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Support and Accommodations for Identified Learners

McNicholas is proud to offer the S.A.I.L. Program (Support and Accommodations for Identified Learners), which addresses the needs of identified students, helping them to cope with learning in the high school environment.  Each student learns differently, and there are those students who have such a unique way of learning that they need special support. This service helps these students to stay on track so that their efforts will more clearly reflect their ability.  S.A.I.L. exemplifies the school’s commitment to caring for the whole person and devising learning conditions for maximum achievement by each individual student in the program.

The emphasis of the S.A.I.L. Program is to provide for the individual learning difference and learning styles of the student by teaching to his/her strengths while working with the student’s challenges.  The student develops an understanding of his/her strengths, learning styles, as well as individual rights and responsibilities.  Students in the S.A.I.L. Program are mainstreamed into the college preparatory, honors and Advanced Placement classes.  The accommodations and services include, but are not exclusive to, tutoring, coursework support, Kurzweil reader, extended testing time, word banks, weekly progress reports, scribes, and tests read by the S.A.I.L. teacher.

The objectives of the S.A.I.L. Program include the following:

  1. To provide an education for students with learning disabilities and Attention Deficit Disorder
  2. To provide for the individual learning differences and learning styles for the student by teaching to his/her strengths while working with the student’s challenges
  3. To inform teachers of each student’s academic profile and of classroom accommodations described in his/her Service Plan
  4. To provide the opportunity for each S.A.I.L. student to achieve academic potential through
    1. Daily coursework support, including study skills
    2. Testing accommodations
    3. Extending testing time, including standardized tests
    4. To provide academic and college advising to the S.A.I.L. student
    5. To monitor and to consult with the faculty regarding the progress of the S.A.I.L. student
    6. To better enable students to assume responsibility for their own learning and to promote self-advocacy

What is an identified learner?

An identified learner is someone who through testing and evaluation by a school psychologist has discovered one or more distinct challenges that interfere with learning.  Some common challengers are dyslexia, verbal processing disorder, written language disorders, and dysgraphia.  At times, there are several challenges that occur all at once, or that cannot be categorized so specifically.  The S.A.I.L. Program uses a variety of strategies to minimize the difficulties that are identified in students. 

Admission Requirements

In order for a student to be admitted to the S.A.I.L. Program, there is an application process and the student must meet the following criteria:

  1. The student must be evaluated by a psychologist for a discrepancy between aptitude and achievement, with the learning problem identified if possible.  This evaluation must have been completed within the last three years.
  2. As a part of the above evaluation, the student must demonstrate a full range aptitude of at least an average I.Q.
  3. The student must be recommended for admission to the program, by either his/her previous school or by the psychologist who tested the student.

Parents interested in the S.A.I.L. Program for the 2021-22 school year should download and print an Application for Admission to the S.A.I.L. Program.  The application, fee and all required forms are due November 12, 2020.  An interdisciplinary team of McNicholas counselors, administrators, and Intervention Specialists will evaluate the student’s records.  It will be determined if the optimum learning environment for the student is within our fully mainstreamed curriculum with tutorial support.

Tutorial Time and Costs

The S.A.I.L. Program size is limited to 3 students per bell.  Each student will meet the specialist for five periods per week for thirty-six weeks for a total of 180 periods or 150 hours. There is an additional fee for the S.A.I.L. Program.  McNicholas is a Jon Peterson Scholarship provider.  For more information on the scholarship you can visit the Ohio Department Education’s website.  A non-refundable $50 deposit is required before the application will be reviewed.  (This fee is waived for current McNicholas student applying to the Program)

Role of the Specialist

The intervention specialist is the tutor and case manager for each student.  The specialist acts as a liaison to the rest of the professional staff and is the student’s advocate.   The specialist drafts an accommodation plan in the fall, which outlines the student’s accommodations and goals for the year.  The recommended accommodations are communicated to each of the student’s teachers.  The specialist will be in weekly contact with the classroom teachers and parents.

Role of the Parent

Parents are encouraged to understand that their child’s learning style is unique, and that parental involvement is critical in helping their child cope in the high school setting.  Frequent communication with the specialist and classroom teachers is essential for all S.A.I.L. participants.  Conferences are requested by the parent and specialist when needed.

Graduation Requirements

McNicholas requires 24 credits for graduation as outlined in the Course Directory.  These requirements will be reduced by one elective credit for every year a student is enrolled in the S.A.I.L. Program.  Students enrolled in the S.A.I.L. Program will meet the graduation requirements of the State of Ohio.

Student Contract for Membership in the S.A.I.L. Program

Students in the S.A.I.L. Program are expected to abide by the principles described in the Student Contract.

S.A.I.L. Program Faculty
Renee Herndon, Chair
Valerie Combs
Jeanne Daly
Hannah Schwab

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