June 1, 2011
Dear Community of Archdiocesan Parents and Educators,
Nothing pleased me more when I became the superintendent for Catholic schools in the summer of 2010, than to learn the extent of services for children with special needs here, in the Archdiocese of Washington. Years ago, I began my teaching career in special education, so I know the important role that community partnerships play in creating the best possible educational experience for children with learning challenges. The Catholic Coalition for Special Education (CCSE) provides a wonderful example of just how far such cooperative efforts can take us.
During this first year, I have had the opportunity to visit every local Catholic school, personally and see first-hand the high-quality education that is available to all our students, including those who need specialized interventions and accommodations in order to succeed. It was a real pleasure for me to see inclusive educational models, sophisticated use of technology, highly qualified teaching staff, and research-based interventions at so many of our area schools.
Our Catholic schools have been able to open their doors ever wider through the support of many community partners. Our local Catholic universities, the National Institute of Health, the Joseph P. Kennedy Institute, Potomac Community Resources, and countless parish volunteers are just a few of the organizations and individuals that have helped make our work in this area successful.
CCSE is an essential part of this support network. Through your efforts, area Catholic schools that need financial assistance can hire faculty members with specialized training. Through your support, teachers in our Catholic schools can receive grants to pursue a masterâ€™s degree in Special Education. And through your vision, our schools receive technical assistance through ongoing funding and successful inclusion strategies.
You have my heartfelt thanks for helping to make Matthew 18:5 a reality in our schools: “Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me.”
Faithfully in Christ,
Deacon Bert L’Homme
Superintendent for Catholic Schools