THE LEARNING CENTER
The JKHA Lower School Learning Center offers a multifaceted program which addresses the individual learning needs of identified children in Kindergarten through fourth grade. The Learning Center is a place where learning differences are understood, acknowledged and supported. Its goal is to create a secure environment in which children can grow both academically and emotionally. The Learning center philosophy is to equip students with effective strategies and provide them with the skills needed to perform to the best of their ability in the mainstream classroom.
The Learning Center is a partnership between special education teachers, classroom teachers, students and parents. Learning Center staff members work collaboratively with classroom teachers to adjust curricular demands. They help teachers modify assignments and tests in order to minimize frustrations and maximize success. All kindergarten and first-grade students are screened at the beginning of each school year in order to identify any child in need of support. Early intervention is provided to kindergarten students who are referred by their teachers and identified by this specialized screening. First through fourth-graders are supported as needed, either by an in-class inclusion model, or a pullout group which meets up to four times per week. Learning Center teachers provide instruction in basic skills, as well as help in navigating the demands of a dual curriculum. They teach test-taking and study strategies, methods for improving comprehension of texts, and assistance in developing grade-appropriate organizational skills. They recommend modifications and accommodations and assist teachers in their implementation. Learning Center teachers meet regularly with classroom teachers and collaborate in choosing the best support model for each student.
Learning Center teachers foster a positive, nurturing atmosphere in which a variety of multimodality techniques are employed. Students are taught individually and in small groups, enabling each child to work at his/her specific level and pace. They are empowered by understanding their own unique learning style in order to gain insight into their personal strengths and challenges. Given consistent encouragement and the proper tools, students in the Learning Center are taught to advocate for themselves and develop the skills and confidence necessary to become independent, successful learners.