Support Programs

Support Programs

As with any learning context, there are times when students require additional time and reinforcements in order to be successful academically, socially and/or emotionally. Such programs to support students are available to children at Hillside, as in all schools throughout the district. The relevant approach is considered for any students for whom a concern arises and a need is identified. As partners in the education community, parents and guardians are consulted and informed during each phase of the process. We aim to partner with families as we seek to facilitate student growth and positive academic experiences.

Response to Intervention (RTI)

Academic support is offered to students who are not on benchmark levels throughout the school year in English language arts and math. Teachers assist children regularly as part of their differentiated instruction. Response to Intervention (RTI) is an approach to academic and behavioral intervention used to provide early, systematic, and appropriately intensive assistance to children who are at risk for or already underperforming as compared to appropriate grade-or age-level standards. The paradigm above illustrates the whole-school organization for each Tier.

Tier I instruction is focused specifically within the core curriculum, with daily lessons and interventions targeting all students. Approximately 80% to 85% of the general student body should be able to meet grade level norms without additional assistance beyond the first tier. During the designated daily RTI period in one’s schedule, Tier I students participate in flexible instruction, typically in the form of center-based learning. During this period, there are a variety of activities available for students, which are directly connected to our ELA, Math, S.S., and Science curriculum. All work is differentiated based upon student needs and abilities. Typical center activities include pre-planned enrichment activities, extension projects, problem solving work, curriculum games, Individualized Daily Reading (IDR), etc.

Tier II intervention occurs when a child does not respond to Tier I instruction that is delivered in the basic academic classroom. If that is the case, then the classroom teacher will provide additional targeted instruction throughout an intervention cycle. This Tier II instruction occurs in addition to regular instruction and takes place three to four times a week. Tier II instruction takes place during the daily RTI period and during ELA & Math aesthetic support courses.

Tier III instruction, which is provided by a curriculum support teacher, is available to youngsters who need even more frequent help in a particular intervention cycle and is in addition to regular classroom instruction.

*Students who are not on benchmark levels will automatically be scheduled for Tier II and Tier III interventions and aesthetic support courses. All parents/caregivers will be notified and included in the development of an intervention action plan.

Students Accelerated in Learning (SAIL)

As per a New Jersey Department of Education mandate (NJSA 18A:7A-5d), our district has adopted a policy, and procedures for the identification of intellectually gifted and talented students. SAIL is the district’s approach to meeting the needs of students who are academically advanced. In Montclair, our response to the demonstration of advanced capabilities is guided by the principles of differentiation. At Hillside, students who qualify for advanced course work, will receive differentiated instruction in their basic academic classes and during the daily

Response to Intervention (RtI) period, as well as to have the option of registering for Accelerated Leveled Math and/or Literacy courses as part of our Creative Intellect or "CI" course offerings. Students must demonstrate eligibility each year, in order to continue participation, in courses at the CI level. The process for eligibility is outlined in the CI section of this handbook.

*At Hillside, we do not use the acronym “SAIL”, we use the verbiage "CI”. This language is historically rooted in our magnet design. Students who are CI eligible for Math and/or Literacy are given the option to take accelerated aesthetics for the respective subject.

Special Education Programming and The Child Study Team

The Child Study Team determines pupil eligibility for Special Education and related services in accordance with federal and state requirements under the provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and N.J.A.C. 6A:14.

Speech Therapy

The speech therapist provides services to children for articulation and language development. Sessions occur according to the student’s needs.

Auditory Support Therapy

A specialist provides support services to hearing‐impaired students who are in regular classrooms. The therapist meets with identified children according to the students’ needs.

Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy

A certified occupational therapist and/or physical therapist works with classified students on fine motor development or other needs as identified through evaluation.

School Counselor

A full‐time counselor is available to provide assistance to children when they need emotional support. Students have a safe place in which to process feelings and talk. A student may see the counselor once about a particular incident or may meet over a longer period of time depending on the child’s needs. When long‐term counseling becomes necessary, parents are notified for their input and consent. The counselor’s goal is to establish a positive relationship with youngsters and their homes so that students can be supported to have a wonderful school experience. The counselor also conducts lessons on social skills, in classrooms, as a proactive measure toward building a kind, safe and respectful school community. Please inform the school of changes within the family, environment, or other significant factors that may affect your child’s physical and emotional health.

School Nurse (973-509-4192)

The school nurse is on duty full time. Parents will receive either a call from the nurse and/or a note in the child’s backpack to confirm a visit to the nurse. Parents or an emergency contact are also notified when a child becomes ill during the school day. According to Montclair Board of Education policy, there are specific instances such as an elevated temperature, vomiting and skin rashes that require children to be excluded from school. A child may also be excluded based on the clinical assessment of the nurse.

  • Please note: according to district policy, the school nurse does not administer any herbal, homeopathic, or dietary supplements.

Please see additional helpful information from the Health Office under the section entitled Health and Wellness.

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