Heart to Heart

The Heart to Heart (H2H) Program provides a challenging educational experience for students with Down syndrome in an inclusive, integrated Christian community, with an unwavering commitment to developing the full academic and social potential of each student. We will foster understanding, acceptance, and love for all diverse learners within our community so that all students feel safe, empowered, and respected.

Program Highlights

We provide a variety of meaningful learning experiences that foster each child’s character and diverse needs. These opportunities lead students along their educational journey.


1:1 Technology
Lower school students will be provided a school-owned iPad to use throughout the school day. This technology enhances learning and provides a variety of mediums for students to acquire knowledge and practice skills. Additional programs can be added to meet the needs of each individual student. Middle school and upper school students will use a tablet computer.  Students learn to use technology as a tool for organization, evaluate digital resources, and develop skills using various applications. Utilizing a common device ensures students are able to access the resources and programs needed for each class and ensure that teachers and students’ devices can interface with one another. Additional assistive technology is available as the team sees fit for a student’s individual needs.

Individualized Academic Schedule
Schedules are designed to support our students in the least restrictive environment. Students are included in any class setting that the team established as appropriate with a spectrum of support. Students can attend classes independently or with a support system.


Academic Intervention
Intensive intervention is provided through evidence-based instructional practices in the areas of reading, math, life and transition skills.

Individualized Service Plan
Every student has a service plan based on his or her present levels of performance and educational goals, academic progress, and daily interactions. The service plan provides teachers with a deeper understanding of each student’s strengths, as well as goals and data on the growth of these goals. It promotes strong communication between the teacher and parents in assessing a student’s academic, executive function, and social-emotional growth.


Inclusive Community
Students in the H2H program are encouraged to participate in all campus activities. Staff members are trained to support the diverse needs of all students. The goal of the program is to promote independence and help students successfully grow in a community that values their differences and supports their needs to become active members of society.

Mentor Program
Students in middle school and upper school will be assigned junior or senior peer mentors who support social and academic growth in an inclusive setting. These mentors are selected through an application process and receive training and education in working directly with students with diverse needs.

Program by Division

Admission Process

  1. Family Tour - Includes interview with Heart to Heart teachers/administrator
  2. Application Submission
    • Student inquiry form
    • Recommendations from previous teacher/therapist/tutor (cannot be a family member
    • Copies of current and past individual education plan, service plan, etc. (3 years)
    • Copies of current and past behavior intervention plan if applicable
    • Copies of previous transcripts/academic records if applicable
    • Physcoeducational evaluation (within 3 years)
    • Must include social/developmental/behavioral assessment
    • Academic evaluation required for grades 5 - 12
    • Permission to observe student in current environment
  3. Evaluation Heart to Heart instructor observes student in current program (1 - 2 days as needed)
  4. Student Visit - On-campus evaluation by a Heart to Heart instructor (1 - 2 days as needed)
  5. Final Admission Decision

Program Requirements

  • Heart to Heart students are to follow all FRA policies as found in the student handbook, such as arrival and dismissal times, school calendars, etc.
  • Heart to Heart parents are to participate in class activities and accompany their student on any overnight school-sponsored trip or field trip. Exemptions may be made based upon Heart to Heart instructor recommendation and administrative approval.
  • Medical needs should not require the attention of medically trained staff, rather they should be able to be handled by the Heart to Heart instructor and staff.
  • Must be able to age appropriately manage toileting and personal hygiene.
  • Behaviors must not include major risk factors (elopement, aggression toward peers or adults, excessive or inappropriate language, self-harm, etc.).
  • Student must be able to participate in whole-group classroom lessons, with modifications/supports provided by Heart to Heart instructor/classroom teacher/Heart to Heart staff.
  • Parents must communicate regularly with Heart to Heart instructor and support student in meeting all FRA student requirements (dress code, attendance).

Alana Hilkin

Alana Hilkin
Heart to Heart Director

Natalie Scruggs

Natalie Scruggs
Upper School Heart to Heart

Alana Hilkin

Kate Webber
Middle School Heart to Heart

Sarah Moore

Sarah Moore
Middle School Heart to Heart


Alana Hilkin

Stephanie DeSantis
Lower School Heart to Heart

Natalie Scruggs

Sean Adams
Heart to Heart
Teaching Assistant

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