All students have dynamic needs, but when traditional education isn’t working for your child, it may be time to consider alternatives. Often educators look to add academic or behavioral interventions but fail to program strategies that support students’ holistic needs. When educators take a holistic approach that utilizes an individualized, multifaceted program, students can excel beyond expectations.

When a student enters a Catapult Learning program, we find it imperative to get to know the student and parents/guardians and obtain a deep understand of the student’s educational history. This information allows us to customize assessments which will equip us with the necessary tools to design a program geared to drive success. The key areas we examine are

  • The identification of positive and negative behavioral patterns allows us to understand each student’s individual strengths, motivation and impeding challenging behavior which may be disrupting their access to their education.
  • Investigating student’s social and emotional levels, including maturity and interest, social etiquette and perception skills, emotional intelligence and self-regulation abilities, may identify areas interrupting learning.
  • Executive functioning is the brain-body connection. It is crucial to access how students are receiving and organizing information from their environment. This includes working memory, processing speed, planning, prioritizing, the ability to shift focus and self-regulation and monitoring.

  • Providing a variety of academic assessments allow us to have a better understanding of each student’s skill gaps. We are able to identify if students have cognitive deficits (missing skills due to challenges in learning content) or content gaps (missing skills due to missing opportunities to access the content in instruction which may be due to disrupting behaviors or educational placements.

  • Communication barriers can be obvious, like language delays, while others, like comprehension issues, may be hidden.

When our assessment approach allows us to identify each student’s current performance level, we are able to provide the foundation on which all learning can begin- it’s about learning how each student learns and then applying the strategies they need to achieve success.

When you combine these strategies with consistency and skills that can generalize to the home setting, our students are set for success. We believe in strong communication with parents/guardians makes all the difference and are always offering any support we can give to support our families along their journey.

Stephanie Marshall is the regional director of Midwest special education schools at Catapult Learning, a leading provider of solutions that generate demonstrable academic achievement and better life outcomes for students, regardless of the learning obstacles and other challenges they face.

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