Immaculata Classical Academy is an inclusive school. Recognizing the acute need of many families and desiring to respond generously to the Church’s call of service to all, we do admit, on a limited basis, students with special needs, particularly those with Down Syndrome. We follow the philosophy that classrooms should reflect natural proportion guidelines, with classrooms generally having 1-2 children with special needs, or about 15-20% of our total student body. Many a family has sought in vain for a faith-based environment wherein their children with special needs might be encouraged to perform to their greatest personal potential and benefit from a more diverse peer network. The incorporation of children with special needs into the standard classroom well serves not only these students but also the typical student who may otherwise miss out on the chance to interact with peers who have special needs and share in and experience their radiating joy. This opportunity offered by the school does not in any way affect our commitment to a rigorous curriculum and high standards- in fact, it enchances it!
Our Lord said, "Let the little children come to Me."
Emphasis in Down Syndrome
Time and time again those who have experienced children with Down Syndrome cannot help but smile and speak of the remarkable joy these children bring to their families and peers. Do not these children deserve to have a Catholic, Christian education like any other child? Immaculata Classical Academy is answering this great call and leading the way for Catholic schools throughout the United States to integrate these special children into their classrooms. We see Down Syndrome as a gift to be celebrated and a beautiful part of God's plan for His creation. We need these children to remind us of the great value and dignity of each human life and it is our honor to serve them. Our emphasis in Down Syndrome stems from the fact that these children in particular are being targeted in the womb through pre-natal diagnoses. We want parents to feel like that have a great educational option for their children and to encourage them, through our acceptance and appreciation of these children at Immaculata, to say yes to the great joy and adventure of raising a child with Down Syndrome.
As part of this service, we are developing a program for pre-school aged children wherein we can take advantage of this critical age which is often neglected for children with DS. In partnership with a local Down Syndrome-specialized doctor, we are using all of the senses to help advance the learning of the children in our pre-school and in all our grade levels. Our children with special needs are fully integrated into the classroom throughout the grades and with the aid of our special education coordinator are offered one-on-one time when needed. We are continuing to develop our program as we progress and are searching for grants that will help us utilize modern technology as a tool to educate our children with DS.
Miss Caryn and the girls from our
"Little Angels Preschool"
Children with Other Special Needs
Because of the wide spectrum of special needs, we are necessarily limited in the range of children with special needs we can serve. We want to become the best at what we do and therefore necessarily need to narrow our scope of service at this time. We have served children with Aspergers, Prader-Willi and severe mental delays among others, and are always very open to meet with any families of children who have special needs. However, the child must be able to spend most of the day in the regular classroom- at Immaculata, curriculum accomodations within the classroom are most often used, and one-on-one tutoring employed when needed. Parents should call us and share with us the story of their child- after a personal interview we will then determine whether or not we would be able to meet the needs of the child and family at this time.
Please return soon for further development and more information.