Successful Techniques for Educational Progress
The STEP Center provides services for students with learning disabilities such as dyslexia, slow processing skills, dysgraphia, and auditory or visual processing difficulties. These students must be of average cognitive ability and be able to work independently in a small group setting. Students and parents must be aware of the goal to enter the mainstream classroom when sufficient progress is attained.
STEP is an academic center: following the goals and objectives of the regular classroom. The content of the subject area is not weakened. Vocabulary and expectations remain the same. Methodology and assessment tools may change, but not the curriculum. The pace of the class may be slower at times to accommodate for the learning styles of particular students. STEP is a structured, learning environment, providing services to students who can do grade level work, but may struggle to keep the pace because of specific learning needs.
All applications will be screened by the Director of the STEP Center and a child study team. Qualifying students must follow the regular admissions policy of GCA before acceptance is granted. All students in Language Therapy and the Resource programs must have a current educational evaluation.
STEP…a service, not a place children are sent.
In 1990, the administration of Greenbrier Christian Academy had identified a population of our students who were really struggling in the classroom. Tutoring could meet the needs of some of the students, but because of the severity of the language delays that were evident, we knew we had to design a program to address the problem areas.
Two of our teachers attended Southern Methodist University to begin Academic Language Therapy training. The course consisted of two summer sessions (4 weeks each) and 900 teaching hours to receive certification. We offered Language Therapy for the first time in the fall of 1990. Since that time, we have had 4 other teachers to train and teach Language Therapy.
With Therapy and tutoring in full bloom, we still had a group of students who could do grade level work but were struggling to keep the pace of the regular classroom. We began offering Resource classes in 1993 to address the needs of these students. For several years, Resource was a ‘pull out’ program. The students would come to the STEP Center for the classes that needed assistance. In 2006, we initiated our first ‘contained’ classes for Resource. Scheduling difficulties were eliminated and longer teaching spans were available. Presently, Resource offers self-contained classes and single subject classes.
Accountability classes have been offered since 1994 for students in grades 7 – 12. These classes contain no more than 6 students and they meet every day for one full class period. The teacher tutors, keeps the students focused and organized, and helps them study ahead of time to meet required deadlines.
All of the above services are offered to our parents for an additional fee. Our teachers are dedicated to meeting the specific academic needs of the students. Their spiritual growth is a priority, and we realize that unless we minister to the whole child, the academics will be lacking. Our goal is to equip our students with the tools and techniques to be successful in the regular classroom. We want them to be confident, Christ-like young men and women who work to their full potential.
Costs are available on the Tuition Information page.
Academic Language Therapy is available for students who have been diagnosed with language related deficits. A certified, academic language therapist offers an individualized curriculum based on the Orton-Gillingham approach that is phonetic, sequential and multi-sensory. Students from all divisions meet daily for one full class period for an individualized session.
A final package of therapy called Language Therapy Selectwill open the program to the community at large. Modified admissions procedures will allow drop in students as the therapist support learners from other schools or homeschoolers with language related deficits.
Resource class is offered by grade level for students beginning in 2nd grade. These contained classes are designed for student who may find it difficult to keep the pace of the regular classroom. Each class will be limited to six students. Enrollment in the resource program is on a full year basis.
Tutoring is available for students who experience temporary difficulties in a core subject area. Tutoring is contracted on an hourly basis in nine-week segments. The instruction is given by a qualified teacher who works in conjunction with the classroom teacher. The tutoring is for reinforcement of weak areas and securing new concepts, not for teaching new concepts unless an extended absence has occurred.
Accountability classes are offered to Collegiate Academy students who need additional assistance in organization, study skills, and preparation for assignments and projects. Accountability meets every day during a regularly scheduled class period. There will be no more than six students to one instructor. Accountability can be very helpful to students who struggle with getting everything accomplished on time and to those who fail to study sufficiently for tests. Accountability partners with teachers, parents and students for successful achievement.
P. Gay Williams: STEP Director
Sandy Till: Academic Language Therapist
Karen Norman: Academic Language Therapist
Brenda Jennings: Accountability and Resource Instructor/Supervisor
Melody Martin: Resource Instructor
Lorrie Newcomer: Resource Instructor