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"The experience I have at the VLC is teaching me about the world and essentially to see the big picture of the world in real life."
- Student

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Personalized Targeted Teaching Program

The neuropsychological and educational assessment provides standardized test results as well as a unique perspective that is used to design a personalized program that fits like a glove to address each student’s unique learning needs. This targeted program is the hallmark of the service provided by the Vancouver Learning Centre. For more than 30 years our experience in program design and use of specialized teaching tools, processes and resources has consistently led to achievements in our students well beyond the expectations in the profile of the initial assessment.

The program identifies four components for success:

  1. The concerns to be addressed. Each program details the area or domain that provides a focus for the learner. For example, concerns may include: a learning disability in complex auditory processing, vocabulary skill development, written expression development, reading (decoding), or comprehension, etc. For each concern the specially targeted program will contain a remedial strategy, which includes the resource material to be used and instructions for the teachers on how to proceed.
  2. The student’s strengths, which provide the platform for new and innovative ways to deliver the necessary teaching. For example, the student may be identified as a strong visual learner, with good skills in visually based abstract reasoning; or with special strengths in language or math. These strengths will be enhanced to provide overall performance strength and to improve self-esteem. They may also be used as an entry point in a method of presentation for each learner.
  3. The principles or ways to teach the individual student that will most likely produce success. For example, if the student is a visual learner, the teachers will be asked to feature visual displays in their presentation of material; or they may be asked to train the student in effective listening; or to use a structured or coaching method; or to feature vocabulary harvest to teach word meaning as a first step in every lesson; etc. In other words, since all lessons are one-to-one the teaching principles guide the teacher to take advantage of the student’s strengths to produce a personal best outcome for each student.
  4. With these foundational features in place the program details can be set out. This is the part of the program that links the resources and tools (materials in the VLC Resource Library) with teaching instructions about the level and manner the material is to be delivered in one-to-one teaching. In keeping with the VLC’s commitment to transparency and partnership, the program is always included for the parents’ information with the assessment report, so they can see the direct connection between the findings from the assessment and the program design.

In some cases it will be appropriate for the parent to become a member of the child’s team. If this is the case, special instructions will be highlighted throughout the report and summarized in a “Note to Parents” included with the program design.

Sometimes for school age children and youth collaboration with the teachers and other school personnel enhances the overall outcome for the learner. If this is the case, the test results or a summary of the report can be made available to the school. The collaboration may begin with a school visit that includes the parent (and may include the student as well). The process often includes an Individual Education Plan (IEP). With this team-based approach the learner’s success in the classroom is maximized.

Of course, school collaboration is not always necessary or possible. In this case, the learner or parent may help to target the student’s immediate classroom needs for tests, topics or projects. The VLC faculty have access to a rich library of material identified in the program report by grade and level.

In addition to cognitive and academic factors in a targeted program design, emotional, psychological and behavioural factors sometimes interfere with a learner’s success. If this is the case, Cognitive Behaviour Training (CBT) approaches and specific teaching and coaching strategies are integrated with the programs, and VLC faculty are taught to deliver these programs under the ongoing supervision of the psychologist.

Finally, educational enrichment, strategic learning tools, goal setting, and organization are part of every program regardless of the intellectual strength or weakness of each student’s profile.

As well, once learning begins, momentum for growth is created at a level well beyond the student’s entry level. The rate of progress is precious and usually builds to its maximum level by the end of June or the end of the 3rd semester. For this reason a strategy to maintain momentum in a flexible summer, 4th semester is mandated for each student based on faculty recommendations at the beginning of the 3rd semester, so it can be accommodated and combined with the family’s summer holiday plans. This is so important that in some cases special arrangements can even be made when students are away from Metro Vancouver in the summer. (See 4th semester for more information).

At the end of the summer, school readiness programs are built into the 4th semester to preview the content and concepts of the grade ahead, preparing each student for the fall term, primed for success from the start.

These full service programs are robust and produce evidence-based success. They are an investment in a student’s personal best outcomes for school and life success.


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