The Educational Support Services (ESS) were created in 1995 to provide assistance for teachers, students and parents to encourage students to achieve their God-designed potential to the highest academic level and their fullest capabilities.
Supports may be available to students identified with unique learning challenges, including mild to moderate learning disabilities, attentional and sensory deficits, as well as the academically talented. Faculty highly-trained and experienced in special education provide a wide variety of strategies and resources known to utilize and enhance the student's strengths while addressing academic, physical and socio-emotional needs. Direct services are available through three levels of support: consult, resource room and intensive classrooms.
In addition to the direct services for students, the Educational Support Services also provides ongoing assistance for faculty and families. Parents and teachers have access to a comprehensive collection of resources on informational and practical topics from some of the best-read authors. Through its ESS, Kirk Day School welcomes special speakers and opportunities for professional development from around the nation for its own faculty and teachers. An extensive referral service and transition program are also available to assist parents.
Consult Services are available to assist classroom teachers and parents in developing modifications or accommodations in instruction and curriculum for students demonstrating mild learning deficits or superior academic potential. All instruction is carried out in the general education classroom. Students may be eligible for consult services without an individually-administered educational evaluation, however an Individualized Support Plan (ISP) may be developed for students with formal testing. Educational Support Services work in cooperation with the classroom teacher and parents, as well as other professionals where appropriate.
Examples of Consult Support:
- Perform classroom visits and observations
- Suggest specific instructional strategies
- Modify task formats
- Provide sensory tools (e.g., alternative seating, tactile “fidgets,” sensory breaks)
- Develop behavioral strategies and interventions
The Resource Room Program is designed to serve students in grades one through six with mild deficits in academic skills, most notably reading. The Resource Therapist assesses educational needs and provides support in designing and implementing instructional strategies and interventions directed toward the remediation of reading or other mild academic needs. The S.P.I.R.E. Program (Specialized Program for Individualized Reading Excellence) is used to provide daily supplemental or replacement reading instruction in small groups. Students may be eligible for consult services without an individually-administered educational evaluation, however an Individualized Support Plan (ISP) may be developed for students with formal testing. The Resource Therapist works in cooperation with the classroom teacher and parents, as well as other professionals where appropriate.
Three intensive classroom programs are available to assist students who benefit from more individualized instruction due to moderate learning needs. The 1st/2nd grade, 3rd/4th grade, and 5th/6th grade classes are limited in size to ensure a smaller student-teacher ratio. Each class is led by an experienced special education teacher and a full-time teaching assistant. Multisensory remedial and modified instruction is provided in all age-appropriate subjects. Students receive explicit intervention in organization, study, and social skills. A personal understanding of unique learning differences and self-advocacy skills is also emphasized. An individually-administered educational evaluation is required for enrollment in the intensive program and an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is developed for each student.
We use a variety of multisensory, explicit, highly-structured and sequential programs to meet our students’ varied academic needs. The following is a partial list of the published programs used in the intensive classrooms:
- S.P.I.R.E. Reading (Orton Gillingham approach)
- Saxon Math (incremental)
- Touch Math
- Handwriting without Tears
- Step Up to Writing
- Easy Grammar
Participation within the general KDS program is encouraged for all students to the extent deemed appropriate, with recommendation of the IEP team (includes the parents, classroom teacher, support staff, other professionals, and the student, when appropriate). This includes all nonacademic and extracurricular activities.
Educational Support Services does not currently provide speech-language or occupational therapy through KDS faculty. However, KDS does work with parents to provide room for private therapists to work with students during the school day as space allows. Therapy is also available at no charge through the S.N.A.P. after-school program with the Special School District of St. Louis County. ESS offers extensive referral assistance for parents seeking therapeutic screenings, evaluations and contract services.
Educational Support Services are available to students who possess cognitive abilities within the average range and have been determined to have a primary educational need in the areas of learning disabilities, language disorders, attention or sensory deficits, or superior achievement potential as demonstrated through an individually-administered educational evaluation.
Students must be accepted into KDS through the regular enrollment process. Copies of all previous academic information and the most recent educational (and related) evaluations must be reviewed by the Director of Academics. Application may be made at any time, however, early application is advised, due to limited enrollment in the program. Current KDS students are given first consideration, and new students will be accepted as space is available.
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