Language Enrichment And Development (LEAD) is an essential component of the Trident Academy approach for students with language-based learning differences. Students who struggle with reading, writing, or math receive one LEAD class every day; placement is determined by the individual needs of each student.
LEAD classes evolve as the student progresses through Trident Academy. All students are evaluated at the beginning of each academic year and are assigned a LEAD instructor who will address their individual needs. For many of our younger students, reading, spelling, and handwriting are the first focus of instruction. As students become more proficient, practice for reading fluency is included.
LEAD faculty evaluate all students in the areas of decoding, phonemic awareness, fluency, spelling, reading comprehension and vocabulary, and written expression. Test results are used to place students in LEAD classes, determine individualized goals, and design the approach for the individualized student. Tests utilized include the Phonological Awareness Test (PAT), Test of Word Reading Efficiency (TOWRE), Test of Written Spelling (TWS), Gates-MacGinnitie Reading Test (GMRT), and the Rapid Automatized Naming Test (RAN).
Reading is taught using the Orton-Gillingham structured, sequential, multi-sensory, and phonetic approach in an individualized tutorial setting. Our Lower School students are placed with a LEAD instructor in a small tutorial session where they receive intensive and individualized instruction. These sessions often have a teacher-student ratio of fewer than 1:3.
As students become more proficient readers and spellers, they continue to work on vocabulary, reading comprehension, and written expression. The Orton-Gillingham approach is used in language instruction and is reinforced in the classroom. LEAD teachers and classroom teachers work closely to provide the best program for each child.
As students enter Middle School, LEAD classes may focus on advanced decoding strategies, vocabulary, reading comprehension, and written expression. Students may be in the traditional tutorial setting or in small groups if written expression is the focus of instruction. LEAD placement is always determined by the individual needs of a student.