Soaring to New Academic Heights

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Soaring to New Academic Heights

Soaring to New Academic Heights

A new program at Creekside Christian Academy is helping students to reach their full academic potential. The new Learning Solutions program began this school year with a focus on reading interventions through Creekside’s STARS (Support To Achieve Reading Success) program.

            “Research tells us that 90% of students who struggle in reading at the end of first grade will continue to struggle with reading by the end of fourth grade,” explains Creekside Christian Academy’s Learning Solutions Director Angela Smith.

            With this in mind, Creekside Christian Academy (CCA) went to work assisting students struggling academically by offering 30 minutes of additional small group instruction, four days a week to qualifying students in kindergarten through fifth grade.

            “Candidates for our STARS program are those students who are reading below grade level standards, and show significant academic struggle due to gaps in reading,” says Smith.

            STARS students receive instruction in all areas of reading including phonemic awareness, phonics and spelling based on the Orton-Gillingham approach to reading instruction, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Student progress is regularly assessed to ensure needs are being met.

            “One of the most exciting things I have seen in all of my students is the improvement in their confidence,” states Smith. “I was able to have four students graduate from the program at the end of our first semester because they went from reading below grade level expectations to reading above grade level.”

            Smith went on to share that a particular student who was very timid and apprehensive when it came to reading is now reading for fun. He even volunteers to read out loud in class. While another student’s confidence has soared as she works hard to improve her reading skills. Her mother shares how grateful she is for the Learning Solutions program. “Our daughter has been working with Mrs. Smith consistently since the beginning of this year and she has shown huge improvements. She made more progress in these short months than the program even suggests is common… I can say with full confidence that she is getting the very best every day through Learning Solutions.”

            Such success stories made the decision to expand Learning Solutions easy for Creekside Christian Academy. Next school year, CCA will offer four distinct specialized programs including the expansion of its STARS program to include personalized reading interventions for qualifying sixth through eighth graders, the school’s new MARK program (MATH: Achievement, Recovery, and Knowledge) will offer personalized math interventions for students in grades 1-8, PACE (Program of Academic and Creative Enrichment) will provide exploratory and student-driven enrichment time to qualifying gifted and talented students in grades k-2, while CCA’s new AIM program (Advancement in Mathematics) will deliver qualifying students in grades 3-5 a rigorous course of study that moves at a rapid pace and incorporates more challenging and complex mathematical learning.

By Michelle Nunnally