Saying YES to a Child in Need
One of the primary goals of LSEM is to help ALL children with learning needs be able to attend Christian schools where their education and their spirits can be built up. To families who have children with a learning need and are wondering if their child can be successful and have their needs met by a parochial school, we want to say YES!
A few years ago, we were unable to help enroll a prospective student at St. John Lutheran School in Rochester, Michigan. The bottom line was that we were unequipped to meet the academic needs of that student. This child was at least three grade levels behind in reading and struggling with basic math skills. One report even diagnosed this student as cognitively impaired. It made the school admission director, administration, and LSEM very disappointed to not enroll the student at St. John. The parents were also crushed as every other school they tried to attend had said the same thing.
However, we delivered the disappointing news to the parents with some hope, including suggestions for what steps they could take to enroll their child in St. John in the future. The parents said two things that stuck with us. The first comment was, “No one ever honestly shared of my child’s learning difficulties with us or has provided as many suggestions to aid our child.” The second was, “We will do whatever it takes to have our child learn and attend St. John.”
Over the next 9 months, the parents did what they said they were going to do. They completed everything that was suggested, and this child met the minimum requirements to attend St. John and finally became enrolled. We were able to say YES to this student! YES, you are special! YES, you are worthy! YES, you can be helped! YES, you can do it!
For the first year, the student worked directly with our LSEM resource teachers for three class periods a day. Throughout the year, everyone agreed that this is a smart, curious child. The other thing heard over and over is that this child has a great attitude and works hard.
After standardized testing during the first year at our school, results placed the student in the 55th percentile for English and reading, which is in the average range. The science was in the same range. While the math was still low, there was hard work and visible growth throughout the year.
Now, working directly with the LSEM resource teacher for only one period a day, the child is primarily in the classroom with peers. This year after the first round of standardized testing, reading and writing are still solidly in the average range, and the student placed in the 92nd percentile for science—well above average!
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me.” Thanks to the partnership between LSEM and St. John Rochester, we were able to help one more child come to Jesus. We have people at LSEM and at St. John who love children like they love their own. One can never say enough about determination, as this child has worked hard. Yet we also can never forget that God works miracles every day in our lives, and He created each one of us uniquely and for a purpose.