Catholic school in Niles to become first in Illinois to offer s...

Like many Catholic parents, Kevin and Elaine Burke wanted their son to attend a high school that combined rigorous academics for the mind with spiritual formation for the soul. Read more
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cindylou

Skokie, IL

#2 Feb 9, 2009
I don't care what they do as long as they don't get my tax money.
Think before you speak

Dyer, IN

#4 Feb 9, 2009
cindylou wrote:
I don't care what they do as long as they don't get my tax money.
They already do get some funding.

In fact, Catholic schools in Chicago end up saving taxpayers 1 BILLION dollars a year, and produce a much better education than CPS.

Your heroes Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden are products of a Catholic education.
the six

AOL

#5 Feb 9, 2009
Notre Dame has been a leader in offering oportunities to for challanged boys for years. The brother Andre program, started years ago, offers individual help to students who would otherwise find assistance only at public High Schools. The Andre program has, for years, taken boys who have been shuffled around by Catholic grade schools and brought them up to speed with one on one tutoring and careful mentoring. Notre Dame has been the only High School in the Metro area to step up and take responsibility for a need that has been sorely neglected by Catholic Schools for decades. When the Archdiocese took the school over two years ago, I thought that would spell the end of the Andre program. Most of the grade schools in the area deal in volume, and shun any student with a disability. You heard me, shun! Thankfully, I was wrong. The new administration at Notre Dame has not only managed to save the school from financial ruin, but has seen fit to go the extra mile, and take a leadership role for the inclusion of ALL God's children, a leadership role which, until now, has gone unfilled by the Chicago Archdiocese. Some people really do practice what they preach.
Jennifer B

Aurora, IL

#6 Feb 9, 2009
It's about time!!

I was a parochial school child from 1-12 grades. My parents put all seven of us through Catholic school, and the expectaitions were palpable.

When my oldest was diagnosed with special needs at 4 years old, I began researching other 'private' school options.

When I called my parish school, told them I had an autistic daughter, and asked them what they had to offer, the line went dead with silence -- crickets.

When I called the private Christian Academies, same deal. Crickets.

When I called the local Montessori schools, it was worse. Here is a whole style of education developed from working with children with special needs. The Director was stunningly ignorant on the issue of differentiated instruction, but solicited applicants by appealing to an 'individual' education for each child ~ well, each non-disabled child.

All of the above said "we don't service those children. Why don't you call your public school?"

So, when both of my kids were enrolled in public school, my very-Catholic parents had to eat crow. Oh, and I had to be my daughter's CCD teacher, too.

And my mother still wonders why I'm not more active in my parish....
adkiller

Chicago, IL

#7 Feb 9, 2009
I guess when your child doesn't know what/who Jesus is, the church consiters you expendable. The exception to this extreme closemindedness is in this case. Why would the world's biggest ponzi scheme capitulate to non-paying members?
Jennifer B

Aurora, IL

#8 Feb 9, 2009
I'm girding myself for a defense of most parochial schools to refuse to attend to this deserving and relevant population of students.

In response to anyone who feels it is appropriate for any congregation to offer education to some, but not to all, I would suggest that you cut and paste the following link to see a group of young people who are closer to Christ than any of us. And after watching, ask yourself, why aren't we doing this at my church?

Since: May 08

Chicago, IL

#9 Feb 9, 2009
If parochial schools are getting any state or federal funds to operate why ar they not in violation of the Education for persons with disabilities act (PL94-142)?!?!? I am appalled and expect it is not just catholic schools but lutheran and jewish schools as well. My brother had Down syndrome and he was more a christian than ANY of the so-called christian leaders today. Shame Shame Shame.
Chelle7822

Springfield, IL

#10 Feb 9, 2009
This is excellent progress. Good for Niles!
eddie

Dyer, IN

#11 Feb 9, 2009
Jennifer B wrote:
So, when both of my kids were enrolled in public school, my very-Catholic parents had to eat crow. Oh, and I had to be my daughter's CCD teacher, too.
And my mother still wonders why I'm not more active in my parish....
Looks to me like you have an EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY to be more active. Maybe a program like this could have been started sooner had people like you had gotten together and worked on it.

A lot of Catholic schools are struggling to stay afloat, and while they would love to have programs such as these, their cost is rather unappealing. If they took on a program like this when they couldn't afford it, then EVERYONE would lose.

But do your part, get the word out, work with these people to get these programs to spread, start fundraisers. Change only happens when people make it happen.
eddie

Dyer, IN

#12 Feb 9, 2009
adkiller wrote:
I guess when your child doesn't know what/who Jesus is, the church consiters you expendable. The exception to this extreme closemindedness is in this case. Why would the world's biggest ponzi scheme capitulate to non-paying members?
And yet they give out billions of free food, shelter, financial advice, etc. etc. etc.

to people who more than likely will never pay them back! Why would they do that if it didn't get them any benefit?

It BOGGLES THE MIND!
eddie

Dyer, IN

#13 Feb 9, 2009
spot56 wrote:
If parochial schools are getting any state or federal funds to operate why ar they not in violation of the Education for persons with disabilities act (PL94-142)?!?!? I am appalled and expect it is not just catholic schools but lutheran and jewish schools as well. My brother had Down syndrome and he was more a christian than ANY of the so-called christian leaders today. Shame Shame Shame.
Maybe you should sue them then. That way they would be forced to comply with something that would probably cost them millions, or they would forced to be shut down!

