Fearfully Wonderfully Made (FWM)
Beginning in 2001, San Jacinto Christian Academy began to consider how the people and programs of a Christian school can best assist students in exploring, comprehending and developing the unique gifts, talents, learning styles and abilities that Scripture indicates are uniquely planted in them by God. Additionally, how can the Christian school nurture students toward walking in the individual destiny that God has prepared for them? The thought process spurred by these questions resulted in a multi-year project entitled Fearfully and Wonderfully Made: A School Design Project.
The project included literary research; internal research including: surveys, observations, analysis of test data, diagnostic tests, evaluations and interviews, and external research involving: consultation, conferences and workshops. From this research, the school implemented a dyslexic training program, a Resource Center, a teacher training and materials in differentiated instruction. SJCA’s Fearfully and Wonderfully Made (FWM) project has impacted the entire school in a very positive manner.
At the end of first grade, students are screened for dyslexic tendencies. Those students that exhibit strong dyslexic tendencies are offered the opportunity to enter a three-year language re-training program in a multi-sensory classroom using materials and teaching methods developed by the Scottish Rite Learning Centers. Students attend this specialized training during their normal reading time. This small intensive program has changed the educational opportunities for many students. Beginning in the fifth grade these students are reintroduced into the traditional reading period with their peers. SJCA has seen numerous students benefit from this program. F.W.M. provides students with special learning needs tools and techniques to help them be successful in the academic setting.
Elementary students may also receive additional resource help from the Resource Center on a determined basis. This optional program provides intense and focused attention to help students who struggle with a particular learning style or may need certain accommodations. SJCA is blessed to have an on-staff diagnostician to assist in determining which students can benefit from these programs.
Another important resource that was developed out of the FWM project is known on campus as the Teacher Toolbox. This extensive resource aids each teacher in ideas, methods and specific techniques to differentiate instruction to students. To be successful, the modern teacher can no longer teach with on particular style. Instead, the modern teacher must constantly present the material in unique and different methods that address the various learning styles of the students in each classroom. The Teacher Toolbox provides the SJCA teacher with practical and proven techniques. SJCA teachers use the Teacher Toolbox in-service training sessions to improve their teaching abilities. Students with mild to moderate learning differences can achieve success in the inclusive classroom.