IGNITE, which stands for Individualized Goals Nurtured in a Team Environment, seeks to complement and extend our school’s mission by providing evidence-based, diversified instruction. The mission for this program is to:
complement and extend Brown School Mission Statement by providing evidence-based, diversified instruction to students at Brown School. Students shall benefit from individualized learning goals and classroom instruction to further improve academic, social-emotional, visual and musical, and wellness strengths while allowing students to confidently explore opportunities for development in a nurturing, team-based environment.
The IGNITE Program demonstrates Brown School’s commitment to individualized education of the entire child. All Brown School students directly benefit from the IGNITE program through hands-on interaction with educational professionals, integrated and differentiated instruction, and student advocacy. Examples of services within the scope of the IGNITE program include:
Meet the Team
The IGNITE team is comprised of a child’s classroom teacher, special area teachers, IGNITE support staff, administration, parents, and most importantly, the student. At Brown School, we recognize the importance of students being actively involved in the process of goal setting and learning.
Since IGNITE is integrated into the classrooms and daily activities, many students set their own goals. These goals can range from academic – “I want to finish reading a book this week”, to organizational – “I will complete all my homework without my parents or teachers reminding me”, to personal – “I will make 5 free throw shots in a row”.
Individualized IGNITE Learning Plans
Students, families, and educators collaborate to create each student’s IGNITE Plan, which documents meaningful and attainable individualized learning goals. To honor Brown School’s commitment to educating the whole child in a team-based environment, IGNITE Plans mindfully encourage talent development and development opportunities across academic, social, artistic, and wellness domains.
Classroom-Based Small-Group and Individual instruction
Members of the IGNITE team work in classrooms to provide in-lesson differentiation. Through collaborative co-teaching and small-group sessions, Brown School is able to accommodate students’ unique learning styles and learning rate in even smaller groups than those Brown School is known for. Additionally, some Brown School students are identified for small-group instruction outside of the classroom, which includes reading groups, homework help, and tutoring.
Student Advocacy and Case Management
Through IGNITE, each Brown School student has a plan that is maintained by their classroom teacher, and reviewed by a team, including administration, at Area Meetings to ensure the student’s unique needs are met with continuity. This results in a truly individualized educational experience for students participating in a relevant and rigorous academic program. For students whose educational outcomes cannot entirely be met through classroom-based support, IGNITE provides families with screenings, counseling, and referrals to community and district resources.
The Brown School curriculum is designed to challenge students and expand critical thinking skills; therefore, students may at some point require appropriate, grade-level assistance from a teacher.
Teachers receive ongoing, student-specific consultation regarding the delivery of best-practice accommodations and students supports. For most students, this support from the classroom teacher will be sufficient.
Students requiring additional support will be nominated by the parent-teacher team and will be evaluated by the IGNITE team to determine the appropriate manifestation of support. Support is customized on a case-by-case basis within the following domains:
- Language – decoding, encoding, fluency, comprehension, speaking and listening
- Executive Functioning – organization, time management, and planning
- Social-Emotional – pragmatics/social language, peer relations and negotiations
All students enjoy many best-practices in gifted education as part of the typical classroom. Teachers receive ongoing, student-specific consultation regarding the delivery of best-practice enrichment opportunities.
For most students, the opportunities described above are sufficient; however, some may require programs or services beyond those normally provided in order to realize their full potential. These students will be nominated by the IGNITE team for student-specific programs that focus on the student’s area of interest. Some of these programs are online, such as the Constellation Learning program offered for our upper school.
Combined Support and Enrichment
An example of our focus on educating the entire child, some students will receive support in one area and enrichment in another. Appropriateness of support and enrichment is made on a case-by-case basis by the IGNITE team.
WITs End (Working Individual Time)
In addition to the IGNITE Program, another mechanism to make sure each student receives daily support and/or enrichment is the WITs End Program. For the 2021-2022 school year, we have combined WITs End with IGNITE time in our student schedules. It is held mid-morning, Monday through Thursday.
Students in upper school have a flex period built-in to their schedule. Many students use this time as a study hall to get started, or even complete homework. This is also a time where students can get extra help from teachers, take music lessons, or meet with professionals like the social worker.
WITs End promotes time management skills, prioritization as well as the ability to advocate for one’s self. Students appreciate having the freedom to choose how to spend their time and parents appreciate that they have more family time in the evenings because students are completing some of their homework at school.
While all students at Brown benefit from our regular IGNITE program, the IGNITE Plus Program is designed to provide support to students who have significant, ongoing struggles in one or more of the following areas: language abilities, memory, attention, perceptual-motor skills, executive functioning skills, academic areas and/or social/emotional development. The specific deficits can affect one or more of the following areas: the ability to decode accurately and fluently, read with comprehension, encode words, write, organize work or belongings, engage in mathematical computations, apply problem solving, and build positive self image and relationships.
Depending on the student’s needs, IGNITE Plus instructors/service providers will work with the student in class (Push-in) or in a separate location (Pull-out). Workload modifications and accommodations are also made available as needed.
Services are initiated with a thorough review of records, teacher observations, testing and family input. When possible, students are also included in the development of their IGNITE Plus Plan. A student profile is then developed, and learning goals are created. Strategies, modifications and recommendations are designed for use in the classroom and at home. Communication between support staff, classroom teachers and the family is ongoing throughout the school year in order to optimize both instruction and remediation.
Students who are enrolled in the IGNITE Plus program will be charged an additional fee, based on the services they receive and the frequency with which they are delivered on a weekly basis. Some students may be assigned to an IGNITE Plus session for a full year, while others may need assistance for a specified time.