In order to create a flexible program where students are able to maximize their strengths while also receiving support in areas of need, Hill Top utilizes a phasing system in each class. This process ensures that each student is appropriately challenged by the course content. Teachers work with each student to determine the appropriate phase for a particular course, thus determining the student’s pace with regard to homework, independent learning, and organizational skills. A student’s phase may vary from one class to another and may change throughout the school year. The phases are as follows:
Modified (MO) - formerly Significant Accommodations (SA)
Definition: Students work slowly and require a significant level of teacher direction, guidance and oversight along with modified assignments. Work at an MO phase is not at a college-preparatory pace or level.
Students at the MO phase would receive one or more of the following:
- Modified assignments
- Modified tests
- Slower paced instruction
- Use of supplementary materials on quizzes and tests (i.e. notes, textbook, word bank)
- Omission of more challenging topics
- Significant extensions on assignments
- Minimum expectation for individualized work at home
- Scribing and/or typing assistance
- Significant one-on-one support during class, mentor period and beyond.
- Practice tests and/or literature guides and study materials are provided (9th-12th only)
- Significant extra time on tests (i.e. greater than 100%)
- Increase support with executive function skills
- Writing assignments in the assignment book or creating lists of work (Upper School only)
- Teacher-scheduled mentor periods
- Study hall activity
- Adaptive activities (physical education and art only)
- Modified penalties for late work
- Retests with no penalties
- Teacher signature of assignment book (9th-12th grade only)
- Phase-appropriate grading (i.e. alternate rubrics) - This accommodation must be used in conjunction with other MO supports.
NOTE: STUDENTS WHO NEED TO BE CONSISTENTLY PLACED AT THIS PHASE IN MULTIPLE CLASSES ARE NOT FUNCTIONING AT THE COLLEGE PREP LEVEL AND WILL MEET WITH GREATER CHALLENGES OVER TIME. THEY ARE NOT FUNCTIONING AT A LEVEL COMMENSURATE WITH THEIR GRADE LEVEL PEERS. PARENTS MAY BE ADVISED TO CONSIDER AN ALTERNATE PROGRAM AS A RESULT.
Supported (SP) - formerly With Accommodations (WA)
Definition: The student is clearly capable of grade-level, college preparatory work, but needs some teacher-initiated supports beyond typical accommodations to be successful. The student may utilize the accommodations listed at the Instructional phase but may also need additional accommodations that are typically not offered at the college level. The student should be working towards being able to work without these supports over time. Students at the SP phase may receive one or more of the the following in addition to accommodations offered at the Instructional (IN) level:
- Teacher-assigned mentor periods
- Breaks during class
- Retest or resubmission of tests/assignments receiving a grade below 65% (9th-12th only)
- Extended deadlines for assignments
- Teacher guidance in chunking assignments
- Additional instructional supports (word bank/step sheet/checklist/graphic organizer)
- Additional 1:! support during the school day
Definition: Work and instruction are delivered at a grade-appropriate, college-preparatory pace with a balance between independent work and teacher direction. Students working at the Instructional phase may receive accommodations available at the college level, such as:
- Up to 100% extended time for test
- Books and tests in audio format
- Use of speech-to-text technology
- Preferential seating
- Student-initiated mentor periods
- Use of a laptop for written assignments and/or note-taking
- Reduced distraction testing environment
- Alternate format - large print or Kurzweil
- Use of recording devices
- Note-taking assistance (copies from a classmate or lecture notes from instructor)
Definition: Student is responsible for highly independent work with limited teacher oversight and instruction. Students working at an Advanced phase may receive accommodations available on the college level such as those listed at the Instructional phase.
Independent Study (I)
Definition: Student is participating in an independent study program or college level instruction.