Bridging the Gap 4th and 5th Grade Classroom

BTG 4th-5th is a small-group classroom design where the student to teacher ratio is 4:1. Students are instructed independently, in small groups, and as whole class. Multiple learning styles are incorporated in the intimate classroom setting through the use of hands-on group activities, technology based instruction, and independent work that is differentiated to their level. In a typical day, students learn and practice core academic subjects, as well as social skills and age appropriate functional tasks. We also incorporate fun and creativity into the classroom through art, and utilizing the outdoors and the community around us.

The focus of the BTG 4th-5th Grade Classroom is to extend the academic skills gained in 3rd grade and continue the development of group and social skills such as team work and conversation.  BTG classes also attend regular field trips in the local community.  The hours for BTG 4th-5th Grade are 8:15am-3:15pm.

Stemming from a traditional one-on-one ABA setup, children are taught to respond within different student-to-teacher ratios, teaching styles, and classroom environments. This process generalizes skills learned in traditional one-on-one ABA therapy to a group environment and teaches students how to learn in a group setting. BTG places a large emphasis on improving adaptive and self-regulation skills to reduce the occurrence of potentially disruptive behaviors.

BTG 4th-5th Grade Weekly Schedule

BTG 4th-5th Grade Weekly Schedule


Co-Teacher, Ms. Nina 

Nina grew up in Burlington, Vermont and attended college at the University of Vermont. She has been working with Hope Reach as a Bridging the Gap Teacher since June 2015. Previously, she worked with children with various special needs and abilities as a Personal Care Attendant since February of 2011.

At the University of Vermont, she studied Elementary Education and pursued her teaching license for Kindergarten through 6th Grade. She has passion for working with children of all abilities in both the classroom setting and at home. She is ecstatic about Bridging the Gap because it is the perfect match of whole classroom education and special instruction. Her teaching idol is Ms. Frizzle (from the Magic School Bus), so she is inspired to make every day a learning adventure. She believes that the best learning comes from authentic, real-world experiences.

Degree: B.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Vermont

Hobbies: Nina has a passion for the outdoors, and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and camping in the woods. She enjoys mountain biking, skiing, and whitewater rafting.

Co-Teacher, Ms. Layla

During her senior year at Furman University, Layla began interning with the various programs of Project Hope Foundation. As a psychology student, she always had a passion for people, and knew that her future career would involve helping others in some capacity. Her interest in education and working with children led me to the special place that is Hope Academy.

Upon graduating in May of 2013, Layla began working as a line therapist and shadowed children in Bridging the Gap. She loved the way that therapy and education are integrated in this program and knew it was a perfect fit. Her teaching position began in the summer of 2014 with the onset of BTG 1st-3rd grade. These students completely captured her heart and she is happy to be co-teaching in the 2nd-3rd grade classroom.

Layla absolutely loves when a new skill or idea seems to light up in the mind of a student. She can’t seem to get enough hugs throughout the day either! However, her favorite part of the BTG classroom is seeing the relationships between our students slowly form and develop throughout the year.

When not at school, Layla loves to explore Greenville’s local events, bake semi-homemade desserts, and enjoy some occasional retail therapy. Layla enjoys spending her free time with her fiancé Paul, daughter Leighton, and dog Maezy.