Student Learning Services (SLS) is a program designed to support classroom accommodations and specialized interventions for students with mild learning differences in Kindergarten-12th grade. It is the goal of the SLS program to equip our students with the tools for a lifetime of learning, and to partner with families, students, and school staff as we seek to embrace God’s truth about the uniqueness God has placed within each of us.
Beginning five years ago with one dedicated SLS teacher in the Grammar School, the program has grown to include five teachers, including a Director, serving all areas of the Academy. This growth is in part due to the funding provided for the Center for Student Learning Services in memory of Karen Cunningham which serves as a unique place for students in our Academy to receive specialized services. Part of those services includes building self-advocacy, self-efficacy, and executive functioning skills through modeling and scaffolding of support.
All students in the SLS program receive individualized attention and an academic plan. This annual plan created by the student’s Academic Support Team details the level of support needed and the goals for growth. The levels of support provided through SLS are Early Intervention, Strategic Intervention, and On Watch Support.
Proven to be highly effective, Early Intervention can positively change the academic course for a struggling student and build positive social-emotional skills for our youngest learners. This level of support works very well in our Kindergarten, First, and Second grades and provides for push-in or pull-out support including research-based curricula, multisensory approaches, and small group instruction.
PCA recognizes that some students may need a more in-depth type of intervention. That is why we offer Strategic Intervention for students in grades 3-12 with a qualifying psycho-educational evaluation. Research-based accommodations are made within the classroom according to individual needs and strategic support is given using push-in or pull-out small groups. Students that need more support in the area of reading are given instruction using the Wilson Reading System.
On Watch Support
At this level of support, students in grades K-12 are maintaining their academic load with very little consistent support from SLS. However, in the background SLS is regularly monitoring grades, projects, assignments, and providing consultation to teachers. SLS conducts quarterly or monthly check-ins with students. This is suitable for new students transitioning to PCA, students transitioning out of SLS, or students who need support for a temporary cause (i.e. injury, trauma, academic overload). No psychoeducational documentation is required for this level of support.
Steps to SLS
Students are referred to SLS by their grade level teachers based upon assessment data, classroom observations, and parent input. Once the referral is made, the SLS team performs more assessments and observations to determine the level of need. After that, an Academic Support Team is formed which includes the parents, classroom teacher, Head of division, and SLS team member to determine the next steps.
Learn more about the specifics of SLS by contacting our department at
firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 615-904-0902.
Jenni Moffett joined the PCA family this fall as the Student Learning Services Director. She earned her BS degree in Human Ecology from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, her M.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction: Reading Emphasis from Grand Canyon University, and her Reading Specialist endorsement from MTSU. Mrs. Moffett is also a certified Dyslexic Tutor through the Institute for Multisensory Education. Before joining the PCA staff, Mrs. Moffett spent nine years directing and teaching in the K-12th grade REACH program at Trinity Christian Academy in Jackson, TN. Before that, she taught in a public school in Savannah, TN. Mrs. Moffett is very passionate about making room in our Christian schools for students who learn differently. Her goal as Director is to bring school-wide policy, classroom teacher support, self-advocacy for our students in SLS, parent resources, and clear procedures for the SLS Department as we grow in all areas of our Academy. A Tennessee native, Jenni and her husband Tony now live in Murfreesboro, and have two children here at PCA. She loves to spend time with her family, hiking with the family dog, Mudley, watching University of Michigan football, and traveling. Mrs. Moffett is so thankful that God has brought her family to PCA to be set apart for His purpose.
Student Learning Services Director
Student Learning Services Staff
Grammar School SLS Teacher
Grammar School SLS Teacher
Grammar School SLS Teacher
Rhetoric School SLS Teacher
Isn’t that an interesting phrase- “Parenting a child with a learning difference?” Aren’t all students learning differently? Don’t we all do things in our own unique ways? As a matter of fact, we do. Just as each of us has our own unique DNA and our own unique fingerprints, it could be said that we each have our own individual learning preferences. We all learn differently, but for some, it’s a greater struggle than so many of us can comprehend.
Let’s dive into my own personal experience as a classroom teacher to see how learning differences play out in a classroom. I can attest to how difficult it can be, at times, to teach to a room of children who each bring to the lesson their own unique learning styles and needs. Several years ago I taught a class of 17 wonderful seven-year-olds. In that classroom were four amazing children who spoke very little English. Oh, how eager they were to soak up anything I could teach them. I remember another student so captivated by fear and rejection that he’d rather sit and talk with me, than run and play with his peers. Or the child who could only engage once he had sufficient nutrition. And then there were two students who had learning differences that had to give so much more to their learning experience- more effort, more time, more work. Not only did the teacher and the student have to give more, but the parents also had to shoulder the responsibility of being more, doing more, and supporting more. Parenting a child with a learning difference is quite a challenge but certainly a unique and special calling.
Know that you are not alone. PCA decided many years ago that we would be a school that supported students with learning differences. We are here to walk this road with you and your child. And we are so blessed to know that God has promised to walk alongside us as well, sustaining us through the moments of challenge. Psalms 55:22 says that we are to cast our cares before the Lord. It is through His strength that we can continue fulfilling His calling and His mission of supporting our children with learning differences.
It can, at times, seem unfair- to have to work harder for things that others seem to do so easily. Why, when the Bible says we are all “fearfully and wonderfully made,” does the makeup of our children have to include differences and struggles in the classroom? The answers we find should always lead us back to faith. Faith in an omnipotent and omniscient God. Faith in a God who created their brains uniquely for His glory. Faith in their story of challenge and messiness, but ultimate belief in a God that created them for a specific purpose that only they can fulfill. I dare say that the challenges our children with learning differences face will only make them stronger, braver, and more resilient. And when they look into the mirror and ask the question “Why me?” I hope that they have heard words of encouragement and hope from their parents, teachers, coaches, friends, and family. Learning differences are a part of their story and ultimately a part of their Kingdom Purpose. There is no unrighteousness in His purpose. Romans 9:14-23 reminds us of that. Learning differences do not define our children but instead, brings them to a fuller understanding of who God made them to be.
Next month, we will dive into more specific talking points and ways to be intentional as you lead your children into that deeper understanding.