“Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” — Jesus
Catholic elementary schools in the Diocese of Norwich are an inclusive educational ministry focused on the overall development of the child. Children with special needs are included in all activities through differentiated instruction and support, thereby maximizing their ability. It is through this philosophy that embracing and nurturing each child’s differences that we come to learn their true strengths and God-given talents. The entire faith community is enriched by supporting and participating in each child’s journey in an education rooted in the Catholic faith which embraces each other’s differences.
Here are a few people you would recognize who learned differently: Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, George Bernard Shaw, Hans Christian Andersen, Benjamin Franklin, Walt Disney, Steven Spielberg, Michelangelo and Winston Churchill.
Schools in the Diocese of Norwich offer students with special needs academic support, speech/language and occupational therapy. Students are identified through the Child Find Process in collaboration with the local school district. Service plans are developed and implemented for each child that is identified through this process. Accommodation plans are also developed and implemented for any student that may need accommodations prescribed by a physician. Students that are accelerated in a particular area are challenged through individualized enrichment activities.
Pope Francis said, “Disability, in all its forms, represents a challenge and an opportunity to build together a more inclusive and civil society, where family members, teachers and associations are supported. For this reason, it is necessary to continue to raise awareness about the various aspects of disability, breaking down prejudices and promoting a culture of inclusion and belonging, based on the dignity of the person.”
Each one of us is God’s work of art.
By Gail Kingston
Superintendent of Schools