The University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) has established the Program for Inclusive Education, a range of educational opportunities aimed at supporting the needs of all learners that will welcome its first cohort of inclusive educators in the summer of 2017.
The Program for Inclusive Education (PIE) is built on the belief that Catholic schools are called to serve justly and inclusively to ensure success for all learners. It envisions schools that are prepared to educate every student regardless of diverse learning, behavioral, social, emotional, and physical needs. PIE seeks to create a culture where "all are welcome" and strengthen Catholic schools’ ability to inclusively educate.
“It is with great joy and expectation that we announce the launch of the Program for Inclusive Education,” said Dr. Christie Bonfiglio, the program’s director. “Our team is humbled to serve this mission as we strive to ensure that all students in Catholic schools will be welcomed, celebrated, and successful. I anticipate that PIE will have a profound impact on schools and (arch)dioceses allowing for inclusive practice while giving hope to students and families alike.”
PIE will directly address the need for inclusion in our nation’s Catholic schools, as more than 185,000 students are estimated to have a diagnosed disability. Many more have needs that require support to be successful. However, according to a survey of dioceses, only 13 percent of schools have the resources to help meet the educational needs of these students. These statistics indicate a clear need for inclusive education in today’s Catholic schools to support the mission of creating a vibrant, Christian community that celebrates the God-given potential of every student.
Originally published by Alliance for Catholic Education at news.nd.edu on September 13, 2016.