Special Learning Needs

Admission Determination of Students with Special Learning Needs

It is the desire of SJB to provide the best possible education for all its students. Students with special needs are given the same consideration as all applicants. However, prior to admitting a student with diagnosed special needs, St. John Berchmans will decide as to whether or not it feels it can provide an appropriate education for that child. Each child will be considered on an individual basis by determining the following:

1. What are the strengths and needs of a prospective student? Review the following:

  • Previous report cards
  • Entrance assessment (if needed)
  • Attendance and discipline records
  • Any public school evaluations, IEPs or 504s, if applicable
  • Previous psychoeducational evaluations, if applicable
  • The severity and degree of the disability

2. Why do the parents wish the child to attend this school? Determine:

  • What expectations do the parents have?
  • Are the parents’ expectations realistic?
  • Does the school feel it can meet the expectations?

3. Can the student commit to the school? Why does the student wish to attend?

4. What support does the school have in place to accommodate the student’s needs?

5. What extra support do the parents need to provide to ensure the success of the student? Are
they able to provide the necessary/additional support needed as determined by the school?

6. Can the classroom teacher accommodate for the student’s needs? What accommodations are needed and how many students with disabilities are currently enrolled in an assigned class?

Accommodation Plans at St. John Berchmans Catholic School: Do Catholic schools implement IEPs and 504 plans? Catholic Schools do not always have the resources to follow IEPs or 504 plans. As private Catholic institutions, we have our own system to assist students with mild to moderate special needs or disabilities. St. John Berchmans Catholic School develops a Catholic Accommodation Plan (CAP) for students with 504 plans, IEPs, or a diagnosis from a private facility. A CAP includes whatever resources and strategies the school can provide and is developed with the input of parents, school personnel, and often the student. Caddo Parish School Board (CPSB) will evaluate qualifying students, when needed. CPSB will provide the following services to students with a qualifying IEP: speech services to all grade levels and occupational therapy and inclusion services for students age 5 and under.

Classroom and testing accommodations accepted at SJB are inclusive of the following possibilities and used only when agreed upon by teacher, school representative, parent, and student. Accommodations are subject to change when input from teachers or students determine
that a certain accommodation is leading to improved or deteriorated score/performance.

The goal in providing accommodations is to support a student, aiming for student growth and independence in the skills he or she needs to become a life-long learner. Accommodations are not intended for indefinite use, unless a continued need is determined.

Accommodations at SJB may or may not include the following:

  • Preferential seating
  • Repeated directions
  • Rephrased directions
  • Small group testing
  • Extended time (time and a half)
  • Test read aloud
  • Colored overlays
  • Use of magnifier
  • Use of calculator
  • Use of math chart
  • Use of highlighter
  • Use of graphic organizer

Other accommodation requests will be reviewed and approved only if the accommodation does
not limit the student’s ability to obey school rules and regulations, does not limit the student’s
ability to complete all course requirements without modifications, and does not require a change
in the school environment which will be disruptive or distracting to the instructional and testing

Once the CAP is finalized by a school representative, a parent, and the student, it is signed and
put in place so that the classroom teacher can access and use the plan. Accommodations and
modifications will be administered with fidelity, to the best of the school’s ability with the
available resources at hand. If the CAP presented at acceptance is changed or altered during
the school year, all parties must re-sign and re-file the CAP so that the replaced plan can be
removed from the system. Open communication is encouraged by all parties (teachers, parents,
and student) to address any questions, concerns, or suggestions regarding a CAP and student

Partnership with A Kid’s Choice Educational Services

Additional Services: Sometimes students require more accommodations, interventions, or modifications than SJB is able to provide in the regular classroom. SJB partners with A Kid’s Choice Educational Services (AKC), dyslexic specialists, who provide a variety of services within the school day. Each student’s individual contract will be developed based on A Kid’s Choice Educational Services Assessment, and parent interview. Additionally, the following information can be considered: work samples, teacher input, former school records, and formal evaluations and/or medical diagnosis. A prescriptive plan to address student needs and set goals will then be designed with each individual student in mind. Individualized interventions and instruction must be approved by SJB administration. To obtain any of the AKC services below,
parents must enter into a contractual agreement with AKC, separate from their SJB tuition agreement.

  • Academic Assessment: Current academic skill level and learning style are assessed to establish the students learning profile.
  • Academic Therapy: Landmark School’s six core principles are applied through teaching methodologies and represent proven, effective, research based teaching practices for ALL learners, not just students who struggle with language. Landmark School is a world-renowned leader in the field of educating young people with dyslexia.
    1. Provide opportunities for our students to experience success.
    2. Use multiple modalities to teach.
    3. Use micro-units and structured tasks for every student.
    4. Ensure automatization through practice and review.
    5. Provide models for our students to use as a guide.
    6. Include our students in the learning process.
  • Remediation: The student is taught strategies through a structured, sequential,
    multisensory approach that enables them to acquire academic skills in reading, spelling, and oral and written language. Designing an effective remedial approach to instruction depends upon an accurate assessment of the student’s cognitive ability and academic skill level. Knowing the student’s learning profile enables educators to teach the student’s areas of strength and effectively remediate the areas of weakness or difficulty.
  • Modified Curriculum Instruction: Stakeholders establish curriculum changes in instructional level, content, or performance criteria.
  • Tier 3 Interventions: Students are instructed with the Wilson Reading System, an
    Orton-Gillingham structured literacy program accredited by the International Dyslexia Association. IDA certifies dyslexia practitioners in the Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading.
  • Woodin Math/Right Brain Math: Students are instructed using research based methods
    for teaching about numbers and learning basic math skills. These methods employ a
    multi-sensory approach valued for varied learning styles so that students can express, relate, store and retrieve information efficiently.