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Program for Inclusive Education

Opening Doors for Inclusion

Thursday, April 08, 2021 by Christie Bonfiglio, Ph.D. - Director, Program for Inclusive Education

teamwork

Catholic schools are called to serve all students regardless of learning differences. In fact, Catholic Social Teaching and Church documents specifically outline our responsibility to individuals with disabilities. It is clear that schools and educators do not fundamentally oppose opening the doors to students with disabilities. We have a heart to welcome every learner. The obstacle most often expressed is one of resources–lack of knowledge, financial support, or personnel to meet unique student needs. Accessing Title funds are one way to provide these resources and remove the barrier so all students have the opportunity to attend Catholic schools.

Inclusion in Catholic Schools? It’s Here!

Monday, March 08, 2021 by Christie Bonfiglio, Ph.D. - Director, Program for Inclusive Education

Program for Inclusive Education at the University of Notre Dame

Catholic schools are called to serve all students. We see this call in scripture, Church documents, and in Catholic Social Teaching. In the Old Testament, it is clear through the stories of creation and deliverance that each person has God-given dignity, for we are made in His image. In the New Testament, there are countless examples of community and inclusion, as Jesus reached out to the margins and welcomed all people – speaking, gathering, and breaking bread with them. Jesus was the radical includer! Church documents support the inclusion of people with disabilities, the poor, and refugees. All are Welcome should be more than rhetoric...it should be joyously practiced.

The Road to Inclusion

Friday, January 29, 2021 by Patti O'Donnell, PIE 2 - Principal, St. Patrick Catholic School in Malvern, PA

The Road to Inclusion - Patti O'Donnell, Program for Inclusive Education at the University of Notre Dame

The Program for Inclusive Education (PIE) is pleased to include educators (teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals, etc.) in the 18-credit hour program. Any educator who would like to learn about serving ALL students inclusively is welcome. Patti O’Donnell is a member of the PIE 2 cohort and the principal of St. Patrick Catholic School—a blue ribbon Catholic school in Malvern, Pennsylvania. She has a heart for inclusive education and has transformed her school. Patti serves as the guest author for PIE’s February 2021 blog. Thank you, Patti, for your tireless efforts and good works as you welcome, serve, and celebrate ALL students at St. Pat’s!

~Christie Bonfiglio, Ph.D.; Director of the Program for Inclusive Education

PIE...A Perfect Addition to Your Educational Training

Sunday, January 03, 2021 by Jessica Martin - PIE 3, ACE 24 - St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic School (Dallas, TX)

The Program for Inclusive Education (PIE) trains educators from all across the country of varying ages, ethnicities, and content backgrounds. It is our sincere pleasure when an ACE graduate joins our mission.

Jessica Martin of PIE 3 was one of those ACE Teachers with a heart for inclusion and a passion to learn more. She shares her story and advocates that others take the next step on their educational journey and prepare for ALL learners.

I am grateful that Jessica works tirelessly to welcome, serve, and celebrate ALL students! Thank you, Jess, for your good works!

~Christie Bonfiglio, Ph.D.; Director of the Program for Inclusive Education

From PIE’s Desk to Yours

Friday, December 04, 2020 by By: PIE 2 Educators with an Introductory Excerpt by Jenny Zander, Early Childhood Center Director - St. Theresa Catholic School in Phoenix, AZ

PIE Blog - From PIE's Desk to Yours!

The Program for Inclusive Education (PIE) presents a special resource this month: From PIE’s Desk to Yours. We hope you enjoy words of affirmation from inclusive educators who participated with our second cohort. The PIE 2 educators have witnessed struggles and successes, yearned for more for every student, and joined our mission to ensure everyone has a seat at the table. In addition to their encouragement, they each provide an evidence-based practice (EBP) that they learned during PIE, which is dedicated to effectively supporting diverse learners in their classrooms. Jenny Zander writes the introductory excerpt, and we hope you will explore the remaining EBPs for implementation in your classroom. Many thanks to the amazing inclusive educators who continue to give their very best and welcome, serve, and celebrate all students in Catholic schools!

~Christie Bonfiglio, Ph.D.; Director of the Program for Inclusive Education

Build and Never Give Up!

Friday, October 30, 2020 by By: Jill Reffett - Executive Director, Enriching Many By Reaching All in Catholic Education (EMBRACE) Kansas City, KS & Jeanne Loftis - Co-Founder, Oregon Inclusive Catholic Education (Oregon ICE) Portland, OR

The Program for Inclusive Education is pleased to introduce Jill Reffett and Jeanne Loftis, two amazing advocates for inclusion in Catholic schools. Both women direct non-profit organizations that advocate and provide support for Catholic schools in their pursuit to include ALL students. Jill is the executive director of EMBRACE and Jeanne co-founded Oregon ICE. PIE will highlight these organizations in individual blogs, but now we highlight their personal journeys as mothers of children with Down syndrome on the heels of Down Syndrome Awareness Month. Thank you, Jill and Jeanne for your tireless efforts to welcome, serve, and celebrate ALL students, as well as your personal accounts! 

~Christie Bonfiglio, Ph.D.; Director of the Program for Inclusive Education

Gold Moments

Monday, October 05, 2020 by Katie Barrett (PIE 3) - Science & Inclusive Education Teacher at St. Mark Catholic School in Indianapolis, IN

Katie Barrett Program for Inclusive Education

The Program for Inclusive Education is grateful to collaborate with dedicated educators across the country who support and advocate for inclusion in Catholic schools. It is my privilege to welcome Katie Barrett from St. Mark Catholic School in Indianapolis, Indiana, as PIE’s guest author this month. Katie was a member of the PIE 3 cohort, and she has graciously agreed to share her thoughts about why she was called to participate in PIE. Thank you, Katie for your commitment to welcome, serve, and celebrate ALL students!    

