Billings strives to foster the growth, independence, creativity, and maturity of our students. We believe that all middle school students need support at one time or another — whether academic, social, emotional, physical, or a combination of these. Over three years at Billings, a primary task of the middle schooler is to understand and learn to apply one's own learning profile.
Support at Billings begins with our understanding of individual students. In addition to the classroom expertise of our teachers, Billings has a variety of tools we use to meet student needs. These include student advisory groups, study skills classes, partnerships with outside learning professionals, and one-on-one tutoring at The Learning Center (TLC).
At Billings, every teacher gets to know each student on an individual basis, and in no place more powerfully than in the Advisory program. When from time to time a student requires support beyond the classroom, their Advisor may initiate a conversation through our Student Referral System. Depending upon the situation, a plan will be developed that might include any of the following:
A classroom intervention involving modification of instructional approach
Parent support through TLC and advising team
Outside learning support
Professional assessment and/or testing
The Learning Center
The Learning Center at Billings (TLC) is directed by Greg Smith, an experienced tutor and educator. Greg facilitates learning support for Billings students.
One-on-one support is provided by either professionals from outside tutoring services or faculty members. Billings has a standing relationship with many of the city's top tutors. This relationship provides us with the ability to best match their expertise with a student's needs and greatly increases the quality of communication between the tutor and the school and family.
The Learning Center FAQ’s
Q: My kid has (autism, dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, executive functioning issues, slow processing speed, etc). What will support for them look like?
A: Billings strives to infuse universal design concepts in classroom instruction. This means that standard accommodations listed on IEP, 504 Plans, or ed-psych testing such as... "student should be provided advanced notice of reading materials, opportunity to use a computer for composition, extended time as needed to complete work, or speech to text technology"... are available. Billings teachers strive to meet the learning needs of all students utilizing best practice teaching strategies in all situations.
Q: My kid is highly capable, what will support for them look like?
A: Billings strives to differentiate classroom instruction to meet the individual needs of its learners. This means that it strives to offer appropriate academic challenges to engage learners of varying strengths and skill sets. For example:
selections of novels usually include both a more accessible, simpler text and a more challenging text to choose from. Discussions are designed to include both (sometimes three) texts.
Billings offers math at 6 different levels, allowing students to work at their specific level all three years. Students who qualify can work up to one to two years ahead in math.
Q: How does Billings partner with Seattle Public Schools for learning support?
A: Billings partners with Seattle Public Schools to provide 1-1 support for students who have qualifying IEP’s, or wish to engage in the IEP creation process. Meetings can be arranged between Billings staff and SPS staff to coordinate support. Students who qualify often see SPS tutors on campus prior to the start of the school day.
Q: I want my kid to receive outside tutoring/support. What resources do you offer?
A: Billings is happy to facilitate/support outside coaches and tutors during the Billings school day. All coaches/support personal that come on campus are well vetted. Billings also provides outside support recommendations upon request.