The Discovery program has been developed by the National Institute for Learning Disabilities (NILD), and is designed to help students who have learning difficulties. Florida Christian has the only accredited NILD program in South Florida. Our four specially trained and certified educational therapists work with students twice a week on a one-to-one basis, using techniques which have been researched and designed to help students overcome their deficits.
The goal for the Discovery Program is to help students succeed and become independent in the regular classroom (college prep curriculum), by using the strategies learned in EDUCATIONAL THERAPY. Discovery specializes in assisting students with grade deficiencies no greater that 12 months (student can’t be more than one year behind – grade equivalency determined with entrance exam). Discovery is not special education, it is an educational therapeutic support program.
FCS does not offer a special education program. FCS does not offer inclusion, shadowing or behavioral therapies. Discovery is not geared toward assisting children with autism.
Admission is based on the entrance exam along with academic and behavioral records, as well as references, recommendations and review of psycho-educational evaluation, when applicable.
All students/applicants must meet entrance requirements before being considered for Discovery therapy. Minimal entrance requirements are as follows:
- Average or above average on reading and math entrance exam scores
- Must not be more than 1 grade level behind (Grade Equivalency)
- No failing grades or classes are permitted
- Personal and school references for 6th – 12th grade students
Student may be required to participate in therapy as a condition for enrollment. This determination is made exclusively by the admissions review team.
FCS may provide approved accommodations to those students who qualify, however FCS does not provide modified curriculum. Students need to be able to maintain the rigor and pace of the regular classroom.
Other services not offered: Speech, Hearing, Vision, ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis – Autism), Occupational Therapy, Behavioral or Emotional therapies.
Under the umbrella of the Discovery Program, there are a variety of services that are provided to our students depending on their needs. All programs are pull- out which enables the student to be part of the regular education classes while receiving the assistance they need. These programs are:
ACE Program: (MS/HS)
The goal of the program is to provide effective, results-based, individualized academic and therapeutic interventions in a small classroom. The program is designed to engage struggling learners through an alternate curriculum and educational therapy to equip them to become independent learners and eventually transition to a regular classroom setting. Program acceptance is based on panel review of all documentation, testing and interview. Documents required include all forms as stated in the Apply to FCS section of our website, a current psycho-educational evaluation, entrance exam, administrative review and an interview.
Search and Teach Program: (Kindergarten-First Grade)
The goal of this program is to establish a preventive therapeutic program that addresses the growing need for intervention with students that experience difficulty learning. We believe that early detection of at-risk students is crucial in assisting them in achieving their maximum academic potential later in life. In collaboration with the Reading Clinic Director, a Dual Option is offered that also provides intervention in the area of reading. Students meet with their therapist for two forty-five minutes sessions or three thirty minute sessions per week.
Educational Therapy: (Second-Eighth Grade)
Educational Therapy is offered to students who have been diagnosed with a learning disability. This program is certified by the National Institute of Learning Development (NILD) and its main goal is to target the students deficit areas (auditory processing, visual processing, motor, etc.) in order for the student to become an active and independent learner. Student’s therapy sessions are scheduled twice a week for a one hour and twenty minute sessions.
Handwriting Without Tears: (Kindergarten – Fifth Grade)
The goal of this program is to assist students in the area of fine motor skills and penmanship. The program provides a multi-sensory approach to address handwriting difficulties in our students.
Academic Enhancement Program: (Sixth-Twelfth Grade)
The goal for the Academic Support Program is to provide students with academic support needed to become successful in school. This program is a pull-out program in which students meet three times a week with an educational therapist that will assist them in any subject area in which the student requires assistance.
Dual Program: (Search and Teach and Reading) for grades K-5-1st
DOES FCS ACCEPT MCKAY/ GARDINER (PLSA)?
Yes. Florida Christian School accepts students on the John M. McKay Scholarship, Step Up for Students and Gardiner Scholarships (PLSA –Personal Learning Scholarship Account).
IF MY CHILD NEEDS EDUCATIONAL THERAPY, WILL HE/SHE BE ABLE TO STAY IN THE CLASSROOM?
Yes. Students remain in the regular classroom and attend two eighty minute sessions of therapy per week.
IS THERE AN ADDITIONAL COST FOR EDUCATIONAL THERAPY?
Yes, there is a cost above tuition for this program. Cost of educational therapy/other programs can be up to $6300 per year.
HOW LONG WILL MY CHILD NEED TO RECEIVE EDUCATIONAL THERAPY?
Most students need a minimum of three years to complete the program. Testing is done at the end of each year to evaluate the student’s process and continued need for therapy.
WHAT IS A LEARNING DISABILITY?
A learning disabled student is a student who has a significant discrepancy between his estimated intelligence and his actual level of achievement in the classroom.
The discrepancy is due to a disorder in the basic learning process. The problem is not that he/she cannot learn, but that he/she cannot always process the information in the required manner.
Typically, students with learning disabilities have average or above average intelligence. Some are in the gifted superior range.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MOST NOTICEABLE SYMPTOMS?
There are many symptoms, but the most common are the following:
|Hyperactivity||Auditory processing deficits|
|Difficulty following oral/written directions||Visual processing deficits|
|Specific academic disabilities (reading, math, etc.)||Inconsistent grades (“A” one time, “F” the next)|
|Uncertain left or right handedness||Difficulty in abstract and critical thinking|
|Poor recall or memorized information||Poor fine motor control|
“My oldest son was diagnosed with ADHD when he was six years old. He has a learning discrepancy because he has an IQ of 129, but cannot transfer that into his school work. He started seeing a neurologist at the beginning of second grade and at the same time we enrolled him into the Discovery Program.
Mrs. Gladys Perez, his Discovery therapist, has been with our son since he began the program. She has held our hands and prayed with us when we had to change his medications over and over. And most importantly she has worked closely with each of his teachers to assure that he has had right modifications, and the teachers had the right tools and strategies to engage his learning.
Our son has gone from not wanting anything to do with math or English to writing full page essays and acing math tests. Now in middle school, Mrs. Perez and Mrs. Gomez continue to coach him on how to cope and overcome his ADHD. He came home last week with his first quarter report card of sixth grade: 5 – A’s and 2 – B’s!
My family cannot thank Florida Christian School enough for offering this program that gives our son an opportunity to excel and shine academically and in life. With much appreciation, Dave and Vicky“