It is our goal at WEDJ to provide all of our students with the academic and social support they need to succeed inside and outside the classroom. Working closely with families, our teachers, counselors, and other trained faculty members, are attentive to the needs of our students and will go the extra mile to help.
The services we provide include Student Support Team, Special Education, Counseling, and English Language Learner Services.
The Student Support Team (SST) is the first level of intervention for a student when a teacher or staff member, parent, or a student himself identifies a possible academic, behavioral, or attendance problem. SST Coordinator Stevonna Miles will convene a meeting of the team involving parents, teachers, administrators, counselors, and any other relevant individuals to discuss the challenge and strategize about ways to address it. The team will develop a plan to try out for six weeks. Ms. Miles follows up with teachers, parents, and the student to see if the plan is working. The team meets again in six weeks. If the strategy was a success, the case is closed. If not, the team will come up with another idea or set of ideas to try for four more weeks. Often, students’ academic and behavioral struggles can be solved with simple solutions, such as
- Spending extra time using Skills Tutor, our online academic support system
- Spending more time focusing on a particularly challenging academic subject
- Allowing a student to take extra time on tests or assignments as needed
- Turning off the television at home so students can better focus on their homework
- Enrolling students in extracurricular activities such as martial arts, soccer, or anything else that enables them to move around, build teamwork skills, and learn discipline
- Improving students’ diets to include more fresh fruit and vegetables and less sugary foods to enable them to better concentrate and sit still in class
If, after four more weeks, the problem has not been solved, the family will be referred to the DC Public Schools psychologist. The DCPS psychologist will determine what kinds of evaluation the student should undergo, including psychological, academic, speech/language, occupational, or functional behavior.
Special Education is provided to students who have sufficient academic, developmental, behavioral, emotional, speech, or medical challenges that prevent them from successfully participating in general education. If a child completes special education testing through DCPS and is deemed eligible, a multidisciplinary team, including parents, will assess the child’s needs and determine objective and measurable goals. Eligible services can include specialized instruction; speech-language, occupational, and physical therapy; counseling; and assisted technology services.
Counseling Services are provided for free to students who need them, usually determined by the Student Support Team. Services can include individual or group counseling. Counseling may address areas including anger management, truancy, drugs and alcohol, ADHD, school motivation and organization, grief and loss, self-esteem, and social skills. We offer a range of counseling groups that reflect the needs of the student population. Confidentiality is absolutely maintained unless there is a suspicion of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse or physical or academic neglect. If there is a suspicion of abuse or neglect, WEDJ staff is obligated by law to report these suspicions to the Child Family Services Administration of Washington, DC. In cases of suicidal or homicidal ideation or intention, WEDJ staff is mandated to address these concerns by involving the proper authorities and service administrations.
English Language Learner Services are offered to students who have speaking, reading, or writing challenges because English is their second language. When students are enrolled, their parents must complete the Home Language Survey. WEDJ staff reviews Home Language Surveys and screen students who do not speak English at home to determine their eligibility for English Language Learned Services. Parents are notified of their child’s eligibility and have the opportunity to accept or decline these free services. Parents may request ELL services outside of this screening process. If services are approved, the ELL Teacher provides academic support through an inclusion model.