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JudithJudith
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HI Jude
I work in an international school in Chicago. We don’t formally assess children upon admission, other than play dates in nursery to look at general behavior and shadow days where possible for the older students. Occasionally we have turned down a student on the basis that this did not seem to be the right environment for them, but this is rare.
It is illegal to refuse a student for various reasons – including learning difference, so we do not ask these questions during the application process but we have just added a document for parents accepting a place so that they can specify whether they have external support/ therapy and asking for relevant documentation. This is really just to accommodate their needs – and we allow external therapists to work with our kids in school ( OT,SALT, social workers etc).
We do not have a huge learning support team but we are very focused on meeting the needs of ALL learners – this has included incorporating movement breaks throughout the day – and we have actually changed our timetable this year to facilitate this.
For EAL students, we are developing better processes and resources – we don’t have huge numbers of EAL but we do have many bilingual/ trilingual kids and we have a deliberate focus on heritage language and culture.
In Chicago, diversity ( or cultural competence which is often the preferred term) is a huge talking point and there are often specific opportunities for those within certain socio economic brackets – many private schools have a huge scholarship program, and ask parents for top up contributions to fund this. We do not do this.
I don’t know if this is what you were looking for but if you have other questions let me know !