Hershey Christian School is proud to educate and serve many students with a wide range of academic abilities.   Some students are able to take advantage of taking a specialized area in a higher grade.  Elementary students can either go to the classroom or have specialized instruction within their classrooms.  Middle and high school students can be scheduled into higher grade level classes.  Our small size also allows teachers to provide support within the classroom to students who may need a little extra support.   For example, some students may need to take tests orally, while some may need alternative assignments or additional time to digest information.   While teachers will implement and follow a written plan (such as an Individualized Education Plan or IEP), they also rely on their instincts to provide every child with what he or she needs.  So, a student not on an IEP can still receive differentiated education.

We are also flexible enough to offer opportunities for home-schooled students to take advantage of some of our classes they might not otherwise have access to.

IU Services

The Intermediate Unit provides Speech Therapy services to identified students.  An IU guidance counselor also provides services at Hershey Christian School.

Learning Support/Resource Room

Additionally, Hershey Christian School offers significant help for students with learning difficulties, including:

  • a resource room for learning support in math and reading for all grades
  • a non-remedial program developed by the National Institute for Learning Differences, NILD, that is designed to change the neural pathways of learning disabled students

Students take the learning support classes in the resource room with master’s level teachers who have certifications in their areas of expertise.   Those teachers are responsible for teaching and grading the student’s work.
The elementary program uses Wilson Reading System.  The Wilson program, a 12 step program, directly and systematically teaches students who have not internalized sounds and word structure how to fluently and accurately decode and encode (spell) words.  It is an interactive and multi-sensory approach based on the techniques and principles first described by Dr. Samuel Orton and Anna Gillingham.

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The program is based on phoneme (smallest unit of sound) segmentation and syllable segmentation. The ability to break a word into individual sound units is directly taught with sound cards and finger tapping. Finger tapping is used for analyzing spoken words into phonemes for spelling. It is also used for blending sounds for reading. The student must master both sound and syllable segmentation. To read and spell, the student needs the ability to see and hear each syllable and each sound within a syllable. Steps 1 and 2 strongly emphasize phonological awareness with segmenting and blending of phonemes up to six sounds. The Wilson Reading System provides practice in both reading and spelling with controlled text, elements of word structure that have been directly taught. When students master Steps 1-6, they practice reading non-controlled text with supervised guidance.

The Learning Center also utilizes Saxon Math, a K-12 core mathematics program. By design, there are no chapters in Saxon math.  The incremental pedagogy provides direct instruction, practice, application, and assessment throughout the year. Saxon’s instructional approach breaks complex concepts into simpler increments. This approach results in increased understanding and performance.     The math program offers appropriate math curriculum for students through high school, including Consumer Math if that is a more appropriate choice for the student than Algebra and/or Calculus.

There is an additional cost for these services.

NILD

NILD offers a non-remedial program geared towards students with learning disabilities in K-12.
Empirical evidence shows it helps students become more independent learners.  Test scores show improved intellectual abilities even when tested three years after the program ends. The brain-based program is designed to change the way a learning disabled student thinks by creating new neural pathways in the brain.  Many activities, including rhythmic writing, help the student process information in both hemispheres of the brain, something often lacking in learning disabled students.  It was created based on the medical model of how stroke patients are medically rehabilitated and adapted for educational use.   The program requires an additional fee and out of school practice.

Academic Select

HCS desires to partner with parents in our local communities—especially those who homeschool– as we provide a program that helps to complete a student’s portfolio in grades 1-12.  Many families are searching for specific courses to meet the individual needs of their children.  We offer a variety of Biblically integrated courses that will benefit families that participate in this program.

  • Academic Select Students may enroll in a maximum of 3.0 credits per school year.
  • Course descriptions and prerequisites may be found in the HCS Educational Planning Guide for Grades 6-12.
  • Students in Grades 1-2 may choose from our special classes:  Art, Music, Computer and Physical Education.
  • Students in Grades 3-5 may choose from our special classes and afternoon academic classes:  Art, Music, Computer, Physical Education, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies.
  • Academic Select Students in Grades 6-8 are eligible to participate in extracurricular activities, including athletics, if they are actively enrolled in a minimum of 1.0 credit per semester.  An activity fee is assessed for each extracurricular activity.
  • Academic Select Students in Grades 9-12 are eligible to participate in extracurricular clubs and programs such as drama or worship team.  Academic Select Students in Grades 9-12 are not eligible to participate in PIAA athletics according to PIAA rules and regulations.  A minimim of 1.0 credit per semester is required for extracurricular eligibility.  An activity fee is assessed for each extracurricular activity.
  • Financial aid and tuition discounts are not available for Academic Select Students.
  • Tution is determined on a per diem basis according to the number of days of instruction during a week.