Sacred Heart of Jesus School - Boulder, CO
We want to highlight the good work being done to include children with significant learning differences at Sacred Heart of Jesus School led by Fr. Mark Kovacik, Principal Marie Dunn, and Learning Resources Coordinator, Andrea Berry. Thanks to their leadership and advocacy over the past five years, Sacred Heart of Jesus has actively worked to accept any child who wishes to attend their school, no matter their needs. They have utilized their resources to develop their special education program and have also developed creative ways to work with their local public school district to improve access to title funding and support. As a result, they have added a Special Education teacher to their faculty and now offer services including speech and occupational therapy. Their goal is to provide a Catholic education to any child who comes to them. The FIRE Foundation is excited to support the great work Sacred Heart of Jesus is doing in Boulder.
St. John the Baptist - Longmount, CO
St. John the Baptist is paving the way for Catholic school inclusion in Colorado. As principal, Dr. Kemmery Hill has spent the past several years expanding St. John’s ability to offer a Catholic education to students of all abilities. With the understanding that every student comes to school with different needs, her vision has focused on avoiding the “one-size-fits-all” approach. Instead, the teachers have received training in team-teaching, differentiated instruction, universal design for learning, and more. A dedicated space in the school building is utilized as a resource room for pull-out or specialized help. Students with special needs can work with their therapists during the school day in the resource room before returning to their general education classroom to learn alongside their typically-developing peers. Perhaps the most beautiful outcome of St. John the Baptist’s work can be seen in the community. Parents volunteer in classrooms where they can see the positive impacts inclusive education has on their children, and the parish community continually offers generous financial support of this inclusive mission. The FIRE Foundation is proud to partner with St. John the Baptist to make Catholic education available to all of God’s children.
In partnership with the Archdiocese and Office of Catholic Schools, FIRE is pleased to provide a grant of $20,000 to support the salary for the new Director of Student Support Services position. This position will oversee and assist schools in educating children with significant special needs throughout the Archdiocese of Denver.