PolyAcademics

Student Support

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Lower School learning support includes two full-time learning specialists, one part-time learning specialist, one full-time math specialist, a speech and language consultant, and an occupational therapy consultant. The specialists work with individual students and small groups throughout the day to support classroom teachers in best meeting the needs of all students, providing remediation, grade-level instruction, or enrichment and extensions.

Our speech and language consultant and occupational therapy consultant visit classrooms at the request of teachers and families who have questions about the speech patterns development and sensory needs of specific children. In addition, the Lower School has a school psychologist on staff. The psychologist conducts observations, meets with families and suggests resources, facilitates support check-ins with individual students, and collaborates with teachers to create meaningful social-emotional learning experiences for all students.

Our Youngest Students Thrive with Poly’s Dean Program

If you want to understand Poly’s deep commitment to student well-being and self-advocacy, look no further than our dean program, where a dedicated Lower School dean follows every child from Nursery through Grade 4 to ensure an outstanding educational experience is had by all.

Lower School Student Support with Kenneth Hamilton

The Lower School dean team collaborates with each family and makes certain learning takes place in a nurturing environment which values the needs of each individual. “Our priority is each and every student. We’re here to be their cheerleader and advocate, and to support our families and teachers,” says Kimberly Davis Rivizzigno P’35, Associate Director of Community Life and Family Engagement, who leads the Lower School dean program with Assistant Head of Lower School Kenneth Hamilton.

On any given day, you might find Davis Rivizzigno checking in with a new Lower School family. Or, you may see Hamilton meeting one-on-one with a student, because students know they have an adult they can talk to in addition to their classroom teacher. The duo (Davis Rivizzigno serves as dean for Nursery and Kindergarten and Hamilton is dean for Grades 1-4) meet regularly with teachers to check on students’ progress and needs. They constantly interact with students and, in doing so, build meaningful relationships, whether it’s carving out time for hot cocoa to connect or share concerns or facilitating discussions about being an upstander vs. a bystander.

The care and attention students experience in Lower School sets them up for a seamless transition to Middle School, where they will be grounded by a cohort and Middle School dean who travels with them from Grades 5-8.

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