Every child thinks and learns differently, and we strive to create a learning environment that accommodates and nurtures these differences. For the past decade, the driving force behind our school’s effort has been MAA’s Learning Specialist, Mrs. Andrea Micheli. Thanks to her hard work and dedication, MAA has a proactive, integrated approach to specialized learning.
Mrs. Micheli came to MAA as an Orton Gillingham specialist from the public school system. “I traveled from school to school to serve students with IEPs (Individualized Education Programs),” she said. “When I was told about this position of reading specialist [at MAA], even though at the time the format was the same, I applied because I would not be traveling to different schools.” But, when she visited MAA, she immediately recognized that she would be able to start a program that truly worked for students. “Very quickly I saw that the administration and faculty at MAA believed as I did that the needs of the students came first. An IEP and/or outside testing are not needed to provide access to the services we can provide here.”
Mrs. Micheli’s role has expanded dramatically since she first came to MAA as a Reading Specialist. A hallmark of her approach is her strong proactive mentality. “I believe that early intervention is the best remediation,” she stated. “The administration allowed me to change the way services are delivered, and I mostly ‘push-in’ rather than ‘pull-out.’ I collaborate with the teachers of students with different learning styles.” Co-teaching has become a centerpiece of Mrs. Micheli’s efforts and has created a positive and dynamic learning environment for all of our students. “I believe in co-teaching, especially in classes where students struggle,” she said. With the support of faculty and staff, Mrs. Micheli now works in Grade Four and Five Math classes daily, Grade Two and Three spelling classes weekly, as well as a Grade Three Math class and Grade Two Writing class when needed.
Mrs. Micheli has also brought her expertise with Lexia Core5, a technology-based reading program that allows students to work independently on fundamental reading skills. The digital program collects data on each student’s progress as each works through the program, allowing teachers to monitor growth. She also administers the Symphony Math programs for Kindergarten and First Grade, going into classrooms to provide whole class or small group instruction. Additionally, she teaches a Grade Four Social Studies class and administers our NWEA assessment testing and IXL Math, a digital, interactive math program.
Suffice it to say, Mrs. Micheli has become an absolutely integral part of the MAA community and one of the key contributors to our challenging, yet nurturing learning environment. We are blessed to have Mrs. Micheli as part of our community. She plays a vital role in fulfilling our mission to “educate and nurture students in a challenging academic environment to become lifelong learners.”