First Baptist Academy believes that every student has been uniquely designed by our Creator and our goal is that every student would thrive at FBA. FBA’s Student Services program supports exceptional learners toward academic success while encouraging them in their identity in Christ, created as His workmanship.
Student Services students are of average or above average ability but are not reaching their expected potential due to a mild learning difference or disability. Student Services does not replace regular content area classes but may offer additional academic support and/or classroom accommodations to better equip students for learning. Students are eligible to receive classroom accommodations, however the expected curriculum is not modified. A visual model of FBA’s Student Services program continuum is below.
Search & Teach is NILD’s early intervention program designed to identify 5 and 6 year olds who may be vulnerable to learning difficulties. SEARCH is an individual test designed to identify educational needs and to provide profiles of individual strengths and weaknesses in the readiness skills necessary for reading success. All K-1 students will be screened with Search in August and September. Flagged students will be invited to participate in TEACH, beginning in October. TEACH is a program of 55 learning activities called “tasks,” carefully designed to address the needs revealed by SEARCH. Remedial tasks are ordered from simple to complex, and organized into visual, visual-motor, auditory, body-image, and intermodal skill clusters which correspond to the elements of the SEARCH test.
Orton-Gillingham (OG), our current ES reading and spelling intervention, teaches students that there is a reliable system for learning how to read and spell. OG takes each student through a process of critical thinking, deep understanding, and strategies which can be applied to long lasting results for improved literacy. OG is systematic and sequential in teaching phonics. Each lesson follows a specific order and builds upon previously taught material. Lessons are explicit and include visual, auditory, tactile, and kinesthetic techniques. The Orton-Gillingham approach is recognized by the International Dyslexia Association for its effectiveness in teaching students to read. For more information, click here IMSE.
FBA is proud to be the first (and only) provider of NILD (National Institute of Learning Development) Educational Therapy in Southwest Florida. NILD therapists are trained to treat a student’s cognitive or perceptual deficits, not just their academic symptoms to develop strategic, independent learners. Language-rich sessions teach students how to think and learn, not just what to think and learn. Techniques emphasize basic academic skills such as reading, writing, math and spelling, as well as processing information and applying reasoning skills to improve a student’s ability to think and reason. NILD is accredited by the International Dyslexia Association. We encourage you to visit NILD’s website www.nild.org and to read founder Grace Mutzabaugh’s book, A Work of His Grace (1999) for more information.
Our ACCESS class is available to any MS/HS Student Services student with a documented learning difference or disability. ACCESS, which stands for Academic Success, is similar to a guided study hall or resource room. Our desire is for our students to have “ACCESS” to all the resources they need, and they are encouraged to “ACCESS” their full God-given potential. MS and HS teachers communicate regularly with the ACCESS teacher to ensure students are supported in their academic classes. Reteaching content, providing accommodations, executive functioning support, academic intervention, and additional repetition of skills are some ways ACCESS time is used. Students may also use ACCESS class to confirm homework assignments, check to make sure they have turned assignments in for the day, or organize their binders and lockers. Students are encouraged to learn self-advocacy and independence as well. ACCESS becomes an important part of our Student Services students’ day as it helps to solidify concepts and supports learning.
For students who have a diagnosed learning disability or diagnosis and need accommodations in the classroom to be most successful, but do not require any intervention or direct services, we offer a level of service called “Consult.” Consult students receive an Individual Accommodation Plan, but receive most of their accommodations in the regular classroom instead of with the Student Services teacher. Their Student Services case manager monitors their progress “behind the scenes" and communicates with classroom teachers to address any concerns. Like other Student Services students, these students often require extended time on “high stakes testing.” For HS students, this may include AP exams, ACTs, and/or SATs. For MS and ES students, although not “high stake,” it includes Iowa and MAP testing.