PLUS (Positive Learning Using Strengths and Strategies) Upon its inception, the PLUS Program was developed to meet the needs of intellectually strong students diagnosed with learning disabilities. The PLUS program was founded in 1966 as The Auburndale School System by Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Smith fulfilling their mission of developing an academic environment where children with mild learning differences could be educated on a traditional school campus. The torch of meeting the needs of our exceptional students was passed to the Catholic Diocese of Memphis in the Smiths’ advancing age. St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School now fulfills the mission of offering an elevated curriculum to students diagnosed with a learning disability such ADHD, Dyslexia, Auditory Processing Disorders and the like, who are not making expected gains in a traditional classroom setting. Through lowered student to teacher ratios, differentiated instruction and remediation, and supportive and encouraging goal management, the PLUS Program has helped hundreds of students transition back into a traditional classroom and move on to secondary and post secondary school settings.
While the primary mission of the PLUS Program is to foster academic, emotional, social and spiritual growth for all of our students, we are specifically committed to serving the needs of those students who more effectively learn in a smaller classroom environment and with the support of teachers trained in remediation. Our instructors work hard to identify and accommodate all learning styles while ensuring that students learn in a positive, supportive environment. The goal of the program in grades 2nd through 6th is to offer an at grade level curriculum while remediating areas of weakness and promoting successful learning strategies in order to transition the students back into the traditional academic program. The focus in our 7th and 8th grade PLUS Program is to provide differentiated instruction in content areas of need and strategies for a successful transition into high school. To achieve both, students and parents must commit themselves to a rigorous course of study including students’ attendance, academic diligence, and appropriate behavior. Placement tests, as well as records from previous schools and family interviews, are used to evaluate the student’s appropriate placement in the PLUS Program. For more information about the program, please contact the PLUS office.