Student Services is a growing program at TFCA. We believe that each child has been created perfectly on purpose for a purpose and that their unique abilities provide them unique opportunities to serve God. Through the Student Services programs TFCA students are given opportunities to develop strategies to compensate for learning differences or to develop gifts and talents.
Ruth Fitz-Gerald, our Student Services Coordinator, advocates for students who are struggling academically, whose behavior impacts their ability to learn, and for students who are gifted and talented. Students who are referred to Student Services are evaluated using teacher input, observational methods, and norm referenced diagnostic tools. After information is gathered, the Mrs. Fitz-Gerald works closely with parents and teachers in order to provide the best learning environment possible for the student.
If a student is professionally diagnosed with a learning difference, a Student Service/504 Plan is created that contains strategies, accommodations, and goals. The Student Services Coordinator provides support to the student's teachers to help implement accommodations and interventions appropriate to the diagnosis. The Student Services Coordinator also provides progress monitoring for students who are working towards educational or behavioral goals. Student Service/504 Plans are reviewed and, if needed, edited at least once a year. Our desire is to move students towards independence and fewer accommodations.
Students who are in need of an extra challenge participate in a program called STEP Up. On Wednesdays 4th and 5th graders who have been identified with gifted characteristics work on extension activities with a teacher. These activities are designed to stretch the students and to promote higher level thinking skills. 6-8th graders have the opportunity to participate in the STEP Up program during the elective block.
Linda Perkins, our Reading Specialist, provides diagnostic, prescriptive and evaluative reading services for students referred to Student Services. TFCA students benefit from her expertise as she works with them individually and in small groups. Students who are screened and who qualify participate in our early intervention reading program taught by Mrs. Perkins. Our goal is to prepare students for the higher level reading and comprehension skills they will face in middle school and high school.
TFCA Teachers continue to receive training and are encouraged to differentiate lessons in their classrooms for students who have different learning styles or who are at different academic levels. Student Services personnel work with teachers to find ways to meet the needs of exceptional students in the classroom.
God has perfectly created each one of our students with both abilities and disabilities. We are thankful that Student Services provides additional resources to help each student develop the unique set of skills they need to be successful in the classroom and in God's kingdom. As Student Services develops more programs, we hope to serve more students to equip them with the tools they need to fulfill God's purpose for their lives.
Ruth Fitz-Gerald Linda Perkins
Student Services Coordinator Reading Specialist