“I appreciate Rainier Prep's emphasis on highlighting diversity and different cultures. They incorporate learning about various populations into their curriculum and throughout the school day. For example, during Hispanic Heritage Month, they decorated their doors, played music from Hispanic artists during transitions, and had lessons focused on various Hispanic historical figures.” – Nic Huang, Seneca Occupational Therapist
“The staff and teachers at Rainier Prep are so dedicated to using a strengths-based approach, which makes a huge difference in how the school views and engages students. I've seen this particularly highlighted in IEP meetings - students are typically present for their IEP meetings, and staff directly address the student and focus on the ways in which the student is working hard, the skills they're demonstrating, and how the staff/teachers will be supporting areas of growth. I think this helps the whole community feel very aligned and united in support of students and allows scholars to feel proud and confident. I can feel this confidence when I'm working with students!” – Grace Little, Seneca Speech Language Pathologist
“With a student who is targeting pragmatics and communication breakdowns, we host a once a month coffee/cocoa cart where we solicit orders from teachers and make and deliver cocoa and coffee! This allows the student to practice skills we've been working on in speech therapy in a more environment, and provides a great opportunity to generalize those skills. Additionally, we've written letters to loved ones to target language goals, and in the upcoming semester two of my students are working together to make a "middle school manual" for new students to practice generating and editing their own written language.” – Grace, SLP
“We have created shoe-tying videos, done sessions outside, and crafted emails to teachers with fun ideas for enrichment or fieldtrips.” – Nic, OT
“Of course, I love working with students and often hearing about how much they enjoy their friends and teachers at Rainier Prep, but I think the most unique Rainier Prep joy moment is morning staff huddle. Three days a week at 8am, the entire staff (including admin, teachers, support staff, ops, and even the executive director) meet in a wide circle in a classroom for essential announcements, but first we start with "connections." Connections is a chance to connect with colleagues about anything and everything; topics range from what TV shows we're watching, recommendations on nearby hikes, and heated debates about the correct name of the mini-mart down the street. It's hard to describe the vibe without being there, but for me it's a joyful time to connect with and learn about my colleagues.” – Dr. Anna Casey, Seneca School Psychologist
- Most classes are co-taught, allowing students with IEPs to receive their services alongside their typically developing peers and while accessing the grade-level content
- The Student Support Team meets regularly to review data on students of concern, develop interventions with teachers, and refer students for special education evaluations as appropriate.
- Rainier Prep students are more understanding of different learning abilities. Working with students in the classroom is extremely beneficial for carry-over of skills from a 1:1 setting and most of my students are very comfortable with me working with them without fear of being stigmatized by their classmates. Both students and teachers also frequently talk about the different skills they've learned from their SLP and/or their Special Education teachers.
- All of the staff are focused on individually supporting students
“I think about one student who came into the year very withdrawn – they were using nonverbal responses primarily with unfamiliar people and adults, and, when prompted, sharing that school felt difficult and they didn't enjoy it. But it was clear that that the whole team was focused on finding out what worked best for them individually, and sharing that knowledge with everyone else who supported the student, and that has led to so much growth. Now they are raising their hand in class to answer questions, saying hi to students in the hall, and making great growth.”