The American School of Marrakesh is committed to creating an inclusive and welcoming educational environment where students feel supported, encouraged, independent, and appreciated.
Through a Response to Intervention model, the Learning Support Department strives to assist students to become independent learners. The department adopts a multi-tiered approach to the early identification and support of students with learning and behavior needs in collaboration with ASM staff and families. We expect to move all students toward greater engagement, academic success, and social and emotional growth by providing high-quality, differentiated instruction.
All staff at ASM aim to support a variety of student needs. These needs include:
- Learning Disabilities
- Gifted and Talented
- ELL needs
- Social-Emotional Needs
The inclusive classroom at ASM is a place where students feel valued, are engaged in their academics, are moving toward independence, and feel safe and secure. In order to achieve this, ASM teachers provide to students:
- open and respectful communication
- opportunities for students to advocate for their needs
- a variety of methods to meet the different learning styles and needs of their students
- flexible and cooperative student work groups
- instruction and assessment differentiation
- support for students in their classrooms with appropriate activities and guidance
- an emotionally and physically safe environment for learning
- clear and consistent routines
- clear expectations
- accommodations to help students with mild to moderate learning needs to access the curriculum
- modifications to the curriculum for those students with significant learning difficulties
Additionally, all staff at ASM recognize:
- Students have different educational and learning needs, abilities, profiles, and aspirations.
- Differentiation and scaffolding promote effective learning.
- Students gain knowledge and skills at different rates through different means.
- All students are capable and unique.
- Students and staff are lifelong learners.
- The importance that ASM is welcoming to all students and their families.
In order to support all teaching staff regarding inclusion, its value, and its implementation, professional development training from the Learning Support Program on inclusive practices and differentiation are delivered during staff orientation week and Wednesday afternoon workshops as well as through other types of professional development (both internal and external) geared towards supporting inclusion and Response to Intervention (RTI) in ASM classrooms.
Through the Response to Intervention (RTI) system utilized at ASM, staff continually gather information about a student’s academic performance and behavior under increasingly intensive levels of instructional support. This data includes quarterly benchmarking results, MAP test results, progress monitoring, behavior and attendance reports, grades, and anecdotal observations. These data points are used as part of the process to determine whether a student has a learning disability and is eligible for disability services at ASM. The eligibility process consists of three steps: Referral, Evaluation and Determination of Eligibility.
ASM inclusive practices in identification, assessment, and support of students are as follows:
- The American School of Marrakesh supports the practice that student diversity of all kinds should be included as a resource, seeing individual differences as opportunities to enrich the school culture and learning.
- The American School of Marrakesh supports the practice that diversity is a resource in regard to what it means to be internationally minded and inter-culturally aware.
- The American School of Marrakesh supports the practice that collaborative planning by all teachers who are part of a student’s education is essential in supporting students with difficulties.
- The American School of Marrakesh supports the practice that the school and parents must work collaboratively to ensure that students with learning support requirements are able to progress.
At ASM, the term “Gifted and Talented” includes a student’s high ability in one or more of the following areas:
- General intellectual ability or talent
- Specific academic aptitude
- Visual arts and performing arts
A student could be identified as “Gifted and Talented” based on existing school data and cumulative file information, teacher identification, and parent provided documentation from external sources (i.e. pre-existing evaluation). When a student is identified as being “Gifted and Talented”, teachers are asked to differentiate/compact their instruction to meet the needs of the student. At ASM, “Gifted and Talented” students are mainstreamed in the general education using differentiation (i.e. compacted curriculum) for deeper rigor and challenge. The Learning Support Department collaborates with parents in identifying avenues for these students to further develop their talents and continue to hone their skills.