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.
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.
He is the Potter
This month we will discuss various talking points and suggestions for supporting your children as they begin to realize and accept their own unique learning differences. First, let’s be reminded that our Heavenly Father works as a potter preparing the clay and forming us as He chooses. (Isaiah 64:8) Knowing that we are the work of His hand, we are able to encourage our children to embrace their uniqueness as perfectly made by our Father. I once heard a dad of a child with a disability say, “My child was made perfect for His purpose.” Notice the emphasis on His purpose. It is not the purpose that we assign ourselves for which we are made. It is the purpose of our Creator for which we live, move, and have our being. As believers, we can be encouraged knowing that the Potter has a purpose for each of us and makes us with that purpose in mind. As you discuss a learning difference with your child or encourage your child through a moment of difficulty, remind them that their Kingdom purpose is their ultimate calling. God made them with uniqueness for that purpose. If it is a part of our story, then there is a purpose for it.
Here are a few other talking points and considerations when discussing learning differences with your child:
- “Everyone learns differently. This is your unique learning style.”
- “Your challenges do not define you.”
- “Being wired differently doesn’t mean that you cannot succeed. There are many successful people with learning differences.”
- Put an authentic focus on strengths and talents, and give your child time to participate in those things. If all of your child’s extra time is spent in therapies and tutoring, it will be hard to convince your child that they are anything but different.
- Give your child time and space to talk about their struggle.
- Acknowledge your child’s efforts instead of the outcome, and help your child to focus attention there as well.
As in all things that we do as parents, commit to praying over your child’s learning differences. Commit to your child, that you will seek to support their learning needs and advocate for them as they continue on their journey. Champion your child in their strengths and encourage them through their challenges. But most importantly, remind your children often that our Heavenly Father has shaped their uniqueness and formed their lives for His Kingdom Purpose.
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.
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.
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