Student Services at Nishimachi
At Nishimachi, our aim is to maximize learning for all students. We want children to thrive both academically and socio-emotionally. To that end, we offer various support services, but are also limited in the types and extent of support we can provide based on our size and selectivity as a school.
Exceptional Potential Program (EPP)
Exceptional potential is a student support service focused on providing additional enrichment for students. In elementary, the focus is on enriching students in math and literacy using a variety of resources designed for gifted learners. In middle school, students are tasked with creating and developing a passion project, allowing them to learn more about themselves and area of interest. We try to connect each student to someone with more expertise in their chosen topic to provide them with feedback. Final passion projects are presented at an exhibition at the end of the school year allowing students to share the process they went through.
Counseling Services (CSL)
Counseling services support our students’ social and emotional well-being. Services are provided in individual sessions, short-term interventions and some educational programming to help students understand themselves, their emotions and their relationships, and make positive change by shifting perspectives, adjusting habits, and improving communication. This support is largely offered in the context of one-on-one conversations, but may also include group counseling, in-classroom lessons, and family meetings.
In order to ensure that students feel they can talk about their experience candidly and honestly, the work students do with counselors is confidential, with one important exception: if the possibility of a student being harmed, or doing harm to themselves or others, is raised, counselors have a duty to report this to administration, through our Student Protection protocols.
Where counselors suspect that a student may be facing an issue that reaches beyond social and emotional development into a concern about mental health, a recommendation will be made to the student and their family to work with a mental-health professional such as a psychotherapist or psychiatrist to receive medical care outside of school.
Learning Services (LS)
To determine a path forward for students with learning needs across the curriculum, Learning Specialists may conduct assessments and observations, and collect and analyze data such as work samples, teacher comments, parent/student interviews, and standardized test scores such as MAP and ISA. Determination of whether or not learning services are required is made as a team in collaboration with members of the Student Services Team and teachers. Two questions are used to guide us in making the decision: 1) Is the student able to access grade level curriculum?, and 2) Is the student functioning in the classroom?
Depending on the student’s needs, the Learning Specialist may provide in-class services in collaboration with teachers, specialized instruction in the Learning Specialist room, teaching recommendations to teachers, giving advice to parents, or contact with external specialists. Learning Specialist services are designed to meet the needs of students with a mild difficulty and are not intended to function as a formal special education program within the school.
Learning Plans with goals are created for identified students, and data is used to monitor student progress, reassess goals and to determine LS status for the following year.
English Language Services
We recognize the linguistic diversity of our students and that they have different levels of English language proficiency. To meet the needs of our multilingual learners, our two English Language Specialist teachers provide English Language Services in collaboration with teachers. These services may include individualized or small group instruction during the school day.
In Spring, we administer WIDA-Measures of Academic Progress (MODEL) to all students receiving active English Language Services. Results of this assessment are discussed in Semester 2 Reports. Standardized testing data as well as data collected by English Language Specialist teachers and the child’s teachers are used in making decisions about a student’s ELL status for the following year.
Students who demonstrate grade level English language proficiency no longer receive English Language Services, but they are monitored to ensure they continue to access the curriculum.
Speech and Language
Speech and Language services at Nishimachi are provided by an external consultant. Our Speech Language Pathologist is on campus daily and can take referrals from both families and teachers. Speech and language areas which may be addressed at school include but are not limited to: speech sounds (articulation and phonology), voice concerns, expressive and receptive language needs, fluency/stuttering, social communication support. All services are delivered within a neurodiversity affirming approach. All services are provided based on a cost-sharing program with school; a portion of the fees is billed to families (fees may be covered by some expatriate insurance policies but are not covered by Japanese government health insurance). For more information please contact email@example.com