Embracing a Team Approach for Special Education & Student Support Services

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Before students can learn, they must be ready to learn. The reality is that students come to school at different levels and learn in different ways, and it takes support from multiple sources for all students to be able and ready to learn.

At The Biome, we believe in working as a team to support our learners. This allows us to take a holistic approach to understanding what a student needs to be successful. Unique to The Biome is our ability to reach and respond to students quickly and consistently. In many schools the process of accessing services can take up to 90 days. However, due to the many in-school services available and strong external partnerships at The Biome, a referral is often is turned around in as quickly as 30 days. This quick turn-around is critical. Often, without these services, students struggle and are not able and ready to learn successfully in their classroom.

At The Biome, in-school services include speech-language services, special education services, and reading intervention. We also partner with a number of community agencies in order to provided additional needed services such as Miriam which provides occupational therapy, CHADS which provides mentoring and counseling groups, BLASH Associates who provide individual counseling, Healthy Kids Express who provide dental, vision, and hearing screening, UMSL Community Psychological Services who provide assessments, and the Department of Health who provides a nurse in any case of an outbreak of communicable diseases.

While not every learner needs every service, when learners have access to all of these services their ability to learn grows exponentially. For example, in just the past four months, a student who was struggling to learn in the classroom and would likely be on the edge of suspension now benefits from many of our student support services, they no longer are referred for misbehaviors, and they are learning successfully in the classroom. At The Biome, as a team, we are able to quickly assess a child’s needs and open access to any service that we provide.

Our team approach promotes communication and builds trust. Together, in collaboration with parents, the classroom leader, and the learner, we are able to build a plan that best supports the learner. In as early as second grade, learners are invited to their own team meeting. This inclusion typically does not occur until middle or high school in most schools. However, we want learners to be able to have a voice and be able to understand what is going to happen for them.

At The Biome, we know it takes a team. All members of our community are needed to help our students be successful. We invite you to join our team and help our students become ready to learn.

To donate today, visit: www.thebiomeschool.org/support