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by Charlotte Danielson
Table of Contents
A school's learning support system provides extra assistance to students who need it to make satisfactory progress in their learning. The system is a safety net for students, preventing them from falling through the cracks of the school program; it should not permit any student to fail.
Although a well-designed learning support program is most critical for students at risk of school failure, others can benefit as well: teachers, for example, are served by having somewhere to turn when they can't meet the needs of some of their students; they can enlist the assistance of colleagues, who might suggest alternate instructional approaches. Students who don't need extra help can also benefit from a learning support system, which keeps teachers from directing all of their energies toward the few who need additional assistance. Even advanced students can benefit: although struggling students should be the system's first clients, any spare capacity can be directed toward the needs of students who are not being adequately challenged in the regular program, such as those typically identified as “gifted.” Thus the learning support program supports the learning of all students within a school, ensuring that they are both successful and challenged, as well as supporting the work of teachers.
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