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Great Lakes Academy Provides A Quality Education for Students with Learning Differences

By Kelly Church

Designed to serve students with learning differences, Great Lakes Academy, an accredited private school located in Plano, TX, educates students in grades 1 through 12. Since its inception in 1996, GLA has provided its students an environment of acceptance, with strong academic and social components.

"The purpose of Great Lakes Academy is to provide students with average to above average intelligence, diagnosed with various Learning Differences, Processing Disorders and/or AD/HD and Asperger's Syndrome a favorable environment and a program of learning that is designed to address each student's individual academic and social needs. GLA affords each student the opportunity to reach their full potential utilizing small class sizes, multi-sensory teaching methods, individualized instruction, and a caring and well-trained faculty." says Marjolein Borsten, Founder and Executive Director of Great Lakes Academy.

"The majority of students at Great Lakes Academy have had social, and/or academic difficulties in their previous schools," says Borsten. "Many GLA students have experienced stress and frustration because they were not able to receive appropriate assistance in a large traditional classroom setting. GLA's belief is that each student's intellectual, emotional and social development is best nurtured in classes with 10 or fewer students, where expectations are reasonable, yet challenging, the faculty is encouraging and supportive and there is a strong communal bond."

"Students at Great Lakes Academy follow a typical school day similar to a public school, only in a setting which is more conducive to their individual learning styles. GLA follows curriculum guidelines set forth by the Texas Education Agency; however, our students are afforded the necessary accommodations which allow them to be successful. The faculty and administration recognize the importance of instructing their students using a variety of methods in order to better manage each student's learning style."

"Once students develop a relationship with their teachers, Administration, and fellow students they gain a sense of community and they can actually begin to enjoy school again, or in some cases for the first time, says Borsten. "It is GLA's mission to create in its students a desire to become lifelong learners."

According to Borsten, 96% of GLA graduating students go on to attend a two year or four year college, something that stems from GLA's high expectations of their students and the flexibility to work with each one individual closely.

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