For Students Who Learn Differently
Achieving Your Best
The Diocese of Manchester Catholic Schools Office believes that:
Providing an inclusive educational system is the fulfillment of our Baptismal promise.
The inherent value and dignity of students should always be respected.
Families and schools are called to form an equitable partnership to create a quality inclusive educational experience.
Students should be welcomed members of their school, with access to the full range of learning experiences as their peers whenever possible.
Curriculum and related supports should be designed to enable students to participate fully and make progress within the general education classroom.
Academic and social participation are the hallmarks of quality education.
Testing and assessment should be performed with the focus on student’s strengths and progress.
As appropriate and when possible, students should be provided with opportunities and the related supports to develop skills such as problem solving, decision-making, and self-advocacy.
The Catholic Schools Office and Diocesan School Board Special Education subcommittee have spent two years researching exemplary models of special education and inclusion in Catholic schools across the country. This has included interviewing model schools, attending conferences, researching best practices, and working with the FIRE Foundation of the Diocese of Kansas City, who has helped to support inclusive practices in their Catholic schools for the past 20 years.
With the support of the Bishop, we have developed a vision for building a strong foundation in our schools to offer inclusive special education practices. Our goal is to address students’ special learning needs by providing an appropriate learning environment, academic support and resources.
The NH Catholic Schools Special Education Inclusion Project includes several initiatives; including assisting schools in examining model practices that have aided in procuring additional funding and resources such as the FIRE Foundation. As the New Hampshire chapter of FIRE Foundation grows, we are excited to collaborate with them to help secure funding and resources for special education inclusion in our schools.
Another aspect of this project includes developing a special education inclusion pilot program in one of our Diocesan schools beginning Fall 2019. As part of this pilot project, the CSO has created a Special Education Inclusion manual, including uniform policies and practices for use in all our schools.
This is an important and exciting time in New Hampshire Catholic Schools. Please join us in praying for guidance and grace as we begin this journey of inclusion for our students. If you have questions about the NH Catholic School Special Education Inclusion Project please contact Superintendent Thibault at firstname.lastname@example.org.