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The Access Program at Lutheran High School

Posted by Paul Blomenberg on Oct 9, 2019, 9:59:00 AM

What is Access?

Access enables and bolsters the success of every Lutheran High School student with a learning difference, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), or other diagnoses, such as Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). In this study-hall-style class, eligible students receive individualized attention and instruction specific to their unique needs. While in Access, students can work on school assignments, study for tests, connect with teachers, and work on strategies to address school-related issues, such as organization, time management, communication, and study skills. And throughout the Access period, the teacher is there for students, with regular check-ins to ensure follow through, troubleshooting, and overall support.

How does Access support students?

Success isn't simply the correct recall of academic content, but the synthesis of information using a wide variety of mental processes and acquired habits. Processes that can be enhanced by way of evidence-based, metacognitive techniques. And habits that take hold with information, guidance, and repetition. Through teacher-led presentations, group activities, and one-on-one instruction, Access students gain an awareness of how they best learn, acquire and implement strategies that work with their unique learning styles, and learn additional self-help tools that are the foundation for success in high school, college, and beyond, such as skills for self-advocacy, self-monitoring, and time management.

How does one get into Access?

 Access is expressly for students who have a current Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 Plan from a previous school or students who have received a psychoeducational evaluation by a qualified doctor within the past three years. To begin the process of enrollment in Lutheran High's Access program, incoming families should contact the Office of Admissions who will connect you to guidance counselor Denise Noffze. Ms. Noffze will use the information in the student's original program, plan, or evaluation to write a Lutheran High School Student Support Plan.  

Just so you know…

 Access is neither a punishment nor a consequence for underperformance. It is an optional program for students with an existing support plan. It gives students a structured, yet relaxed space in which to learn and try new strategies, or, take extra time working on more challenging assignments. While some students are in Access throughout all four years of their time at Lutheran High School, other students choose to "graduate" from Access after a year or two or when they feel that they're able to maintain self-sufficiency through the skills that they learned in the program.

From the Teacher

“This is my 4th year as the Access teacher at LuHi. I love my job because I truly get to celebrate the fact that each of my students is a unique individual. Each of them has their own stories, backgrounds, personalities, likes, dislikes, and in this case, academic difficulties. They have pushed me to gain a new understanding of empathy as they teach me about their experiences. It is humbling to hear their stories, and I love being able to cheer them on when they find strategies that work. I also love being able to walk alongside them through the trenches when school is not going so well, and to hopefully help them discover footholds to work towards success. And again, to cheer them on when they do find those footholds! I also love getting to work with parents and other teachers as we all work together to help support these students in the most effective way possible.”

- Kaylee Stith, LuHi Access Teacher

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