- Special Education
Special Education Practices at 21K School
While it is true that every child has the innate ability to learn, at 21K school, we recognise that learning is most effective and pleasurable when it occurs in a way and pace that the child is comfortable with. To realise this, our school has a Counselling Department, which recognises that each child is unique in their own way and the traditional one size fits all approach needs to be disregarded.
Our Counselling Team has specially trained and qualified counsellors, remedial educators, and special educators who work in tandem with the teachers and parents to accommodate every child’s needs and create a comfortable learning space for all the students.
What is inclusive education?
Inclusive education, in its essence, means a space for learning, where students with and without any comorbidities attend classes together. The term inclusion refers to equality and equity, i.e. the provision of equal opportunities for all students whilst being mindful of their concerns and challenges and creating mechanisms to help them through the same.
At 21K School, students from diverse backgrounds and varying physical and cognitive concerns are part of the same classroom. The programme is structured so that all students, with or without any difficulties, have an equal opportunity to learn, grow, and flourish. The students are encouraged to participate and work together, leading to a two-fold effect where students with special needs can interact with and learn from their peers and grow in an environment wherein students learn to accept and celebrate our differences.
Is my child eligible for special needs education at 21K School?
As our school is inclusive, we can accommodate students with varying special needs. However, being an online school, we also recognise our limitations, and thus there are certain areas wherein we cannot be the best fit for your child.
We will be able to help your child if they have the following physical or cognitive concerns:
- Autism Spectrum Disorder (mild to moderate)
- Asperger's Syndrome
- Specific Learning Disabilities (Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia)
- Developmental Delays
- Intellectual Disabilities (Moderate level)
- Health concerns
- Orthopaedic Concerns
- Speech or Language Impairments
- Emotional Concerns
- Partial Concerns with Vision
- Differentiated learners
Parents must submit relevant medical and psychological assessment reports during the admission process. This is not an exhaustive list as every child is unique and has strengths and areas for improvement. Thus, we follow an interview approach that helps us gauge if the school will be able to provide for your child’s specific needs before admission.
What are the services that my child is eligible to receive?
Our School's Counselling Department are available to every student. It is both preventive and responsive. The counsellors develop a specific action plan to address the varying behavioural, emotional, academic, and adjustment concerns that a student may be going through. These plans are then implemented in a comfortable way for the student.
The following are the services to students with special needs based on their needs.
- Counselling Interventions - The counselling department provides individual and group counselling to students with special needs within the scope of the action plan developed. They provide short-term, goal-focused counselling in instances where it is required. These sessions mainly aim to support them and equip the students with the skills they need to navigate their concerns.
- Remedial services - an approach to teaching wherein the aim is to bridge the gaps in learning by using modes/techniques with which the student is comfortable. A remedial educator goes down to the level of the student and works with their strengths to cement the learning.
- Concessions - Assistance during assessments and concessions gauged based on the needs of the students.
- Consultation - Offers an opportunity to parents to reach out to the counsellors and seek their support all year round. The department constantly strives to psychoeducate and guide parents concerning adaptations and modifications needed to assist their child.
- Advocacy - Working with all the individuals in the child's ecosystem to have a comfortable and happy year ahead.
How will my child be assisted in the classroom?
First and most importantly, We sensitise all the teachers associated with your child towards their individual needs. The sensitisation training includes making them aware of the child’s concerns, thus eliminating any biases, focussing on strengths and improvement areas. We also create an individualised education plan for the students. This plan includes:
- differentiated instructions
- teaching methodology
- remedial education
- individualised assessments
- concessions regarding leaves
- assignments, assessments
- extracurricular activities like art, dance and yoga based on the child's needs.
While being aware of their concerns and making accommodations for their needs, we also strive to push and challenge them like their peers, which helps them grow in their way. Thus, all the students get an equal opportunity to participate in all academic and extracurricular activities.
How will my child be assisted during assessments?