~Christie Bonfiglio, Ph.D.; Director of the Program for Inclusive Education

PIE ... Slicing Up 2019-2020

Friday, September 04, 2020 by Christie Bonfiglio, Ph.D.

PIE Slicing Up 2019-20

It’s September 2020, and educators across the country are embarking on a new school year. Many things are still in question...Is it safe to educate face-to-face? If so, how long will it last? How can we reach all children with distance learning, given that schools and students are unprepared? 

Answers vary from school to school and state to state. In the face of these questions and obstacles, the Program for Inclusive Education (PIE) holds steadfast in advancing the mission of inclusion in Catholic schools. PIE welcomed its 4th cohort this summer, and we are ready for whatever the new academic year brings.

In the weeks and months to come, we will continue to advocate and reach as many educators, schools, and dioceses as possible in creative ways. After all, we are in the business of accommodating and adapting to meet the needs of everyone!

Some Things Will Never Change

Tuesday, August 04, 2020 by The Program for Inclusive Education (Diane Freeby & Christie Bonfiglio, Ph.D.)

Some Things Never Change

As summer draws to a close, and we prepare for the uncertain future of the new school year, a teacher’s traditional icebreaker – What did you do over summer vacation? – is likely to evoke very different responses than past years.

Back to Basics: Taking Care and Achieving Balance

Monday, June 08, 2020 by Diane Freeby Judy Madden

PIE Blog Back to Basics

The Program for Inclusive Education is grateful for the many skilled and generous colleagues who support our programming. It is my privilege to welcome Diane Freeby and Judy Madden as guest authors. Diane and Judy serve our ACE community and the many educators that pass through our doors. Their gifts are boundless and their laughter infectious. Thank you for your contribution to our mission and sharing your thoughts with the PIE community!  

                ~Christie Bonfiglio, Ph.D.; Director of the Program for Inclusive Education

Inclusion: We Can Do That (Too)!

Wednesday, April 29, 2020 by Michael Faggella-Luby, Ph.D. Texas Christian University-Professor of Special Education ACE 5 (JAX) & PIE Consultant/Adjunct Facult

We Can Do That, Too!

The Program for Inclusive Education (PIE) collaborates with schools and dioceses across the country. The PIE team is humbled and graced in meeting many awe-inspiring educators as we see the fruits of their work while they cultivate our mission of inclusion in Catholic schools. This mission takes a village! 

Part of PIE’s village includes Dr. Michael Faggella-Luby, a professor of special education at Texas Christian University. In addition to his day job, Michael serves as a consultant and adjunct faculty in the Program for Inclusive Education. He is no stranger to the ACE family, given he is a graduate of ACE 5 after teaching English language arts and chemistry at Bishop Kenny High School in Jacksonville, Florida. 

Michael wrote a short story about his early days of ACE, about an adventure with his ACE community members that fits our journey–inclusion in Catholic schools. He shares his story below, along with an additional reflection. 

In times when our journey seems bumpy and we wonder about the success of our mission, please remember that it all begins with...We can do that!  

~ Christie Bonfiglio, Ph.D., Program for Inclusive Education - Director

Together, We Can Do Hard Things!

Monday, April 13, 2020 by Christine Bonfiglio, Ph.D.

Photo by Guille Álvarez on Unsplash

The Program for Inclusive Education (PIE) would like to take this opportunity to applaud and thank Catholic school educators for their innovation and persistence in meeting the needs of all students. We are in an unprecedented time-both personally and professionally, and your dedication to your students is commended. Please know of our thoughts and prayers as you continue your good work on behalf of ALL students.

It Takes a Village

Monday, March 02, 2020 by Michael Fisher and Ginny McMillan, PIE 2 Cohort - John Carroll Catholic High School, Birmingham, AL

Program for Inclusive Education at the University of Notre Dame  - It Takes a Village

The Program for Inclusive Education is grateful for the many dedicated educators that support and advocate for inclusion in Catholic schools. It is my privilege to welcome Michael Fisher and Ginny McMillan from John Carroll Catholic High School in Birmingham, Alabama, as guest authors. Michael and Ginny were members of the PIE 2 cohort, and here they share their experience and the value of participating together. Thank you, Michael and Ginny, for your tireless efforts towards inclusive education!

~Christie Bonfiglio, Ph.D.; Director of the Program for Inclusive Education

Voices for Inclusion

Tuesday, February 11, 2020 by Diane Freeby & Christie Bonfiglio, Ph.D.

Raise Your Voice for Inclusion

“Being part of PIE has been one of the most rewarding and life-changing experiences I have encountered, both personally and professionally.”

Colleen Wanner is a first-grade teacher at The Frances Xavier Warde School in Chicago and recently completed the Program for Inclusive Education (PIE)’s 18-credit hour program. As a member of the second PIE cohort, Colleen speaks for many when she touts the benefits of furthering  professional development in order to become truly inclusive. 

#YouBelongHere

Friday, December 06, 2019 by Sean Jorgensen and Jason Linster - Saint Mary Catholic Central High School in Monroe, MI

#YouBelongHere

The Program for Inclusive Education is privileged to collaborate with many amazing educators across the country who support and advocate for inclusion in Catholic schools. It is my honor to welcome Sean Jorgensen and Jason Linster from Monroe, Michigan, as guest authors. Saint Mary Catholic Central High School (SMCC) is committed to opening its doors to all learners, and it is a blessing to share their story. Thank you for your tireless efforts towards inclusive education!

~ Christie Bonfiglio, Ph.D.; Director of the Program for Inclusive Education

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