The purpose of the GCS Learning Support Program (LSP) is to provide and identify students, who are near or below grade level, with support services to assist them in becoming more successful in the classroom. The goal is not for the student to perform to a certain academic grade or GPA, but to meet them at their present level of performance and address needs they may have.
GCS LSP helps students work toward mastery of their current skills. Students can address areas of academic need while discovering how God has wired them to problem solve, think critically and creatively, make decisions, and work collaboratively. The academic years are a training ground for students to discover and grow their God-given talents and abilities. The measure of success is not the grade at the end of the year, but the level of growth experienced in both their academic and spiritual life.
GCS uses multisensory systematic instruction for math and/or literacy skills within the LSP small group settings. In Tier 3 specially-designed instruction classes, we use Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (EBPPs), which are specific techniques and intervention models that have shown to have positive effects on outcomes through rigorous evaluations.
All programs for Elementary Math and Literacy (Reading, Spelling and Writing) are designed to target the student’s current level of performance and needs. With this in mind, Literacy instruction is still structured to daily address all five components of literacy instruction to include phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. These elementary-level programs are supplemental in nature and support learning of grade-level standards upheld in the general classroom.
Upper School Math and English Language Arts support programs are standards-based, rather than supplemental in nature. These programs absorb the entirety of instruction so they can be driven by present level of performance while meeting grade-level standards, to include credit requirements for high school graduation.
Upper School English Language Arts
Upper School Math
Prior to enrollment, GCS administers a learning assessment for all students. We use the Wide Range Achievement Test, Fifth Edition (WRAT-5), a nationally norm-referenced test that measures and monitors fundamental word reading, spelling, and math skills and sentence comprehension. We may also use strands of CORE Multiple Measures for Reading based on developmental/grade-level expectations as seen fit by the examiner.
A Reading Composite score is created by combining the Word Reading and Sentence Comprehension standard scores.
Assessments are also administered for all students grades K-8 to screen for developmental and grade-appropriate levels of literacy. These screeners are given at the beginning, middle, and end of the year in the general education setting. Universal screening is the first step in identifying students who are at risk for learning difficulties. GCS uses these assessments as a mechanism for targeting students who struggle to learn when provided a scientific, evidence-based general education.
Students who do not have a diagnosed disability may be placed into Tier 2 of our Learning Support Program based on assessments and academic records. Students in Tier 2 intervention level are progress monitored regularly to measure growth. If growth is not being made, the LSP Department may encourage further psycho-educational evaluation for possible disability.
Students in Tier 3 LSP generally have a diagnosed disability or intensive need for direct and daily specially-designed instruction for a suspected disability. If not formally diagnosed prior to enrollment in Tier 3 LSP, it is generally pending and planned to move in that direction.
Psycho-educational evaluations can be conducted at the parent’s choice with a private evaluation center or parents can choose to utilize evaluation services through Lee County Publics Schools Exceptional Children’s Department. The LSP department Director at Grace can assist with this process.
North Carolina offers three programs through the North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority that expand school choice for eligible students in kindergarten through 12th grade: Opportunity Scholarship, Disabilities Grant, and Education Savings Account.
All three programs provide tuition assistance of various levels. In addition, the Disabilities Grant and Education Savings Account can cover certain other expenses related to educating a child with a disability who attends a participating nonpublic school or home school. Award amounts and eligibility requirements are specific to each program.
For first time applicants, parents must submit a current Eligibility Determination form (DEC3 or ECATS) from the student’s active Individualized Education Program (IEP). The forms must be from a North Carolina public school or a North Carolina Local Education Agency (LEA). This paperwork comes as part of the Exceptional Children’s process in the state of NC. That said, a student currently attending a public school with an IEP would have access to this paperwork. A student who is currently at GCS or other private school would have to be found eligible for the services/IEP from the public school system in order to apply. Private schools can not issue state eligible paperwork for Exceptional Services directly, however, if part of the GCS LSP program, we can assist in this process through Lee County Schools.
It is important to note this is a process based on eligibility for Special Education services, not based on a diagnosis made but on eligibility for specially designed instruction contingent on a disability.
Contact our Learning Support Program Director regarding your student’s learning assessment, tailored solutions and grant opportunties