Arlington VA Diocese Schools for handicapps


I’m looking at the parochial schools for my kids but I’m receiving a lot of pushback. When I ask how do you handle handicapped kids, what accommodations do you make for handicapped kids, do you have any tutoring in the diocese that help with Spina Bifida, Autism, other handicapped kids, no one wants to answer my question.This makes me mad because
-They aren’t answering my question
-they claim the diocesan schools perform equal or better than FFX County tho’ I’m questioning if both systems teach all kids: ESL, mental/physical disabilities/etc thus Fairfax County would be much better because they take in everyone
-Under ADA, which covers Autism to Lupus to Schizophrenia, don’t all schools have to accept handicapped kids
-you’d think a Prolife diocese would run a school system that helps families with other talented kids.:mad:

The Fairfax County schools IEP the kids and give them extra special ed within the schools. I can’t get a straight answer if the Diocesean schools provide a version of special ed.

Anyone have any knowledge/experience in the Arlington VA diocesan schools in the past 5 years? Experience from a generation ago is surely outdated. Thanks.


I have a daughter with special needs and where I live, there are not any religious schools that provide services that my daughter needs. She could have attended a private school, but she would have needed to be bused to the public schools for therapy and such, and I didn't like that. If you teach your children at home to live faith-centered life, this will carry with them to school and all aspects of their lives. I have found that our public schools have wonderful teachers and awesome programs and activities for my daughter. Many of her therapists, I have come to know, are very Christ-focused, even though they work in the public schools. To do a selfless job like that one has to be caring, loving and morally stable! I believe God chose them for a reason. And because they are part of the school district, the programs are highly regulated, which is a good thing when it comes to special needs. I have found everyone that works in the Early Childhood/Special Needs/Handicapped Child program has been more than accommodating and has gone the extra mile to answer all of my questions, concerns, and then some. My daughter is learning and thriving! If the schools you are dealing with are not giving you the answers you deserve, please at least check out the public schools. Perhaps God is leading you in another direction. God will be with your child always! Good luck and keep us posted :)


No, but I teach in a very small Catholic school in MD.

We have very little $$ for staff to support special needs kids. Unless we raise tuition, we can't pay for more teachers. It's a catch 22 . . .


Fairfax County does a really good job with the kids on the margins.

Learning disabled and kids with IEPs (there's a ton) get a lot of attention, although the budget cuts do hurt.

Exception kids get a lot of attention, too. Just look at TJ, and the AP/IB programs in all of the high schools.

The average kids tend to get lost in between.

The Diocesan schools are not equipped to handle the wide range of disabilities that the county does. There are limits, but the county does an awful lot with kids who are disabled. My experience with the county has overall been positive.


I think it might be school-specific. Check with the particular schools you are looking at and see if you get different answers, as opposed to from the diocese. They have a list of schools,, that you could check out and call them individually.

If you don't get a good response, I'm not sure what else you could do to fix the school, but I would for sure write a letter. Arlington Diocese is so great in so many ways, they need to know where they can do better as well--and you're right, as a Diocese that is very supportive of life, they should for sure be behind you on getting you at least information on this.


I work as the Special Services Coordinator for the Office of Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Arlington, VA. I’d be happy to talk through whatever questions you may have. You can reach me at 703-841-3818. God Bless.


[quote="Diane_Elliott, post:6, topic:215075"]
I work as the Special Services Coordinator for the Office of Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Arlington, VA. I’d be happy to talk through whatever questions you may have. You can reach me at 703-841-3818. God Bless.


Thank you how sweet! I read in my most well times Catholic Herald this:
The Options Program looks nice for "more accepted" disabilities such as Downs . But I'm sure what you are seeing are more kids with more mental disabilities.

If I had the money, I'd pay for 3-4 specialist teachers to roam Diocesan schools to specifically address mentally disabled students suffering from Tourettes, Autism, Bipolar etc. I know for a fact someone tried to enroll her Tourettes daughter in St Leos within the past 10 years. The girl had full support from her pediatrician to go into a regular school environment. The admin at St Leos said, 'Well, we'll give her chance but she won't stay here if its too difficult (for us)'. Thats an unacceptable answer, especially for a diocese that is part of the richest population Washington DC Metro.

In any case, I have my answer so I'll need to weigh options. Thanks!


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