Understanding Learning Disabilities Characteristics and Implementing Accommodations
June 20, 2016 8:30 AM–June 20, 2016 3:30 PM
Location: Calvary Academy, 1133 E. County Line Road, Lakewood, NJ 08701
Imago Dei: Created in the image of God! Every child fits that description and Christian schools that are prepared to serve all types of learners are more able to fulfill the mandate of Christ to reach each one. Weaker academic talent or learning differences need not be a reason to exclude children and families from the benefits of Christian education. We will explore the characteristics that are common among children who learn differently and then consider and practice methods that will better support their learning in general education classrooms. Especially discussed will be the role that all teachers can play in providing appropriate and doable accommodations for assignments as well as the necessary support for content reading.
Dr. Kathy Keafer
Dr. Kathy Keafer is currently the Administrator at Johnstown Christian School and an adjunct professor in the Education Department at Liberty University. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Speech Pathology, a Master's Degree in Special Education and a Doctoral Degree in Educational Psychology. For 17 years she worked to develop a comprehensive program for students with special needs at Johnstown Christian School followed by 15 years as the Research and Curriculum Director at the National Institute for Learning Development. Her current interests include developing basic skills in reading, spelling, and math as well as helping teachers in Christian schools be more prepared to serve students with learning differences.
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Professional development, encouragement, and networking for the international Christian school leader.
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Students display artwork of various artistic media, prepared according established guidelines, and judged on the day of the festival.
Professional development (PD) opportunities are nearly universal in the experiences of U.S. educators, both in public school settings and in Christian schools. The question of which PD strategies are most effective has become more critical in recent years, as schools face increasing internal and external pressures to improve student outcomes and optimize instructional expenditures. As a result, many school leaders are seeking to identify PD opportunities with high return on investment (ROI) in terms of student learning and achievement.
In an effort to address this issue systematically, a comprehensive literature synthesis was commissioned by ACSI (Swaner 2016). The synthesis, which surveyed over 500 scholarly articles and resources over the past 20 years, asked the question, “What are best practices in PD for Christian school teachers and leaders?” While little research was found specific to Christian education, what was available corroborated much of the broader literature on PD in K–12 schools. A set of characteristics of effective PD were identified in the literature, as well as a range of practices for which there exists research on their effectiveness. The synthesis also reviewed the evidence for the importance of cultures of continuous improvement to the effectiveness of any PD efforts.