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Student Support

Relationships are at the core of a successful learning community

Through the implementation of the Caring School Community program, A. Fantis students learn to foster warm and caring relationships staff, families and each other. This is possible by spending time each day to better know and appreciate each other, including interests, opinions and ideas. Students develop the skills and dispositions needed to interact positively and constructively with others by building caring relationships, direct instruction of social skills, and establishing a calm and positive learning environment.

Social-Emotional Learning: Our Approach

  • Partnering with Families
  • Ongoing communication about classroom events and student progress
  • Intentionally building relationships between all stakeholders
  • Ongoing Reflection
  • One-on-one conferences, Individual and class assessments
  • Climate surveys
  • School Discipline
  • Positive and proactive school-wide approach with tiered interventions
  • Focus on how to repair and learn from inevitable mistakes
Early Childhood
  • Daily morning meeting and closing circle
  • Cooperative learning structures, such as “Turn to Your Partner”
  • Developing Relationships beyond the classroom with Middle School Book Buddies
  • Teachable Moments include empathy, responsible decisions, and overcoming fear
Primary School
  • Daily morning meeting and closing circle
  • Weekly random pairing of students and class meetings
  • Cooperative learning structures, such as “Turn to Your Partner”
  • Developing Relationships beyond the classroom with younger buddies
  • Topics include team-building activities, character building, bullying and resolving conflicts
Middle School
  • Daily advisory meetings with homeroom teacher
  • Weekly one-on-one conferences with supportive staff
  • Topics include positive school experiences, welcoming new students and peer pressure
  • Service learning includes Middle School Book Buddies and other volunteer events

School Counselor

Ms. Kara Poulon, Fantis ‘05, has a M.S.Ed. in School Counseling and a Bachelor's Degree in Human Development with a minor in Education. Ms. Kara has nearly a decade of experience working with children, including as a school counselor, mentor and teacher. As school counselor, Ms. Kara’s main roles are to coordinate our social-emotional learning (SEL) program and to serve the social and emotional needs of students so they can be prepared for the academic rigor. This can include: identifying issues affecting school performance; addressing social or behavioral problems; helping students develop skills needed for academic success; counseling individuals and small groups; assessing students’ abilities and interests; and helping students achieve academic or career goals.

Ms. Kara also serves as High School Coordinator for middle school students and families. Part of this critical role includes: scheduling individual high school family meetings; leading grade level high school meetings and Roundtables; providing application assistance, including test prep options; and providing key insights for families on selecting the best high schools.

Special Education Coordinator

Mrs. Fatema Hossain has served as our Special Education Coordinator for over five years. She was our 3rd-grade teacher for over a decade before transitioning to coordinator exclusively, while also providing students 1:1 support in the classroom as a SETSS provider.

Mrs. Fatema has a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in special education. Her continuing education includes conferences and workshops on dyslexia, the Orton-Gillingham Approach and other strategies that support all learners. She uses a variety of these approaches with her students and also in her work with faculty to support their students.

As Special Education Coordinator, her duties include: assisting with the process for IESPs and 504 plans; serving as a liaison between families and the district— including helping to obtain service providers; and coordinating meetings with the district. She also assists faculty and administration with academic and behavioral support for students.

School Psychologist

Lisa Dubinsky, Psy.D., is the consulting school psychologist for A. Fantis School. Dr. Dubinsky is a clinical psychologist who has been working with children and their families for nearly 30 years. She is on the faculty of the Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy Training Program and The Parent Center at the William Alanson White Institute. She has been a consultant to various schools for 25 years and a psychotherapist with children, adolescents and adults for 30 years.

Dr. Dubinsky is available to students, teachers and families of A. Fantis throughout the year in a variety of contexts. Supports include consulting with teachers; observing classrooms and school life; and talking individually to parents and/or students upon request. Dr. Dubisky also leads parent workshops on a variety of topics, including: Setting Limits & Feeling Good About It; Talking to Young Children about Difficult Topics; and Helping Children with Transitions and Change.

Our team works closely with families to ensure each child receives the individual attention needed to be successful.

Fatema Hossain
Special Education Coordinator

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