With the philosophy that every child is indeed a "special learner", the administration and school board of ICA made a decision in 2010 that Christian schools need to step it up in this very important area of education. ICA is now entering its 9th year of Exceptional Student Education, and we have developed an even more intense passion for this program since it's inception. ICA has been blessed to have Florida Certified ESE Specialists on full-time staff, as well as three ESE resource rooms (elementary, transition, and secondary) , a staffing specialist provided by Achievement Rehabilitation, and a variety of therapists, Behavior Analysts, and tutors helping our ESE students. Under our ESE program, your child will not be "labeled" as a special learner, ESE student, McKay student, etc. Confidentiality is of utmost importance to our faculty and staff. However, one thing your child will be sure of - he/she will be treated with love. Love for children is what motivates our entire school ministry.
Two Different Models
We offer a structured mainstream/inclusion program for exceptional students who may be able to handle the load of standard classes, but may need assistance in one or more areas. ICA provides aides who will be assigned to these students, making sure they are successful in those classes and in areas such as social issues. Should the student finish this standard academic program, they would be awarded a standard high school diploma with standard Florida course codes for transcript purposes.
ICA also knows that not every student will be ready to learn using a standardized curriculum, and would succeed better in a slower-paced learning environment. For this reason, ICA has developed a self-contained classroom in each of the grade sections - one for elementary, one for middle school, and one for high school. The maximum student count for each classroom is ten students, so these classes do fill up very fast. Each classroom has a lead teacher and an assistant teacher, resulting in a 5:1 student to teacher ratio. Students who remain in the self-contained program all the way through high school graduation will receive a standard diploma, but the transcripts will show that the courses taken were mostly "Access" courses and not standard courses. Access courses are courses that cover require content of that subject, but on a more accessible level for exceptional students.
ICA has partnered with Achievement Rehabilitation Through Therapeutic Intervention (ARTII) to provide our ESE children with three different therapy services: 1) speech, 2) physical and 3) occupational Several private tutors are also available to students who need help during school or after-school tutoring.
The State of Florida Department of Education has approved Inverness Christian Academy to accept the John McKay scholarship for students with disabilities. The amount of this scholarship is sufficient to cover all of ICA's normal tuition and fees, plus pay for a certain amount of therapy and tutoring, based on the child's matrix from his IEP. This scholarship is available to all students who have possessed an Individual Education Plan (IEP) from a public school in the last five years, or who has a current 504 Plan with the county school board. The student, in order to qualify, must be coming from at least one entire year in public school, or be transferring his/her McKay scholarship from another private school. For more information on the McKay scholarship, click HERE.
To set up an interview with the principal and ESE coordinator, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (352) 726-3759.