At Hillside School’s Wick Tutorial Center, students gain valuable support in key academic areas. Tutorials are offered in Executive Function, Math, Foundations of Language, and Social Skills. The small tutorial class size of two to four students enables the learning specialists to tailor their approach to the individual’s unique strengths and challenges. Tutorials are offered two times a week during the student’s Flex periods, ensuring that the students do not miss critical work in their core classes. The learning specialists collaborate with classroom teachers to integrate skills and topics from the core curriculum into tutorial sessions. The use of multi- sensory techniques and differentiated instruction gives each student the best opportunity to optimize their chances for success. Tutorials also help each student enhance his executive function and develop a foundation of organized thinking and literacy strategies that can be applied to all subjects. These key elements of of the Tutorial Center reflect Hillside'’s commitment to serving the needs of diverse learners.
The EXECUTIVE FUNCTION TUTORIAL (EF) supports students in the areas of reading comprehension, written expression, and difficulties with aspects of organization. Active reading strategies include making connections, questioning, visualizing, making inferences, drawing conclusions, determining importance and synthesizing information. Written expression is taught using a systematic, structured approach. Organization of written work including sentence, paragraph and essay structure is also part of this tutorial. The emphasis is on the organization of the writing and inclusion of supporting details. The organized thinking strand encompasses the use of graphic organizers, webs and two column notes, to enhance reading comprehension and higher-order thinking skills. Increasingly, this encompasses both technology (on iPads and laptops) as well as on paper. Time management strategies include, prioritizing homework assignments, management of study hall time, and long term project planning. Materials management involves the organization of binders, backpacks, and lockers. Other study strategies include sequencing, summarizing, textbook skills, and test taking strategies. This tutorial meets for two sessions per week.
During the MATH TUTORIAL (M) the students follow a syllabus that either parallels or enhances the topics in the classroom. It may be necessary to revisit earlier topics to review these concepts in order to fully comprehend the classroom work in progress. It may also be appropriate to prepare students ahead of time for new work that will be introduced in class.
Foundations of Language
FOUNDATIONS OF LANGUAGE (FOL ) is offered in Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth Grades and is an intensive reading and writing tutorial that meets four times per week in place of a foreign language. The Wilson Reading System, an Orton Gillingham approach, is used for phonics instruction for decoding and spelling. Fluency is addressed through oral reading and fluency exercises. Comprehension strategies are taught through a variety of strategies including an emphasis on active reading strategies: making connections, questioning, visualizing, making inferences, drawing conclusions, determining importance and synthesizing information. Additional instruction is also given in graphic organizers, webs and two column notes as study strategies to enhance comprehension and organized thinking. Written expression is taught using a systematic, structured approach. The students practice sentence, paragraph and essay development. The emphasis is on organization and inclusion of supporting details.
SOCIAL SKILLS TUTORIALS (SS) focus on the utilization of appropriate social skills, as well as on the identification of the importance of such skills, via use of the Social Thinking curriculum. This curriculum aims to assist students in the development of a deeper understanding of social relations and social communication. Students will go beyond simply naming and learning the social skills; rather, they will be encouraged to gain a better understanding of how the social world works and why specific social skills are important in differing contexts. This tutorial meets once a week.