At Atlanta Youth Academy, a dedicated Learning Support Specialist is employed full-time to support students, teachers, and parents. All AYA teachers are grounded in the pursuit of excellence for each and every child, using the following principles as a guide:
- The importance of honoring and embracing each child in the context of a community of learners
- The value of helping every student find and pursue his/her passions
- The understanding that all children learn differently and have different God-given strengths and talents
At AYA, the Learning Support Specialist works closely with teachers to identify learning needs, differences, and difficulties of individual students. Most important, the Learning Support Specialist walks alongside teachers and parents to target academic intervention in a personalized way. The use of anecdotal and classroom data enables the creation of goals and action plans for all students. The Learning Support Specialist works specifically with students identified as needing additional support.
A primary goal of AYA’s educational approach is to ensure that students learn in the least restrictive environment possible. Therefore, teachers and the Learning Support Specialist promote an inclusion model for learning support at AYA. Individual and small group intervention is available for students, and small class sizes allow for teachers, tutors, and the Learning Support Specialist to provide additional instruction and explanation for students in unique ways.
Direct support in literacy (phonics, phonemic awareness, reading comprehension) and in mathematics (number sense, numeracy, and computation) is provided by the Learning Specialist. For students with formal accommodations, small group testing, extra time, and/or use of adaptive technology are facilitated by the Learning Support Specialist