The International School of Riga (ISR) believes that every child can learn, therefore we try our best to support all students admitted to ISR including non-native English speakers, students with mild to moderate learning needs and highly achieving individuals. Newly admitted students who require learning support upon admission must provide appropriate documentation from specialists and previous schools (report cards, educational assessments from psychologists, past individual educational plans).
Any student at ISR that faculty suspect may need learning support and who might need further intervention goes through our referral process:
2. Notifying parents,
3. Time for improvement, collecting evidence and observation,
4. Potential referral to specialists. ISR might suggest contacts for specialists outside of school (educational psychologists, speech and language therapist or occupational therapist).
5. Referral to specialists. For further follow-up, ISR might suggest contacts for specialists outside of school (educational psychologists, occupational therapists, speech, language therapists or behavioral specialists ). Parents are responsible for contacting the specialists and for payment of the appointments and educational assessment. Parents, teachers, and the Learning Support Specialist work together to create a plan for the child’s success however, parents have the right not to proceed with it.
Once the educational assessment is received by ISR, an individual learning plan is created and learning goals are set in cooperation with the teachers and learning support coordinator. This document is shared with parents in learning support meetings. Both documents are uploaded in Engage and stored safely and confidentially. Students start working on their goals which are evaluated with teachers and parents once (June) or twice a year (February and June).
The level and frequency of support depends on the child and the identified learning needs. ISR helps enhance individual needs of students by placing the right strategies and differentiation in class, in-class support, small pull out groups and one-on-one assistance. The school is also willing to hire an individual assistant for a student, however, parents need to be ready to cover the cost.
English as an Additional Language in Primary
At Primary level, all students are fully immersed in an English speaking learning environment. English Language Art is integrated in all units of IB PYP and taught with an inquiry-based approach. Students who are new to English or perform below grade level expectations receive small group support in EAL classes and in-class assistance from our support teachers on a daily basis. Non-native English speakers also have an opportunity to participate in EAL after school activity which boosts their literacy and phonics skills. Parents will be notified when EAL support is no longer needed and the student can access the curriculum without further assistance in language development and are achieving their grade level expectations.
English as an Additional Language in Secondary
As English is ISR’s language of instruction, our priority is to provide support for our non-native English learners in order for them to succeed in their classrooms as quickly as possible.
The Secondary EAL program taught by our EAL specialists is fully adapted to individual students’ needs and prepares them for challenges and demands of the International Middle Years Curriculum, the Cambridge IGCSE, and A-Level. New students with limited English skills receive support upon starting at ISR in order to build up academic English and key vocabulary which will allow them to be successful in all subject areas. Non-native speaking students receive EAL support from three to six periods of modern language instruction each week in Middle School. In High School, EAL classes take place during three language periods to enhance their learning in mainstream classes.
MAP growth tests (Measure of Academic Progress)
At ISR, MAP growth tests are used for assessing students’ initial levels and academic growth in Math and English (reading and language usage). Students are tested twice a year in Fall and Spring as well as upon admission. The MAP scores provide us with information about students’ performance, help to identify individual needs of every child, set the learning goals and support differentiation in the classroom. They can also reveal further needs for EAL or Learning Support intervention.