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Our Resource Center Team
|Christina, Ramirez, M. Ed. Director||Christina Ramirez, M.Ed., is Director of Resource for SAA. She joined the staff in August 2012 after working in two Maryland public school systems since 1996. Mrs. Ramirez holds a Master of Education in Elementary Education from Marymount University (VA), and received her special education endorsement K-12th grade from Trinity University (District of Columbia). Mrs. Ramirez maintains her Maryland State Department of Education certifications at the Advanced Professional Certificate level, encompassing general and special education, ESOL K to 12 instruction and an Advanced Professional Certificate Administrator I designation. She has Professional Level Certification with the Columbia Union in Elementary and Special Education. Her two children attend SAA and in her very limited spare time she enjoys outdoor activities with them and her husband, as well as rooting for the SAA Hornets at sporting events (which, in reality, takes up all of that formerly-mentioned spare time). A graduate of Sligo SDA School and Takoma Academy, Mrs. Ramirez gets a kick out of seeing children of her former classmates she used to go to school with pursuing academic excellence here at SAA.|
What is Resource?
Probably one of the most frequently asked questions for those without exposure to the public school system is “what is Resource?” Merriam-Webster online defines resource as “a source of supply or support.” At SAA, Resource supports teachers and parents to increase student academic success for students with instructional needs beyond average variability in the classroom. Our department works in partnership with families, classroom teachers and staff to provide accommodations, interventions and in some cases specialized instructional support to allow our students with academic need to access the general education curriculum to their fullest potential.
We accomplish this through constant communication, including parent/teacher conferences and our monthly SST meetings. SST stands for “School Services Team," which is built on the public school IEP (Individualized Education Plan) Team model. This team consists of the parents, classroom teachers, administration or designee, and our school nurse and guidance counselor as appropriate to need. Think of it as a pumped-up parent/teacher conference meeting. One day a month is on the internal calendar to schedule and invite parents in for meetings, with sub coverage being provided so the referring teacher can also attend.
Qualification for Resource
Resource is specific to methods and supports for teachers and students to enhance and supplement instruction in the classroom. Specific remedial programs come under consideration after several layers of discussion and implementing strategies to see if there is response to intervention. The first line of intervention is always the classroom teacher. If academic progress is lacking, the teacher works with the student by modifying instruction. Consulting with Resource occurs at this stage and some recommendations will be implemented in the classroom. An SST meeting has occurred prior to or will occur at this point. Interventions are monitored and then met on after a specified period to review the gathered data. Often if steady interventions show minimal progress, there is the necessity for further psychological-educational testing to determine if there is the presence of a disability interfering with learning. SAA does not provide psychological-educational testing. We work through channels with our local public school systems and private providers to allow parents the opportunity to explore assessment options. These channels are explained in SST conferences when it appears further evaluation is warranted.
Quicker, more direct methods to determining if Resource will be involved in your child’s learning experience at SAA is if an your student is enrolling with a current IEP or ISP (Individualized Service Plan) or Section 504 Plan from an in-state or out-of-state public school system, or a MAP (Modified Academic Plan) from a school in our Seventh-day Adventist school system. There is a required field in the SAA online application where you are asked if your child has any of the above within the last 3 (three) years. If you indicate “yes,” please be pro-active in bringing in a copy of the most current Plan or MAP along with all assessment reports/data used to make the determination that your child qualifies as a child with a learning disability. This helps to move the admission process along without unnecessary delays.
It Takes a Village…..
The goal of resource/special education is to maintain (and hopefully build upon/increase) a year’s academic growth in a year’s time. This is accomplished through SAA's staff in collaboration with the student and the home. It takes all three components to allow these extra supports the opportunity to work.
For additional information, please explore the links on this web page and direct your questions to Christina Ramirez, Resource Director.