Academic Support

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304 Diocesan Model for Academic Support

At the Diocese of Pittsburgh, we recognize today, more than ever before, that children come to school with a wide range of experiences and abilities.  Many children make an easy transition to school and continue to meet or exceed grade level expectations.  Other children, for a variety of reasons, come to school less prepared to learn.  Still others come to school with diagnosed or undiagnosed disabilities that can significantly impact their ability to learn.

It is important for us to understand, however, that a student who has a disability does not always need special education.  Many times, students with mild to moderate disabilities are very successful in regular education classrooms when appropriate supports are in place


To meet the diverse learning needs of each student enrolled in our schools by implementing the Diocesan model for providing academic support.


To meet this goal each school will:

·        Select an academic support coordinator.

·        Develop a Growth Plan for each student in need of support.

·        Follow the Growth Plan Process.

·        Establish an academic support team.

In each school, the principal is responsible for assigning one teacher to assume the role of Academic Support Coordinator.

When students need supports consistently, in order to be successful, teachers must document the interventions by developing a Growth Plan.  A Growth Plan enables the teacher to monitor the effectiveness of his/her interventions.

Following the Growth Plan process, i.e. scheduling transition meetings and acquiring parent signatures on the Growth Plan, not only ensures that the supports documented will continue from year to year but also facilitates on-going communication with parent/s.

Each school will have a working team in place to address issues related to academic support as they surface throughout the school year.  Team members would include the teacher/s involved, the principal, the academic support coordinator, Title I teacher/s, and other IU staff, if available.  The academic support team will meet regularly so teachers have the opportunity to collaborate with their colleagues when developing and monitoring effective interventions for their students. 

In addition, parent/s’ input is vital when developing the Growth Plan when revisions and/or additions are made to the plan.  Parents are recognized as an integral part of their child’s support team. 

Above all, Growth Plans implemented within the context of the Growth Plan process help teachers to maximize the level of success for all of their students.