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What are your hours for 2017-18 school year?

  • Preschool 8:45am – 11:45am
  • Grace Camp (preschool and kindergarten) 11:45am – 2:00 pm*
  • Full-Day Kindergarten 8:15am – 2:00pm
  • K – 5th Grades 8:15am – 2:00pm
  • Early drop-off will be available beginning at 8:00am.*
    *Additional charge

What is Inquiry-Based Learning?

It is a method of instruction that places the student, the subject, and their interaction at the center of the learning experience. Students are not lectured at; they are engaged in a meaningful, teacher-guided journey of discovery. Inquiry-based learning encourages full and active participation of the entire group. Investigations are generated through the student’s own questions and curiosity. This creates a love of learning in the child and teaches life-long skills they will use not only throughout their school years but long into adulthood, both in their personal and professional lives. Our goal is to set the foundation to build your child up to become a successful adult!

What are the children taught about God?

At GraceWay Academy our children are taught Biblical truths about the love of Jesus. Our Bible teachings come straight from the Bible and nowhere else.

What are the benefits of small classes?

That’s a long list! Here are a few:

  • Curriculum can be adjusted to fit the class/individual
  • More one-on-one time with the teacher
  • Students stay more focused, misbehave less
  • Advanced reading and math students can be supported to achieve even more
  • Individualized attention means the teacher really gets to know what makes your child tick!

How is technology used in the classroom? What if my child has never used an iPad?

Technology use depends on the age of the child and the objective of a learning experience.  Our preschoolers use very little technology, as we want to make the most of their opportunities for face-to-face interactions during the few hours we have them.  Teachers will use their devices to extend learning, as appropriate.  Our kindergarten and first grade students use computers as part of their center work to help support their learning and to learn the basics of operating computers.  Beginning in second grade, we have tablets such as iPads to expand their learning experiences.  These devices are used as tools to increase and expand learning through demonstrations, research, communication with experts in a field of study, and much more.  Students also use them to present and share information with one another.  In our upper elementary grades, we implement laptops for typing essays and creating PowerPoint presentations for in-class sharing.  Our purpose is to teach students how to use different types of technology and incorporate them in meaningful, appropriate ways into their learning. When your child moves on to another school for 6th grade, they will have developed skills that will help them succeed in middle school.

What is the difference between full-day and half-day kindergarten?

Developmentally, kindergarten students learn best in the morning hours. After lunch, their brain goes into a state of rest, even if they are no longer napping. For this reason, all of our kindergarten students will complete all learning objectives during the morning hours. Our half-day kindergartners will be dismissed at 12:30pm, before lunch. Half-day kindergarten families will continue to have the option to sign up for Grace Camp on days when a late pick-up would be helpful. Our full-day kindergartners will enjoy lunch (brought from home), outdoor playtime, and enrichment activities to support and expand the morning’s learning objectives. They will be dismissed at 2:00pm with the rest of the elementary students.

Do your students go on field trips?

Yes, they do! Our students participate in field trips approximately 3 – 4 times per school year. In past years, our field trips have included: Crystal River Archaeological State Park, St. Augustine’s Castillo de San Marcos, Ocala International Airport, Legoland, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Appleton Museum, Brown’s Farm Corn Maze, blueberry farms, Kennedy Space Center, Marion County Library, Ocala Discovery Center, SeaWorld, Silver River Museum programs and festivals, Marion County Courthouse, Magic Kingdom and EPCOT. While the timing of a field trip may not specifically align with classroom instruction, they are coordinated to tie in with annual units of study. Parents transport their child and stay to enjoy the activity together. We enjoy providing these learning experiences for the whole family. Participation in field trips is optional, and there may be out-of-pocket costs to attend.

How do our students learn about the importance of service to others?

You can talk about the value of serving others, but having the children dig in and get involved is how you really speak into their hearts about it. We allow our children to help lead our mission and service efforts. Our students have collected blankets, toiletries and “blessing bags” for Ocala’s homeless population, visited rehabilitation centers, coordinated food drives, and participated in various school service projects. Also, the children form prayer relationships with the ladies of Ruth’s Circle, a Bible study and prayer group at Grace Presbyterian Church.

What is the school's homework philosophy?

Children and families today live very full lives outside of the school day. We feel that homework should not be busywork but rather support the students’ classroom learning in a meaningful and essential way. While each teacher has her individual homework expectations, our school-wide goal is to give no more homework than is necessary to reinforce skills. Occasional take-home projects will be assigned with a sufficient number of days or weeks to complete them.

