How We Support StudentsSchool Counseling ProgramApproaches to Learning
BMS offers this course to students who need additional support to be successful in reading and math classes. Students receive an additional 250 minutes each week in areas such as reading fluency, reading comprehension, word decoding, content area vocabulary, math fluency, and knowledge gaps in mathematics.
BMS faculty open a computer lab for an hour each day after school, allowing students access to computers, software, and a quiet working environment. Our staff is on hand to provide students with additional organizational or assignment help.
Language Arts/ Math Ability Grouping
BMS uses all the data available to place students with instructors and supports most likely maximize student growth. Students are reassessed each year and can move between groups. BMS has had great success in closing the achievement gap between the least prepared and most prepared students by increasing support rather than lowering expectations.
Response to Intervention (RtI)
The school steps in when students are not experiencing the success they could be. A team of teachers considers the student from a “big picture” perspective, identifies what is working, and develops a plan to replicate that success. If a student needs additional supports, either academic or non-academic, the team works to ensure those supports are put into place. Typically, BMS tries tailored interventions for the student for 4-6 weeks, then evaluates for success, and makes adjustments as necessary.
All students have the opportunity to take a study hall either every day or on alternating days. Each grade has a dedicated period for study halls so that students have access to all of their teachers during this period. As the year progresses, teachers regroup students based on students’ needs to maximize the impact of this time.
Removing Non-Academic Barriers to Success
Bexley Schools recognizes that a student’s needs extend beyond the curriculum. BMS's school counselor, Tara Louys, provides classroom guidance, small group opportunities, and individual counseling to students. The school's home-grown advisory program, (I’m)agine Bexley, encourages students to explore different ways that they can grow and contribute to a community.
Bexley is unique in that it has a Director of Student and Community Engagement, Leisan Smith, who is dedicated to addressing students’ social and emotional health. Ms. Smith works with students, facility, families, and the community at large to identify and overcome barriers to student success.
As an International Baccalaureate school, BMS highly values the depth of learning that can only occur with a global mindset. Faculty strives to help students move from simply knowing to doing. Service projects, such as South Sudan relief efforts, give students a way to contribute to others around the world. BMS has a goal that each student, regardless of income, race, sexual orientation, gender, or family composition, feels welcome, safe, and included while at school. The school uses a combination of culturally aware practices, celebrations of diversity, and community experiences to give students an awareness and appreciation for others and themselves.
A student with an underlying medical condition that has a substantial impact on his or her learning is eligible for an individualized plan under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. This ensures that the student receives the necessary classroom and testing accommodations for full access to the same learning opportunities that other students have. Tara Louys, BMS Counselor, is the 504 coordinator for BMS students. Samantha McMasters, Director of Special Education, oversees 504 services for the district.
Individual Education Plans (IEPs)
Students with disabilities that have a substantial impact on their learning are eligible for an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. These individualized plans lay out specific goals for students and what accommodations or modifications a student needs to have full access to the same learning opportunities other students have. Special Education services are overseen at the building level by a team of Intervention Specialists, Speech Therapists, School Psychologists, and building administrators, including Samantha McMasters, Bexley Schools' Director of Special Education.
Written Education Plans/Gifted Services
Students identified as gifted have unique learning needs that staff need to be aware of and support. These students may be eligible for a Written Education Plan (WEP). Some of the ways BMS serves gifted students: a pull-out language arts program, accelerated math classes, and a variety of course offerings geared towards creative talents. Crystal Carley is BMS Gifted Intervention Specialist and Dr. Laura Lipsett, Executive Director of School Programs, oversees district gifted services.
BMS students have access to a clinic that is staffed by two full-time registered nurses who work with students for everything from stomach aches, to gym class injuries, to daily medications and diabetes monitoring. Bexley's nurses provide the students with a high level of care that ensures they are ready to learn while in class. The school district is served by full-time mental health professional on site at the Cassingham Complex. Joann Spain and Katie Talbott are the nurses at the Cassingham Complex. Dr. Laura Lipsett, Executive Director of School Programs, oversees health services for the district.