After a student has been diagnosed and the school confirms a need, a learning plan is developed for the student. Written by Academic Support faculty with input from the evaluator, a student’s teachers and other faculty as needed (counseling staff, nurse, et al.), the learning plan provides a summary of information for the staff working with the student and recommendations for working with them based on their unique needs.
The learning plan not only contains information about a student’s strengths and weaknesses in specific areas, letting a teacher know in advance where students may require more or less support, but also lists a student’s accommodations. Those accommodations reflect both the evaluation and the information provided about the student’s actual performance at school. Not all of the accommodations listed on the educational evaluation may be on the learning plan; similarly, accommodations not included on the evaluation may be added.
Families sometimes ask about IEPs or 504 plans. These plans are the result of federal disability laws that affect public schools and agencies that receive federal funding. Because Burroughs does not fall in those categories, its learning plans are a little different, but they contain much of the same information. Burroughs’ learning plans also meet the criteria established by standardized testing agencies, but those agencies may still require updated testing.
Because all learning plans may not have been reviewed and updated by students and families prior to the start of school each year, a brief summary of a student’s strengths, weaknesses and accommodations are sent no later than the first day of school to each of the student’s core teachers and advisor. (See Appendix B: Sample of Brief Accommodation Summary.) As part of the learning plan process, students also sign a testing integrity statement at the beginning of each year. (See Appendix E: Testing Integrity Statement.)
The learning plan is reviewed by the student, and changes are made to reflect their input. The drafted plan is then sent home to the student’s parents/guardians for review. Ideally, these reviews should happen before school starts in the fall. If changes are required, the plan will be updated. The final plan is sent to teachers. (See Appendix A: Sample Learning Plan.)
Learning plans are not shared with outside individuals or agencies unless the family requests that they are. All learning plans are reviewed and updated annually as long as a student is still using Academic Support services. Every student must have a current plan to access accommodations.