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Learning Differences

Learning differences are diverse, and they are treated on a case-by-case basis in Catholic schools. Some students need extra stimulation and advanced courses; others may struggle with a particular subject area, and others may need some extra assistance because English is a second language or because of some other learning difference.

Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Louisville use a model of inclusion for students with special learning needs. Students with mild to moderate learning disabilities are enrolled in regular classrooms with strategic teaching methods and appropriate accommodations. A School Learning Coordinator works closely with teachers and parents to identify strategies, modifications and/or accommodations that can help a student with learning differences achieve success.

It should be noted that unlike public school systems, Catholic schools do not receive federal and state monies to fund special education programs.  Therefore, we do not write or accept I.E.P.s (individualized Education Plans). However, schools are guided by an Archdiocesan Intervention Protocol, which outlines the process for working with students who have identified learning disabilities.   For those students accepted and enrolled in our schools with a diagnosed disability, a Student Accommodation Plan (SAP) is written.  The school will convene a meeting whose members consist of school personnel, parents, and the student (when appropriate).  This team collaborates to identify the accommodations, which can be provided to enable the student to become a more successful participant in a particular class setting.  All members of the Intervention Team are asked to sign an agreement stating the responsibilities and rights of all parties.  Documentation is kept on student progress and reconvening dates are established to evaluate the success of the Student Accommodation Plan.

Accommodations will be made on standardized testing (including the High School Placement Test) for students with diagnosed disabilities and will be implemented as determined by the assessment producer.  To qualify for accommodations, a student must have a recognized disability and the appropriate testing accommodations must be documented on the Student Accommodation Plan.

Two schools (Pitt Academy and Immaculata Classical Academy) have programs that can accommodate students who present with particular learning needs that other Catholic schools may not be able to accommodate.  More information about their programs  can be secured by directly contacting these schools.

In the case of Catholic high schools, each high school strives to meet the needs of each learner within the scope of its mission and philosophy. School Learning Coordinators and/or counselors work with administrators to identify the types of services that can be offered to students with mild learning disabilities within the context of the required high school curriculum. High schools require appropriate documentation and pertinent information from parents prior to a decision about enrollment and/or placement. Please contact individual schools for more specific information about learning differences programs.