The American School of Madrid has limited resources for children with special needs. Depending on the specific needs, ASM may be able to provide some support in order to assist in ensuring the student with special needs can successfully attend ASM for the duration of the family’s expected stay in Madrid. Support is provided mainly for academic and English language learner needs. Minimal support is available for students with behavioral or emotional needs. Spain has both psychiatrists and psychologists. Some medications that assist students with emotional and behavioral difficulties that are available in the United States are not available in Spain.
The American School of Madrid does have a Learner Support Program designed to provide students with minor learning differences with an appropriate curriculum which matches his or her demonstrated pace of learning. The Lower, Middle and Upper Schools each have a Student Study team comprised of faculty, teaching specialists, administrators, coordinators, and counselors that meet regularly to help coordinate the resources that are available to best meet the students needs.
The services offered under the umbrella of the Learner Support Program are the Learning Resource Center (LRC), English as a Second Language (ESL), Student Study Team (SST) and Counseling.
Learning Resource Center (LRC) and Student Study Team (SST)
In the Lower School, the LRC provides services for the identification of needs based on assessment and teacher observation, development of an individual academic plan, and supervision of curricular adaptations. Students receive academic assistance both within the classroom setting and in small groups outside the regular classroom.
In the Middle and Upper School, students who have special needs are monitored by the Counseling Office, who as needed, convene an SST. Every effort is made to support and accommodate students learning needs by means of flexible scheduling and additional academic assistance through scheduled time with the resource teacher or private tutoring. The Upper School does not provide a program for students who cannot be mainstreamed and/or who require substantial academic support or program modifications.
English as a Second Language (ESL)
The ESL program in the Lower School provides support services to students from Kinder 3 to Grade 5 either through “push-in” classes conducted in the respective homerooms or through “pull-out” classes where very specific language skills are addressed. Most ESL instruction is content area-based by grade level. Various assessments are used to determine entrance to and exit from the program. In the Middle and Upper School, students must be able to function within a regular English class, with additional ESL support.
In general, the older the student, the higher the level of English language proficiency required for acceptance into the School. If deemed in the best interest of the student, parents may be requested to provide tutoring and/or attendance at summer school programs for English language acquisition.