All the teachers and parents/caretakers will be made aware of the concessions and assistance that the child is eligible for during assessments. After discussion and review of the student's performance with all the stakeholders, School will provide the following concessions based on the needs of the student:
- Separate invigilation from teacher/ counsellor during summative assessments
- Reader/writer based on the need of the child
- Differentiated questions suited to the child's needs for specific or all subjects.
- Extra time to write or utilise as breaks in between the assessments.
What is remedial education? How is it carried out in an online setup?
Remedial education is an approach to teaching where the aim is to bridge the gaps in learning by using modes/techniques which the student is comfortable with. It also tends to focus more on building conceptual clarity in literacy and numeracy, which paves the way for future learning. A remedial educator goes down to the level of the student and works with their strengths to cement the learning.
If a student requires remedial support, an action plan will be created for the same after a review and discussion with all the stakeholders. The remedial classes will either be held on a separate link with the remedial educator at the time of the class or after school hours. This distinction is made keeping in mind the child’s needs and ability to cope in the classroom.
All remedial sessions will be one to one, and the timings will be decided based on the availability of the remedial educator and the student.
How do all the stakeholders work together to ensure my child has a comfortable and happy year at school?
The counselling department constantly strives to work towards enhancing the mental well-being of all the students in the school, but they are not alone here since their efforts will only be realised when all the people in the ecosystem of the child, namely teachers, parents, coordinators, classmates and the management come together to help with the same. For this, we have regular check-ins with all the stakeholders and keep updating the action plan to best suit the student’s needs. The staff, students and the management is also constantly sensitised regarding the needs of the various students. We also expect the parents to lend support since they play an integral role in their children's lives.
Will my child be isolated or face discrimination?
Being an inclusive school, we also recognise the challenges that may crop up when students with varying needs are placed in the same setup and have designed accommodations. We begin by educating the students regularly, emphasising the need to accept all of their classmates. We constantly strive to foster a sense of community among the students by encouraging them to participate in class group activities, cooperative learning, games, and classroom interactions. For example, there are no barriers to participation in any event. Students can participate in all celebrations and festivals. Over the years, we have seen that students become more at ease, more tolerant of diversity, and form caring friendships, contributing to the development of an empathy-driven society.
Furthermore, all the stakeholders support and maintain the students' right to privacy and protect confidential information received from students, their families, guardian and staff members. This includes and is not limited to medical reports, educational reports, counselling notes, etc. The sensitive information related to the special needs of the students is only divulged on a need to know basis with their consent.
Lastly, the school management is committed to restructuring school culture, policy, and practices so that students with diverse needs in various academic and non-academic activities.
Message about the counselling team and its capabilities
Our counselling team comprises experienced and trained Counselling Psychologists and Remedial Educators who facilitate individual and group counselling sessions with students using different strategies and therapeutic approaches. They create and implement individualised action plans for students with special needs along with sensitising and psychoeducating parents, families and teachers regarding the same. Lastly, the team also conducts talk sessions, discussions with student groups, and various activities throughout the year to enhance their mental well being.
Parents sharing their experiences at 21K school:
- “The team has been superb and amazingly helpful! Thank you for everything!” - The parent of the student in Grade 7 (American Curriculum)
- “The support given for my child was very satisfying. Making my child attempt each and every question in her exam was something really remarkable.” - The parent of the student in Grade 5 (Indian Curriculum)
- “We are really delighted and happy by our decision to choose 21K school for AAA's academics. Thanking all of you for making us successful. Truly appreciate the support mechanism provided to AAA..” - The parent of the student in Grade 4 (Indian Curriculum)
- “My sincere thanks and regards to the school, admissions and tech support and mainly each of the teachers and counsellors for teaching and supporting SSS 's needs. We are really grateful to have been associated with your school.” The parent of the student in Grade 1 (Indian Curriculum)
- “Very satisfied with the counsellor's patience and cooperation with respect to understanding my child and helping her accomplish the tasks by giving her time and making her feel comfortable throughout the assessment.” - The parent of the student in Grade 1 (Indian Curriculum)