At SCH, we believe in providing a unique, personalized educational experience for each enrolled student. We challenge our population of high-achieving, creative problem solvers to develop not only academic skills but also competencies of the mind and self-reliance; yet, we do not expect them to do it alone. Thus we provide a unified and integrated Educational and Counseling Services (ECS) team to support our students’ overall well-being and social, emotional, and educational development in all five divisions of the school.
Educational and Counseling Services faculty and staff bring expertise in education, psychology, and child and adolescent development to all aspects of school life, including individual student needs, school climate, interaction with families, and school policy decisions. We believe that every SCH student deserves to access the curriculum, and we maintain a strengths perspective at all times rather than focusing on perceived deficits.
Members of the Educational Services team collaborate with division heads to provide direct service and consultation to students, parents, and faculty. ECS faculty conduct group and as-needed individual assessments to be sure that each student is where he or she needs to be and is progressing academically. They provide small group and individualized instruction to students in Lower School in reading and, on a more limited basis, in Middle and Upper School.
ECS faculty and staff also provide professional development to teachers. Faculty consult with ECS members to discuss strategies geared towards supporting the learning of all students. In each division, ECS faculty regularly participate in grade-level team meetings and disseminate relevant information, including Official Accommodation Plans when warranted.
We also liaise with Elwyn Incorporated, which is contracted through the City of Philadelphia to provide very limited services. We currently use Elwyn for speech pathology (screening and group therapy), educational groups (such as emergent readers), and psychoeducational testing.
Early identification of learning challenges, appropriate intervention, and partnership between school and home are important to academic success at SCH Academy. If any learning differences or disabilities have been identified previously, parents should contact the divisional psychologist prior to a new student’s arrival in the fall.
The school psychologists provide whole grade, whole class, or small group interventions to students in all five divisions. Additionally, individual short-term counseling is provided to students who self-identify or who are referred by parents, faculty, or administrators. When a student’s need are such that it cannot be met within SCH, the school psychologist, division head, or other ECS team member will make a referral to a qualified and vetted outside professional who can provide the service. We then also liaise with these professionals to ensure continuity of care.
The school psychologists and reading specialists provide incidental and ongoing consultation to parents around a variety of questions. Staff also provide resources to parents as needed, including educational workshops, morning coffees, and book discussion groups.
Parents who wish to access any type of support for their child should contact the divisional psychologist.