Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

“Bumps in the Road: The Challenge of Catholic Inclusion Kevin Baxter, Ed.D. Superintendent of Elementary Schools, Archdiocese of Los Angeles Part-Time.

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "“Bumps in the Road: The Challenge of Catholic Inclusion Kevin Baxter, Ed.D. Superintendent of Elementary Schools, Archdiocese of Los Angeles Part-Time."— Presentation transcript:

1 “Bumps in the Road: The Challenge of Catholic Inclusion Kevin Baxter, Ed.D. Superintendent of Elementary Schools, Archdiocese of Los Angeles Part-Time Faculty, Loyola Marymount University Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather." John Ruskin

2 Agenda Background/Inclusion History The Challenge of Catholic School Inclusion –History –Leadership/Moral Obligation –Legal Issues – Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 –Financial Concerns and Realities –Attitudinal Behaviors – Parents & Staff –Logistical Issues STEP/MAP Program in ADLA

3 Background/Inclusion History CCS -> SST Formation American Martyrs Program –History of the program –Status today Archdiocese of Los Angeles –Ingrained attitudes at some locations –STEP/MAP Program – comprehensive and mandated in all schools

4 Archdiocese of Los Angeles 270 Schools –220 Elementary –50 High Schools 82,000 students –52,000 Elementary –30,000 High School 8,800 sq. mi. 4.5 million Catholics

5 Introduction Traditionally, this is parents’ view: –Public schools open their doors, Catholic schools close them “We don’t have the resources” –All along we had students with “special needs” - they were simply mild ones and teachers had little support or guidance for how to deal with them We want to move from this reflexive response to a more thoughtful and considerate one

6 Importance of Leadership This is the case with everything… strong leadership will dictate whether success is achieved –From (Arch)Diocesan Level Bishops’ Statement Dept. of Catholic Schools – STEP/MAP Type Program –At the local level Pastor – key to success Principal –Communication with staff; Communication with parents; Common language that focuses the issue

7 Moral Obligation We will always be limited in what we can do – we will never have the resources that public schools have The issue is not doing everything, it is doing something And Catholic schools can do more than they have traditionally done The first step is attitudinal…Christ is present in all

8 Moral Obligation We need to move away from the reflexive response that says, “We don’t have the resources…” Keeping families whole – remember our strength is community and family Partnership and collaboration with parents is essential –Trust and Honesty must be present The key is that we look at the situation as Catholic educators - not simply as school employees

9 Public School Obligation –Assessment of students PSP - provides useful information - we are under no obligation to meet the requirements of an IEP but they can be informative –Consultation –Teacher education & training (Title IIA Funds) Establish a good relationship with LEA –Diocesan office should be a great resource to help guide principals in dealing with local districts

10 Legal Issues Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1974 –Forbids discrimination if organization receives federal funds –In LA, school lunch program through the USDA –Standard is minor adjustment; not special education –Risk is the precedent it sets for all Catholic schools Russo v. Diocese of Greensburg (PA) –Sued under Title IX & 504 –E-Rate as well as FSLP

11 Financial Issues #1 obstacle to program implementation –Much of the concern is reflexive though We operate on a tuition-based system –Many schools are struggling with enrollment and finances We should not be motivated by finances but an effective inclusion program has the potential to raise enrollment and revenue

12 Revenue & Enrollment Catholic schools across the country have had a significant drop in enrollment overall the past 10-15 years Low enrollment = principals anxiety –To then start an inclusion program may seem too much –View the situation as an opportunity to bring in families who have not considered Catholic school as an option

13 Revenue & Enrollment Again, we will never be able to accept every child into our schools Initial focus should be on mild to moderate needs There are families who believe they cannot access Catholic education because of their child’s needs –Recognize the marketing and outreach potential.

14 Hypothetical Example Enrollment is at 225; would like it to be 300 Tuition is $3,000 per child (Cost Based) EnrollmentTuition costTotal 2253000675,000 3003000900,000

15 Idealized Example Doesn’t allow for family discounts –Key is remember there is a value added per child Doesn’t include fundraising, tuition assistance, etc. It is a simplified example but the principle behind it is solid

16 Revenue & Enrollment Increase in 75 students = $225,000 Assume 50 students have a mild or moderate special need that requires resources or additional staff –New staff = $50,000 –Resource cost $1000/stud = $50,000 Total = $100,000 Additional $125,000 in operating budget

17 Revenue & Enrollment Of course, the real world has other implications The point is that by being innovative and creative with regard to what is offered, Catholic schools can market to an audience we have not traditionally marketed to Most parents of special needs students don’t even consider Catholic schools as an option The other key point is that finances shouldn’t be a limitation because revenue can be increased through an inclusion program

18 Parental Support Communication, communication, communication –When parents are not clear, they question Distinguish between private and Catholic Diversity allows students to appreciate their own uniqueness and view others with grace and respect

19 Parental Support Conflict is nearly unavoidable –Know that from the start – doing the right thing can be difficult Kotter describes conflict as having the potential to stimulate innovation Embracing the conflict can allow the parents to be heard and the message –Attempting to eliminate all dissent is not possible

20 Parental Support Again, leaders need to convey the vision and rationale –Parents may opt to leave or sow the seeds of dissent unless the message is clearly made to them This goes back to the leader being secure in the vision and purpose of inclusion – stick to the core and others will follow

21 Faculty Buy-In & Capacity This is critical to success - teachers need to be committed to the program Principal (and pastor) have to communicate clearly the vision and rationale Teachers need to know that they can collaborate with one another – share ideas and strategies

22 Faculty Buy-In & Capacity Teachers are idealistic by nature Valid concerns – implication for other students, lack of capacity –Training is key – many resources Public school district Catholic school proponents Those walking the walk Leadership is key – the moral case for implementation must be loud and clear

23 Faculty Buy-In & Capacity Allow for open dialogue with staff –They need to voice concerns and feel heard –Strengthens the case when debate occurs Avoid mandating participation – our mission is to educate and that has never been easy Teachers will receive more support – they should find it beneficial

24 Faculty Buy-In & Capacity Ongoing collaboration and support –One time workshops won’t stick When success is experienced, buy-in will increase Be honest – there will always be bumps in the road –Smooth sailing doesn’t mean success –Ongoing opportunities for dialogue and debate

25 Logistical – “The How” ADLA – STEP/MAP Plan –Policy on-line at Chapter XIV – Inclusion Policies and Procedures –STEP/MAP Process Policy STEP/MAP Flowchart STEP Form MAP Form

26 Questions? “In order to find God in ourselves, we must stop looking at ourselves, stop checking and verifying ourselves in the mirror of our own futility, and be content to be in Him and to do whatever He wills, according to our limitations, judging our acts not in the light of our own illusions, but in the light of His reality which is all around us in the things and people we live with.” Thomas Merton Contact Information: Kevin Baxter, Ed.D. Phone: 213-637-7328 Email:

Download ppt "“Bumps in the Road: The Challenge of Catholic Inclusion Kevin Baxter, Ed.D. Superintendent of Elementary Schools, Archdiocese of Los Angeles Part-Time."

Similar presentations

Ads by Google