Academics

Learning Differences

The Learning Enrichment and Achievement Program (LEAP), available for students in grades 2-12, is aligned with the GRACE mission statement to spiritually and academically equip, challenge, and inspire students to impact their world for Christ. The GRACE administrative staff implemented LEAP in order to provide effective differentiated instruction to a unique group of students with specific learning challenges.The LEAP team is comprised of four learning specialists who work with the students on each campus:

  • Pascale Fitts – LEAP Special Education Teacher, Program Director, Both Campuses (2nd-12th)
  • Lindsey Hignite – LEAP Special Education Teacher, 801 Campus (2nd-6th)
  • Chris Badenchini – LEAP Teacher, 801 Campus (2nd-6th)
  • Katie Fowler – LEAP Special Education Teacher, 1101 Campus (7th-12th)

If you have questions after reviewing the information on this page, contact the LEAP Director, Pascale Fitts.

The GRACE academic program is quite rigorous and LEAP was implemented in order to provide extra support for students who can perform at this high level of academic rigor. LEAP is available for children in grades 2-12 who have been evaluated by a licensed psychologist for a learning disability, processing deficit, ADHD, or other condition affecting their ability to achieve success. Students must be able to participate in the regular classroom setting in all content areas, meet the academic standards for their grade level using the approved accommodations, and model the GRACE code of conduct.

In order to maintain optimal ratios between our learning specialists and their students, enrollment in LEAP is reserved for 10% of the GRACE student population in the grade levels served. To support the LEAP staff as they fulfill the mission of GRACE, it is essential that these ratios not be allowed to erode. As a result, a student who has been identified as needing services provided by LEAP is not guaranteed admittance to the program. Each case will be carefully assessed and reviewed by the LEAP Director and Campus Principal.

Note: The Learning Enrichment & Achievement Program (LEAP) is available for students in grades 2-12. If you are interested:

  • for the 2016-2017 school year, the following grades are full: 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, and 12th
  • for the 2017-2018 school year, the following grades are full: 5th, 6th, 9th & 10th

If you are interested in being added to a wait list, please contact Tammi Saenz (grades 2nd-6th) or Willa Bea Coates (grades 7th-12th) 919.747.2020.

Description of Services & Fees

Program Criteria

  1. Acceptance of no more than 10% of total student body (limited to 10% per grade level)
  2. Current GRACE students have priority for acceptance into the program
  3. The respective principal and the LEAP Program Director will determine admittance into the program and identify services to be offered (take off period)
  4. A current diagnostic evaluation (within three years of the beginning of each academic year) from a licensed psychologist demonstrating a need for the program is required for enrollment
  5. Academic tutoring for students on campus is not a part of LEAP
  6. Kindergarten and Transitional Kindergarten students are not eligibile for LEAP

Student Entrance Criteria

  1. Indicators of possible need based on: student working below grade level (no more than 2 grade levels), failing or near-failing grades in one or more subjects.
  2. Submission of a diagnostic evaluation (within three years) from a licensed psychologist demonstrating a need for the program
  3. Submission of all previous testing materials to GRACE prior to program admittance
  4. IQ scores must fall within the average range as determined by the LEAP staff
  5. Based on the expertise of the LEAP staff, GRACE reserves the right to determine a student’s ability to meet rigorous academic standards as well as the program’s ability to accommodate student needs.

Student Exit Criteria (Dismissal From Program)

  1. Student demonstrating the ability to pass courses without accommodations and support services
  2. Diagnostic re-evaluation demonstrating there is no longer a disability or need for services
  3. LEAP staff or teacher observations of misuse of the program
  4. Parent removal from program; a contract and parent signature are required
  5. In compliance with GRACE school guidelines, the administration reserves the right to put a student on academic probation based on low grades, lack of effort, behavior concerns, and/or the observations and assessments made by the LEAP staff and teacher(s). The student will be reassessed at the end of the academic probationary period. If evidence of sufficient progress is not apparent, the student may be asked to exit the program and/or the school.

Procedures For Students Already Enrolled at GRACE

  1. Parent and classroom teacher discussion of concerns
  2. Classroom teacher receives signed Observation and Assessment Consent Form from the parent
  3. Classroom teacher submits a Teacher Questionnaire Referral form
  4. Program Director sets up a classroom observation
  5. Program Director meets with the classroom teacher to discuss findings from the internal observations
  6. If a specific learning disability, processing problem, or developmental need is suspected, a meeting will be held with the parents and they will be referred to a licensed child psychologist for a comprehensive evaluation
  7. Once testing results are received, and reviewed by the principal, teachers, and the Program Director, an academic support plan is designed
  8. Program Director, teacher, and principal then meet with the parents and student (when appropriate) to discuss the Academic Support Plan
  9. Appropriate fees will be assessed for services
  10. If program services ARE needed and the parent declines, a waiver will be signed

Procedures For New Students

  1. If a student applying has already been evaluated, a current copy of the evaluation must be submitted with the admissions application
  2. An assessment non-refundable fee of $50 is applied; the principal and LEAP Program Director will determine whether GRACE can accommodate the student’s needs
  3. After reviewing the application and other admissions documentation, the Program Director will determine if GRACE can meet the student’s needs
  4. If there are concerns or questions about a student’s ability for academic success and there is no evaluation, the Program Director will contact the family to request further information or an educational evaluation. Testing must be completed before acceptance is granted.
  5. Program Director will participate in the admissions interview and discuss results of testing and recommendations
  6. If enrollment in LEAP is deemed necessary for the child’s success, and the school can meet his academic needs, the Program Director, principal, specialist, parent, and child’s teacher(s) will discuss the development of an Academic Support Plan
  7. If a student is admitted to GRACE contingent on their participation in LEAP, he/she must complete one year of the program or obtain administrative approval prior to exiting