This is making me angry; a church does something really nice and all anyone can do is complain, complain, complain.
The Don

United States

#14 Feb 9, 2009
As I first heard the news of the special education program I was skeptical. Since I had time to think things through I fully support my Alma Matta. All children are entitled to great education. These kids will now have the opportunity to enrich and educate their lives to the fullest. This is great for Notre Dame community. I applaud the administration at ND for taking such a bold step. Keep up the great work!

Proud Don
gone to Minnesota

Collegeville, MN

#16 Feb 9, 2009
This article seems to neglect other Catholic schools such as Mt. Carmel which while not having full "special education" systems, do have assistance for students with things like High Functioning Autism and ADD that allow them special resources.
Ed McGuinness

Naperville, IL

#17 Feb 9, 2009
Bravo Notre Dame. Extraordinary leadership in tough times.
susie

Chicago, IL

#20 Feb 9, 2009
I suppose no one cares that Notre Dame, and for much longer, Holy Trinity/Children of Peace have already been instrumental in the education of deaf and hard-of-hearing children. The program at Holy Trinity/Children of Peace has been available for over 40 years, teaching deaf and hard-of-hearing kids that they are no different than any other child, and just as able to succeed.
I hear you

Minneapolis, MN

#21 Feb 9, 2009
You sound like a wonderful advocate for your children...God Bless you.
Jennifer B wrote:
It's about time!!
I was a parochial school child from 1-12 grades. My parents put all seven of us through Catholic school, and the expectaitions were palpable.
When my oldest was diagnosed with special needs at 4 years old, I began researching other 'private' school options.
When I called my parish school, told them I had an autistic daughter, and asked them what they had to offer, the line went dead with silence -- crickets.
When I called the private Christian Academies, same deal. Crickets.
When I called the local Montessori schools, it was worse. Here is a whole style of education developed from working with children with special needs. The Director was stunningly ignorant on the issue of differentiated instruction, but solicited applicants by appealing to an 'individual' education for each child ~ well, each non-disabled child.
All of the above said "we don't Way service those children. Why don't you call your public school?"
So, when both of my kids were enrolled in public school, my very-Catholic parents had to eat crow. Oh, and I had to be my daughter's CCD teacher, too.
And my mother still wonders why I'm not more active in my parish....
Jennifer B

Aurora, IL

#22 Feb 9, 2009
eddie wrote:
<quoted text>
Looks to me like you have an EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY to be more active. Maybe a program like this could have been started sooner had people like you had gotten together and worked on it.
A lot of Catholic schools are struggling to stay afloat, and while they would love to have programs such as these, their cost is rather unappealing. If they took on a program like this when they couldn't afford it, then EVERYONE would lose.
But do your part, get the word out, work with these people to get these programs to spread, start fundraisers. Change only happens when people make it happen.
Your comment has the 'its your kid, you deal with it' ring I've come to know and love so well. <smile>

I did what I could. But remember, I'm not a teacher. Our parochial school chose not to hire a certified special education teacher. There isn't anything I (or anyone else in the parish) can do about it. That's not my call.

But I did volunteer and teach CCD for years. I did insisit that my daughter receive her First Reconciliation (she understands the difference between right and wrong) and First Communion (she knows who Jesus is) with her class, rather than privately, as was first recommended to my by the Religious Ed instructor. I did take her to Mass, along with her brother until she developed anxiety about being in church.

But I had to -- sadly -- draw the line at Confirmation. Amanda's disability made the abstract notions in the CCD curriculum incomprehendible to her. By then the Religious Ed instructor was open to letting her receive the sacrament anyway. But that was a farce, as she can't commit to being a Catholic if she can't really understand what that means.

Giving children with developmental disabilities a meaningful religious experience requires more resources than any volunteer (or group of volunteers) or fundraiser can do. It will need to be a system-wide committment.

That's why I applaud ND!
Jennifer B

Aurora, IL

#23 Feb 9, 2009
I hear you wrote:
You sound like a wonderful advocate for your children...God Bless you.
<quoted text>
Thanks for your kind words. When I began to respond to this thread, I promised myself I wouldn't get shrill.

But I did anyway.

Thanks for understanding.
Turdo

Dyer, IN

#24 Feb 9, 2009
adkiller wrote:
<quoted text>
A billion is a percentage of the multi-trillion $ ponzi/pyramid scheme of the dark sith lord of nazi pope.
How exactly is it a ponzi scheme? Last I heard, it was free to join, and they're were no monthly dues or mandatory donations.

You want to see ponzi scheme? check out the US government.
ccc

Chicago, IL

#25 Feb 9, 2009
To the Catholic Bashers -The Archdiocese of Chicago's Catholic Schools save the state over 1 billion dollars per year. The Archdiocese of Chicago is the sixth largest employer in the state employing over 22,000 people. The Catholic Charities of Chicago run most of the shelters, most of the food pantries and head start programs in Lake and Cook County not mention, drug & rehab services, elderly programs, and many, many, many other social programs saving this state billions of dollars. Kudos to the Catholic Church for making a difference in everyone's life regardless of creed, color and circumstance.

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