, and peer conflict may lead to problems in school. As a service of the LST, students may be provided with 1:1 or small group counseling with the school psychologist, as some personal support for the student in the school environment can be quite helpful. Counseling does not serve the same purpose as psychotherapy, which is sometimes recommended in addition to, or in lieu of, school counseling if the child’s needs are more than can be supported by counseling at school alone.
Learning Support Team
Nicole Coman - School Psychologist
Tucker Bennett - Learning Specialist
Sandra Delaney - Learning Specialist
Straight Talk About Reading by Louisa Moats
Overcoming Dyslexia by Sally Shaywitz
Children’s Psychological Testing: A guide for non-psychologists by D.L. Wodrich