The International School Nido de Aguilas

Support Services

Nido de Aguilas’ Middle School Learning Support Services Team promotes the intellectual and academic growth of all students in order that they may succeed in their education at Nido. The components of MS Learning Support Services include:

  • MS Student Learning Support Center
  • Student Support Teams
  • Advisory Program
  • English for Academic Purposes
  • Assistance with external gifted and talented enrichment programs
  • ES to MS/MS to HS Transition Support

To inquire about the school’s ability to meet specific student learning needs, please contact the Admissions Office to arrange an interview to discuss whether Nido could be a good fit for your child.

MS Learning Support

The Middle School Learning Support program provides support for students in various academic areas. These programs are designed to reinforce student learning and help develop the essential skills a middle school student needs in order to meet the various goals of each course. The Learning Support program is an Encore class that provides support in core academic classes. In the Learning Support class, students receive individual and small-group instruction. Additionally, the Learning Support teacher conducts close monitoring of the student’s classroom performance, offers push-in support to selected core academic courses, and frequently consults with the classroom teachers.

Student Support Team

Nido uses a Student Support Team (SST) model to handle individual student learning needs. The Student Support Team (SST) is comprised of a combination of teachers, school counselors and psychologists, school administrators, learning support specialists, the student's Advisor, and any outside specialists who offer insight and expertise into a student’s learning experience. Students are referred to the SST through self-referral, at the request of parents or guardians, teachers, staff, and administration, and outside specialists, or at the discretion of the counselors.

The SST, with input from the student’s teachers, parents, and the student himself or herself, will create an Action Plan, comprised of strategies and interventions to make the student's middle school educational experience more successful. Some of these strategies and interventions may include placement in the Learning Support program or push-in support by a Specialist in core academic classes.

In order to create an appropriate plan, the SST may recommend additional testing to determine a student’s academic strengths and weaknesses; parents will be contacted prior to testing, and the results of the tests will be shared with parents and also with students when appropriate. The SST members may also recommend consultation with outside specialists and can recommend excellent bilingual and multilingual professionals in the greater Santiago area.

Advisory Program

The Advisory Program in the Middle School is designed to help each student develop a sense of community and belonging. The advisory groups remain small (10-12 students per advisory), and students meet in this "home base" every morning for the entire school year. It is a space where they connect with their peers and teacher, contribute to the dynamic of the group, develop a healthy self-image, and seek guidance regarding their social, emotional, and academic needs and goals. Nido advisors are facilitators of team building, role models for character education, mentors for academic plans, and caretakers for the year. The MS Advisory program is designed to ensure that at least one adult at Nido has the global perspective of each student.

English for Academic Purposes

Nido's Middle School provides support for students who are still acquiring English-language skills. All MS students take Spanish as a Second Language or National Spanish language classes, but all other content courses, such as math, language arts, science, and social studies, are taught in English. For MS students with limited proficiency in English, assistance with language acquisition is in the form of push-in support in core content classes, as well as an English for Academic Purposes (EAP) course that meets every other day.

The EAP class is designed to help ESL (English as a Second Language) students acquire the language and better understand the subject matter in their core classes. The EAP class focuses primarily on academic English; it integrates reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. Students may also receive push-in help in their core classes, depending on their level of need. The ESL department aims to ensure that students are comfortable in the classroom setting, able to participate and work toward greater academic independence.

Our Language Acquisition Specialists work together with the content area teachers, providing each English-language learner with assistance and daily push-in support to help students achieve a more rapid academic, and consequently, social and emotional adjustment into the school environment. Previewing course content and additional review of material covered in class are essential components to learning academic language and succeeding in a second- or third-language educational setting.

Students entering Nido without proficiency in English are placed in the MS EAP program based on the following criteria: oral interview, standardized English proficiency tests (WIDA), writing samples, and records from previous schools. Exit from the EAP program is based on recommendations from core content and EAP teachers, standardized test scores, and writing samples.

Enrichment Programs

Nido’s Learning Support Specialists and Counselors work with teachers to identify students who could benefit from external enrichment programs for gifted and talented students. There are many different types of programs, including residential programs in the U.S. during the North American summer, online learning opportunities, and day courses here in Santiago during the South American summer. Acceptance may be based on a combination of standardized test scores, teacher and counselor recommendations, and student essays.

The Support Services Team can help students find and apply to enrichment programs and will communicate with parents about these opportunities as they arise. Examples of programs include Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth, Duke University’s Talent Identification Program, and Stanford University’s Education Program for Gifted Youth.

Divisional Transition Support

MS Learning Support Specialists and Counselors work with their ES counterparts to ensure accurate and comprehensive transfer of information for rising Grade 6 students who received ES Learning Support Services in Grade 5. Grade 6 students also attend the majority of their classes in their own Grade 6 building in the Middle School, thus helping ease their transition between divisions during this challenging period of change and growth.

Students who received Learning Support Services in Grade 8 may continue to receive services in Grade 9 to support their successful transition to the High School. This is an important transition in a young person's life, and our goal is to create the best possible conditions at Nido for each student’s academic success. Eligible Grade 9 students may receive additional support and instruction in core academic courses.

The Learning Support program in Grades 9-10 is an elective class that provides support in core academic classes. In the Learning Support class, students receive individual and small-group instruction. Additionally, the Learning Support teacher conducts close monitoring of the student’s classroom performance, may offer push-in support to selected core academic courses, and frequently consults with the classroom teachers. In addition, the Learning Support teacher may also meet with students during the High School Flex Time.


Rodrigo Cea

Language Acquisition Specialist

Devin Coffman

Learning Support Specialist

Amy O’Toole

Learning Support Specialist

Will Randall

Learning Support Specialist

Amy Zimmer

Language Acquisition Specialist

Stella Cornell

Language Acquisition Specialist