An Elementary Guidance program is a life skill curriculum that helps students develop communication and interpersonal skills that foster stronger self-concepts. The guidance lessons provide contact between the counselor and each student in a classroom setting. The counselor is then able to develop a relationship with each child individually and provide additional support emotionally, academically, and socially. The counselor meets with each class every other week for guidance in conjunction with small group and individual student settings.
The Elementary Guidance curriculum embeds the American School of Doha (ASD) values of Respect, Honesty, Responsibility, and Compassion throughout all units. Units include friendships, conflict resolution, diversity and third culture kids, feelings, bullying, teasing and cyberbullying, effective group work, transitions and changes, and moving to Middle School (Grade 5 students).
The goal of our Elementary Guidance curriculum is to support and enhance the overall elementary program, as well as help to develop ethical students who can function responsibly in a vast and global world with confidence, grace, and dignity.
English as an Additional Language
The English as an Additional Language (EAL) program supports students in the Upper Elementary School (UES) to acquire and develop the four essential language skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing. EAL teachers develop and deliver a comprehensive approach to language support using a variety of instructional strategies. Overall, the program creates a comfortable learning environment to support students in developing both social and academic language skills, while utilizing the curriculum of the respective grade level. The EAL teachers work very closely with the classroom teachers to assess and monitor the students’ English language acquisition, as well as to support progress in the content areas. The EAL teachers and the classroom teachers use the co-teaching model to maximize student learning. Students receive instruction both in the regular classroom and out of the classroom dependent on their needs.
The EAL program at ASD recognizes the importance of each student’s home language and culture. Strong home language proficiency contributes to the development of a second or additional language.
EAL students may be identified at the time of admission or throughout the school year, through a comprehensive referral process and standardized assessments. Services that are offered may include pre-literacy skills, listening comprehension, oral expression and communication, vocabulary, grammar, word study, guided reading groups, and reading/writing workshop.
When students are ready to be considered for exit from the EAL program, the EAL teacher and classroom teacher carefully review recent assessments and evaluate classroom performance to make a recommendation on exiting the EAL program.
Intervention and Learning Support
The Intervention and Learning Support program recognizes that students learn in different ways and at various paces. Intervention and support plans are implemented by classroom teachers, instructional assistants and specialist support services teachers. Differentiation is provided by teachers to support students in developing strategies to become independent learners. Using best practices and assessments, the program empowers each student to work towards his or her individual goals. The belief is that collaboration between teachers, learning assistants, instructional assistants, parents, and students is necessary in order to provide an effective program of support.
Students who have mild learning difficulties that interfere with their academic performance in the classroom, and who are at risk of not meeting the grade level standards of our school, may qualify for placement in the Intervention or Learning Support program. Students who qualify for the program, after an established referral process has been followed, will receive an ‘intervention plan’ or ‘individual support plan’ dependent on the students’ respective needs. Students may be supported in-class or out of class, individually or in small groups.
The objectives of the Intervention and Learning Support program are to identify students who are experiencing difficulty meeting ASD standards and to provide them with the support they need to improve their school performance. When students are ready to be considered for exit from the Intervention or Learning Support program, the guidance counselors, support services teachers and classroom teachers carefully review assessment data and evaluate classroom performance to make a recommendation to exit from the program. A student’s performance is typically reviewed every six weeks and some students may be exited from the program after six weeks if sufficient progress has been made.