top of page

Why It’s Important to Welcome Kids with Disabilities at Catholic Schools

Aug 10, 2023

Why It’s Important to Welcome Kids with Disabilities at Catholic Schools by Katie Yonder at Our Sunday Visitor. Before coming to the USCCB, [Mary Pat] Donoghue served as principal of St. Jerome Academy in Hyattsville, Maryland. The school almost closed, but that changed after it adopted a curriculum—including special education resources—based in the Church’s tradition. “We had no money when we started,” she said. “So I was able to see that, first of all, it’s making it a priority in the same way that you say to yourself, ‘We have to have a P.E. teacher.'” “The second thing is, you work—in the beginning, at least—with what you have,” she added. Read


New Initiative Will Help Catholic Schools Start Special Needs Inclusion Programs by Daniel Meloy at Detroit Catholic. “One thing we were told very early on (when making the program) that we couldn’t wrap our minds around is whatever we would do for Jacob and other students in our inclusion program, they have given back to us a hundredfold. Jacob’s presence in our community transformed the culture in our school, making us a more caring, compassionate, engaged community that has reached into every corner of what it means to be a Catholic school,” [Sean] Jorgensen added. Read


A Woke Children’s Literature Cabal Is Conditioning Your Kid To Be An Obedient Leftist by Kiri Jorgensen at The Federalist. We have moved from the inclusion of liberal social agendas in kids’ books — and flaunting it — to sneaking them in under the radar of parents. This is called normalization. The goal is to include these ideologies in exciting, adventurous stories so they become commonplace. Woke ideology has shifted from being the make-up of a book’s plot lines to the fabric of the setting — the normal backdrop of the story as if it exists that way in real life…. And not only books and publishers pose a problem. After the seismic cultural shift that happened in 2016, libraries across the nation purged their shelves of anything “old.” This weeding out pulled many classics, which got some attention, but the deepest cuts were made in the children’s departments. Traditional values were ejected to make room for new, modern left-wing values—from board books for babies to young adult novels. Read


LGBTQ Activist Org Awards Thousands to Schools Around the Country to Promote Gender Ideology by Reagan Reese at The Stream. An LGBTQ activist organization awarded more than 70 public and charter schools throughout the U.S. and Canada thousands of dollars to promote gender ideology, support “Gender Sexuality Alliance” (GSA) clubs and put on Pride Week celebrations, according to the group’s website. Throughout 2023, the “It Gets Better Project” has awarded at least 56 U.S. and 15 Canadian public and charter schools $10,000 each for a total of $625,000 in grants to fund LGBTQ initiatives, according to the organization’s website. Some school districts throughout the country are using the grants they received to fund “gender transition closets” and work with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a group that describes itself as a “leading-edge Order of queer and trans nuns,” to take transgender students “back-to-school shopping.” Read


LeBron James-Founded School Test Results Highlight Mixed Outcomes of Celebrity Schools by Jeremiah Poff at Washington Examiner. A mixed track record of student success despite higher funding prompted Terry Schilling, the president of the American Principles Project, to note that parental involvement is ultimately the most important barometer of student achievement. "The failure of these elite-run, celebrity schools is proof that the most important factor in educational success is engagement from parents," Schilling told the Washington Examiner. "These schools are flush with cash but are doing worse than public schools. Why is that? When it comes to achievement, there’s no substitute for loving and involved parents." Read


Milton Friedman’s Vision in Education Becomes Reality by Jay Greene at The Daily Signal. In the past three years alone, more than 20 states have enacted new education choice policies or expanded existing ones, including eight states that are in the process of implementing Friedman’s vision of universal school choice. And last month, the Supreme Court decided jointly in two cases brought by Students for Fair Admissions against Harvard and the University of North Carolina that the equal protection clause prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, including in college admissions. For Friedman, these two issues were closely connected. Read


Throwback Thursday


Inclusion in Catholic Schools: From Inception to Implementation by Christine Bonfiglio and Karen Kroh at the Journal of Catholic Education on December 21, 2020. Although the evidence supports benefits for Students With Disabilities (SWD) in an inclusive setting, historically, there has been concern that inclusive education adversely affects the academic performance of students without disabilities because educator time will be diverted to the needs of SWDs. However, several meta-analyses have refuted this contention, and substantiated the benefits for ALL students when peers with disabilities are included in the general classroom. Specifically, students without disabilities benefit from inclusive settings from the implementation of high-leverage practices, interventions, and strategies (Kalambouka et al., 2007; Ruijs & Peetsma, 2009; Szumski et al., 2017). Social benefits are also present, including higher levels of acceptance and empathy by students without disabilities (Katz & Mirenda, 2002; Ruijs & Peetsma, 2009). In the most recent meta-analysis, Szumski and colleagues (2017) compared two settings— students without disabilities in inclusive settings versus students without disabilities in nonintegrated settings (i.e., without students with disabilities). This direct comparison allowed for better delineation of the effects of setting and services on typically achieving peers. Results showed increased academic achievement in the inclusive setting. That is, students without disabilities had higher academic performance when learning with students of varied abilities, including those with disabilities, than their peers in less integrated classrooms (Szumski et al., 2017). Read

bottom of page