Wonder Wednesday: "We’ve thrown time, accommodations and love at this child."

The work for inclusion is still ongoing in our schools, and has a long way to go. The story of an educator who has been fighting for her students, only to all to often find they still can’t stay in our Catholic schools, speaks below from her heart on the frustration. Her love for her students is apparent, as is the obvious need for continued and additional support . We encourage her, and all of you, to keep fighting for the meaningful inclusion of all students.

Today, I sat through a meeting with our local school district to go over a student’s evaluation data. Throughout this meeting, like over a dozen before it, I got a sense of dread at the fact that we might lose this student (like others) to their home public school. My heart sank as I thought about this, because what this child is going to get through the public school is not going to be much different than what we’ve already tried to provide the child at our school.

We’ve thrown time, accommodations and love at this child. We’ve watched as this child has built trust in us and has worked so hard for us as they have made slow progress. Yet, the child will probably end up leaving us, because the time that he/she will require in special education is more than we can give at our building with resources pretty similar to what we are already using.

What resources we lack are often staffing based. There’s not enough time in our day to service these tier 3/tier 4 student needs. We have a lot of the same programs as the local districts, yet don’t have enough people to help run them. But it’s also not in the budget and often can’t be justified without a grant from Embrace or fund-a-need campaigns.

It’s SO frustrating to hear another child is going to a public school so they don’t miss out on more school to be transported back and forth, especially after pouring your heart and soul into helping them make the progress that they do. I sit here and wonder, what if we could make it work for this student and others like them in our building and in our parishes?

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14