Academic Support Services

The Brooklyn Urban Garden Charter School (BUGS) was founded to provide an equitable opportunity for all learners to access a high quality, innovative education.  We are guided by a mission that is committed to inclusion and serving ALL students.

What is the Academic Support Department?

The Academic Support Department at BUGS is an academic department whose mission is to support students who are struggling at school and non-native English speakers who need assistance mastering academic and social communication in English.  

The Academic Support Department provides support to students who receive special education services through Individualized Education Plans (IEP’s) and to general education students who are experiencing academic, behavioral, or social difficulty that is negatively impacting their performance in the classroom or on tests. These special supports ensure that the staff can provide a rigorous education to all.

The Academic Support Department provides the following supports for students during the school day:

  • Small group instruction for math and English

  • Small group instruction for English Language Learners (ELL’s)

  • Individual and group counseling

  • Individual and group speech and language therapy

  • Individual and group occupational therapy

  • Integrated co-teaching in English, math, social studies, and science classes


Director of Inclusion

Sade Martinez, Director of Inclusion

Sade Martinez, Director of Inclusion

The Director of Inclusion at BUGS is the main point of contact for parents of children with IEPs. They serve as a member of the Instructional Leadership team and Academic Support Team. The Director of Inclusion is responsible for overseeing programs that provide educational assistance to children with Individualized Education Program (IEP) and 504 plans. The Inclusion Coordinator also provides the following assistance to students and their families:

  • Collaboration with the New York City Department of Education Committee on Special Education in developing Individualized Education Plans

  • Coordinating Special Education services

  • Suggestions for outside services and collaboration with outside service providers

  • Developing and administering Section 504 Plans


What is Integrated Co-Teaching (ICT) classes and what happens in an ICT class?

In an Integrated Co-Teaching Classroom, there are two teachers in the classroom — one special education teacher and one general education teacher — who work together to make sure that every student in the class is able to master grade level standards and beyond.  With a smaller student to teacher ratio, all students benefit from increased individualized attention, additional small group work time, and an increased focus on developing the social, emotional, and work skills students need to be successful. In ICT classrooms, teachers are able to immediately respond to student misunderstandings and to use flexible groupings so that all students get the attention and work time that they need.  Typically, BUGS has four sections per grade level with two to three ICT sections per subject, per grade. As you may see when visiting a BUGS classroom, teachers use a range of effective co-teaching models such as station, team, parallel and alternative teaching. In order to make this possible, our special educators are part of one or two academic departments only (such as math and science) so that they can master the content and form a strong partnership with one or two general educators.

Above is an example of various co-teaching models used in our ICT classrooms.

Above is an example of various co-teaching models used in our ICT classrooms.

What is Speech and Language Therapy and who provides the services?

Speech and Language Therapy is treatment of speech defects and disorders through use of exercises and audio visual aids. Students will be taught skills to help communication problems with articulation; fluency; voice; receptive and expressive language disorders and the best way to treat them.  The Speech Therapist provides services to the students 1-3 time a week. The students may be pulled out of class or the therapist may provide push-in services in the classroom.

What is Occupational Therapy and who provides OT services?

Occupational Therapy helps children with various needs to improve their cognitive, physical, sensory, and motor skills and enhance their self-esteem and sense of accomplishment. An Occupational Therapist provides the services for students 1-3 times a week.

What is counseling and who provides the services?

Counseling is assistance and guidance in resolving personal, social, or psychological problems and difficulties. Counseling is provided by the guidance counselors at BUGS.  The guidance counselors also assists with the Advisory program curriculum to support students’ social-emotional and academic growth, and support the high school admissions process.

How do we ensure a team approach?

BUGS ensures all services are coordinated and educators are collaborating closely about individual student’s needs, goals and progress through:

  • Weekly Student Support Team (SST) Meetings

  • Weekly Department Meetings

  • Bi-Weekly Grade Level Meetings


These meetings occur In addition to prep periods for preparing tiered instruction to meet all of our students where they are academically.   

Parent communication and partnership is a hallmark of BUGS approach. Each child’s advisor works closely with students, their teacher’s across the grade, and is the first point of communications for families.   We also communicate with parents using an online gradebook, weekly Dean’s List reports on social emotional behavior, and open classrooms events, subject conferences, and student-led conferences.