What role do tests play at GraceWay Academy?

GraceWay teachers are continually assessing students’ understanding as they engage in lessons and activities. We do not limit ourselves to pencil-and-paper tests to determine our students’ level of understanding. We use a variety of methods to assess understanding, including writing, art, observations, demonstrations, presentations, and conversations. Through these methods, teachers quickly identify and correct misconceptions as the students are learning. In other words, we do not view assessments as the final culmination of a unit of study, but as a process of guiding our students to a deeper understanding of the topic at hand. Our upper elementary students take a standardized test each spring to meet school accreditation requirements. We use this test as a means for holding us accountable to our goal of providing an excellent academic experience. It is not used as a means for assessing the progress of individual students or to determine their eligibility for promotion to the next grade.

What do you provide for three year olds?

We provide a fun, safe, engaging environment where children are free to learn and explore in developmentally appropriate ways. It's all about doing what young children are made to do...play! We don’t encourage worksheets; instead, we engage the children with hands-on activities through which they develop their cognitive, social, emotional and fine motor skills. Developmentally-appropriate literacy, math, and science concepts are introduced through play and exploration. The children develop a desire to learn, while surrounded by a loving, Christ-centered environment.

How does the flexible scheduling for part-time preschoolers work?

Our flexible scheduling is very popular with our parents. Parents of our Fireflies preschoolers have the option to enroll their child in our full time (5 days per week) program or part time (2 or 3 days per week). Parents of part-time preschoolers may choose to bring their child on any days, Monday through Friday. This allows parents to change their child’s preschool schedule to fit the changing schedule of young families. Due to VPK requirements from the State of Florida, those students must attend five days per week.

What are the qualifications of GraceWay teachers and staff? What continuing education do they receive?

The most effective teachers are the ones who love what they do and want to come to work each day. Our staff love children and count their ministry at GraceWay as a blessing and a joy. That enjoyment overflows to the children and can be felt through the building.

Our teachers meet professional criteria which qualify them to teach. We are held accountable to these standards by the Florida Department of Children and Families, the Florida Department of Education, the Early Learning Coalition of Marion County, and the Florida League of Christian Schools. Many of our teachers hold advanced degrees, credentials, and certifications beyond what is required for their position by these agencies. All of our teachers and staff receive professional continuing education training each year. We have several teachers currently pursuing new degrees and credentials. We are a community of learners and growers. We value lifelong learning and our teachers are always striving to develop their skills.

Spiritually, our teachers all profess Jesus as their Lord and Savior and show evidence of a growing relationship with Him. Our teachers attend several churches of different denominations around Ocala. GraceWay teachers and staff support one another through prayer and encouragement. We come together each week to study Scripture together. We are a family of believers and we believe we must stay “plugged in” to the source of all power – Jesus Christ – to effectively teach and minister to our students and families.

Does GraceWay have opportunities for parent involvement?

Yes! We love having our parents involved in school activities. Through the year, parents are invited to help with classroom celebrations, special events, and fundraisers. Elementary classroom teachers also have opportunities for parents to help in their child’s class. For the safety and security of our students, we require parent volunteers to be fingerprinted and background checked.

We have several events and programs through the year during which our children share what they have learned with family and friends. These include Donuts with Dads, Mother’s Teas, Thanksgiving Program, Spring Program, and Graduation Ceremonies. Parents are also encouraged to accompany children on field trips into the community.

We recognize that parents are not always available to volunteer during school hours. Our parents are also invited and encouraged to support the work and ministry of GraceWay through donations of supplies, snacks, play dough and other items. We appreciate having an involved and committed group of parents in our GraceWay family.

Is GraceWay Academy an accredited school, and what does that really mean?

Yes! We are fully accredited by FLOCS (Florida League of Christian Schools) and their international parent organization. Accreditation involves close, in-depth scrutiny by an external group to ensure that high standards are met in every facet of the school’s operation. Reaccreditation occurs every five years, ensuring that these standards are still met while encouraging the school towards continual improvement.

What “specials” does GraceWay offer?

Our students enjoy a wide variety of educational experiences in and out of the classroom. Our curriculum includes instruction and activities in the following areas: Bible, Spanish, art, music, library, and physical education. Opportunities to learn how to use technological tools are integrated into daily classroom activities in age-appropriate ways.