The MERIT Program (Multi-faceted Educational Resources and Instructional Technology) provides assistance to our students who learn differently.
The MERIT Program will assist identified students in becoming active and competent learners in the classroom. Please note that these are not tutorial services. Students may or may not need to receive additional tutorial assistance outside of the MERIT Program to help them with the classroom curricula. Students will not receive specialized instruction and are expected to function within the demands of ELCA’s curriculum on their grade level.
Students receiving services will be billed the appropriate fees. If there is not a copy of a current evaluation in the student’s file, please provide us with this information. Services will not be provided until all records and evaluations are reviewed and Student Support Services determines the student’s eligibility for the program.
We look forward to ministering to your child and assisting them in experiencing success in the classroom. Please be assured that assisting and equipping our students for success in the classroom and in the world for Christ continues to be our primary desire. Thank you for entrusting your child to us and for your continued commitment to their academic and spiritual growth.
ELCA STUDENT SUPPORT SERVICES STAFF:
Dr. Anna King, Director of Student Support Services
Dr. Wanda Cowan, Learning Differences Coordinator/Consultant
Rachel Massengale, Administrative Assistant
Blake Beasley, Administrative Assistant
Michelle Blackburn, GROW
Debbie Shedd, FACS
Kathy Sligh, STARS
Misty Weber, Arrowsmith
All ELCA teachers have, at a minimum, a bachelor's degree or higher. Tuition processes for students enrolled in Student Support Services remains the same as for regular tuition (see https://www.elcaonline.org/facts.)
"Eagle's Landing Christian Academy has raised the standards by which all other Christian schools should be measured with regard to students with learning challenges such as dyslexia."
Author, Motivational Speaker and Consultant CEO, The Dyslexia Educational Network, Inc.
In grades 3 through 5, MERIT features an opportunity for students to receive assistance in the area of reading. FACS (Fluency and Comprehension Skills) is a small reading class setting offered to students who are struggling with reading processes within the classroom. FACS teacher, Krista Sharpe states, “The goal of the program is to assist students in becoming proficient readers who have a comprehensive understanding of what they read in all subject areas.”
Low student/teacher ratios help with individualizing instruction for each student based on their needs with a 7:1 ratio in FACS.
FACS / Student Support Educator: Debbie Shedd
MERIT provides classes within the department for middle and high school students in the areas of math, science, history, language arts, and foreign language. Enrollment is limited by space and requires a diagnosis or a teacher recommendation.
All of the work is taught on grade level with academically rigorous curricula aligned with the scope and sequences of ELCA’s traditional classes. These courses are crafted with embedded accommodations designed to ultimately help the student be successful after MERIT.
With a low student to teacher to ratio (10:1), teachers provide focused attention and alternate methods of teaching that are more conducive to non-traditional learners. One successful tenet of MERIT classes is the incorporation of application based projects to connect subject matter to real world experience.
Qualifications for receiving Student Support Services within the MERIT Program:
A student must be identified through a multi-faceted evaluation as having a learning difference in the area(s) of reading, written expression, math computation, problem solving, receptive or expressive language. Other areas of learning difference may include, but not limited to, organizational skills, attention problems, hyperactivity, spatial organization, sensory integration, speech and language, processing, social, and fine or gross motor skills.
The student must continue to function within the curriculum requirements for his/her grade level. There is no specialized instruction.
MERIT personnel will assist the identified student in becoming an active and competent learner in the classroom in the following ways:
MERIT personnel will work in conjunction with the student’s classroom teachers to develop a learning profile on each student.
MERIT personnel will develop an intervention plan that compliments the student’s learning profile and outlines the specific interventions that will be made for the student.
MERIT personnel will communicate regularly with classroom teachers to discuss the student’s progress and continuous needs.
MERIT personnel will submit regular progress updates to parents.
MERIT personnel will schedule parent meetings at the beginning of each semester. A mid-semester meeting may be held if deemed necessary by parents, teachers, or M.E.R.I.T. personnel.
MERIT personnel will coordinate and assist with multi-faceted evaluations provided privately or through local school districts.
MERIT personnel will attend I.E.P. meetings at public schools.
MERIT personnel will collaborate with the school nurse regarding medication issues or concerns as necessary.
The MERIT Program will offer indirect support, direct support, or complete support to each student. Parents will select the option that best meets their child’s needs.
The STARS program (Strategies Targeted at Reading Success) supplies enrichment for kindergarten through second grade readers using the Orton-Gillingham approach as its foundation.
This highly structured program introduces the idea of breaking reading and spelling down into smaller skills involving letters and sounds, and then building on these skills over time. Students are involved in multi-sensory activities throughout this class to help strengthen phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary development, fluency and comprehension. Students use sight, hearing, touch and movement to connect language with letters and words. Low student/teacher ratios help with individualizing instruction for each student based on their needs with a 5:1 for the STARS program.
STARS / Student Support Educator: Kathy Sligh
In grades 3 through 5, MERIT features an opportunity for students to receive assistance in the area of math. GROW (Grasping Reasoning Operations and Whole Numbers) assists students on improving number sense, algebraic thinking, data and measurement, and fractions. All work is on grade level and aligned with ELCA standards. Students have embedded review and added time for practice, and use the ALEKS adaptive software program in conjunction with the ELCA curriculum and IXL. In addition, students are given multilayered help--visual, kinesthetic, auditory, and other hands on experiences.
Low student/teacher ratios help with individualizing instruction for each student based on their needs with a 7:1 ratio in GROW.
GROW / Student Support Educator: Michelle Blackburn
The Arrowsmith Program at ELCA is one of only three offered in the state. Georgia is one of only 15 states where it is hosted. This unique and sought-after program is overseen by Misty Weber, who underwent in-depth training in Toronto on Arrowsmith techniques and applications.
The Arrowsmith Program is based on the philosophy that it is possible to address specific learning difficulties by identifying and strengthening cognitive capacities. Elementary or middle school students may begin this 3-year program.
One parent describes this program as life-changing. “My son graduated from the Arrowsmith program two years ago. When he entered the program in the 6th grade, he had a lack of confidence and faced many academic challenges. Arrowsmith has been an answer to prayer for our son. He is now a very confident 11th grader and is maintaining an A average. The Arrowsmith Program has opened up doors of opportunity for our son and given him a beautiful gift...unlimited possibilities for his future. We will forever be grateful for the Arrowsmith Program.”
Arrowsmith / Student Support Educator : Misty Weber
SPEECH & TUTORING
SPEECH and TUTORING
Please contact Dr. Anna King if you are interested in speech and/or tutoring.