Student Support Services Department
Mirdif American School promotes an inclusive learning environment and our teachers strive to remove barriers to learning by providing high-quality differentiated instruction, for all students.
Inclusion is beneficial for all learners in the MAS community and will contribute to the academic, social, emotional and psychological development of all students.
The Student Support Services Department collaboratively works with all stakeholders ensuring that all students reach their highest potential.
Student of Determination (SOD) Support
Special Educational Needs are defined, as “A need which occurs when a student identified with a barrier to learning requires the school to make specific modifications or provide specific supports to prevent, remove or reduce any potential disruption in learning from occurring and to ensure that the student can access education on an equitable basis and within a common learning environment with same aged peers. (Dubai Inclusive Education Policy Framework, 2020)
At MAS we offer a tiered and holistic approach to student support. The department supports students’ needs through some of the following provisions:
- Differentiation takes place through content, process or instruction. Classroom/subject teachers will modify the school curriculum when needed with support from Special Needs teachers.
- Individual education plans (IEPs) are designed for identified students, with input from parents and teachers, to help reduce barriers to learning. Progress of goals is carefully and frequently monitored.
- Push – in support provides in-class support for students of determination. The amount of support time is determined based on student needs. The aim is to reduce support as the student gains independence and makes attainment.
- Pull – out interventions are linked to the class program and IEP goals to allow for intensive one-to-one or small group support.
- Practical/vocational programs (alternate pathways for learning) are offered for students of determination who may have the most significant barriers to learning. Curriculum is determined based on assessed needs and is aimed to improve self-help skills, functional skills, and practical skills to prepare students for future independence.
- Sensory therapy integration is used to help students with neurological impairment function within the school environment.
- Gifted and talented students are identified and supported with enrichment programs including specialized units of study, project-based learning and educational tours.
- MAS collaborates with a variety of outside specialist service providers to deliver speech, occupational and ABA therapy to our students of determination.
At MAS we recognize bilingualism as strength and welcome our rich classroom diversity. Our EAL team is dedicated to supporting students for whom English proficiency is still a developing skill. EAL support helps scaffold their learning so that they can participate successfully in the social and academic environment of the English-speaking community. Support is provided through the following methods:
- Effective differentiation inside the classroom working across the American curriculum.
- Pull – out support to develop English language skills.
- Enhancing vocabulary and conversation through dynamic peer groupings.
- Audio programs to provide quality-enriching exposure to English language.
Guidance and Counseling Support
The Guidance and Counseling department in Mirdif American School is committed to enhancing the social and emotional development, as well as the academic success of all children by generating effective coping strategies and interventions. Parents and teachers are brought together to help students overcome any obstacles to their well -being and education. Our counselor supports students across the grades in the following ways:
- Holistic play therapy to help students relax while discussing any difficult topics.
- Classroom lessons focused on character and moral education.
- Mentoring and empowerment groups for our young adult population
- Organizing transition days for students moving onto the next stage of education.
- Parent outreach through Coffee Talk mornings.
- Developing school wide anti-bullying initiatives.
- Arranging career day with a wide range of professionals to offer engaging discussions across the student body.