Student Supports at HCOS
Families at HCOS have many opportunities and freedoms when shaping their learning environment to best fit their child's needs.
They can build learning around the movement a child needs, the best time of day to learn, the topics that interest and motivate them, and projects that showcase their strengths and abilities. Parents can arrange a learning space where their child is comfortable and has the quiet or stimulation they require.
Additionally, where needed, families can work with their teacher to set their child up for success by planning for additional time for an assignment or assessment, or agreeing on an alternative way to access information (e.g. through an audio book or video rather than text) or to show their learning (e.g. a presentation rather than an essay). Your teacher may also suggest curriculum options that would better fit your child or family. If a family wishes to communicate more of their learning needs to their teacher or Grad Advisor (GA), they can complete the Learning Support Request Form.
Students at HCOS also have access to a wide array of in-house supports, with little to no cost or barriers, through the Learning Commons or Learning Groups as well as through teachers and GAs.
In-house support options include:
- Audiobooks, hi-lo books, read-along or read aloud books available through the Learning Commons.
- Read&Write (speech to text, text to speech) is available for free, and is a good support for those with reading, written output or organizational challenges.
- C-pens are available to borrow through the Learning Commons and at Community Connections.
- The Student Support Center offers online EAs (education assistants) support for literacy and numeracy.
- AXIS , a faith-based subscription resource with videos that invite conversations on tough topics (anxiety, pornography, divorce etc.) for teens and their families.
- "Hello Anxiety" and Group Counselling: 6-10 week, counsellor-led options provided through Learning Groups where Grade 8-12 students learn to manage their anxiety. Check out "Virtual Voices" as well!
- Susan Barton (10 levels) is an Orton Gillingham-based reading program available free through the Learning Commons.
- Touch-Type Read and Spell, is a good typing program for students with reading & spelling challenges is available for free through the Learning Commons (request form here).
- Dyslexia Games are a series of consumable therapy workbooks available through the Learning Commons.
- HCOS also has sensory, behaviour, reading and written output supports available at Community Connections.
- Online Assessments to evaluate literacy, numeracy and cognitive abilities (DORA, ADAM or Gibson test) are available by speaking to your child's teacher or GA.
Additionally, your student's teacher or GA has access to a team of supportive Learning Support Coaches (LSCs) who provide specialized advice and insight on student needs.
It typically takes up to a year for students to work through the applicable in-house supports HCOS offers. If your child continues to struggle after their teacher has had time to assess needs and the impact of our in-house supports, your child can be considered for additional professional supports or assessments in their subsequent years with HCOS.
We always keep in mind that your primary student supports are an individually-shaped home-learning environment and a strong partnership between invested, well-equipped parents and teachers.