December 6, 2021
Dear Helias Catholic families:
One important function of the administration of a Catholic high school is to evaluate and adjust the curriculum to serve our students and their families. Today, I want to update you on Helias Catholic’s accommodations program, which includes a life skills component. The accommodations program serves students who have certain learning challenges or disabilities, with the goal of working to meet the needs of every student whenever possible.
This program is an essential element of our school community, as part of the Helias Catholic mission is to provide a disciplined environment where Christ and His graces in each person are recognized, respected, and fostered. We are evaluating the life skills program with the goal of improving its effectiveness for students with a diverse range of abilities. As these services, in their current form, are only a few years old, the evaluation is not to consider the elimination of the program, but to ensure its staffing, training, and resources are responsibly developed to appropriately serve the needs of students admitted to Helias Catholic. Such a program of inclusion would strive to include accommodations, classroom interventions, and other resources to help students overcome cognitive and physical challenges.
Ultimately, in addition to accommodations, this program could also provide appropriate modifications of the curriculum for students with greater learning challenges. A life skills program strives to provide an education meaningful to the student’s future, motivating him or her to participate in the learning process. The course of study should relate directly to the individual’s post-secondary goals, preferences and interests. It should further develop the student’s skill training, preparation for community life and experiences, work-related behaviors, and daily living skills. The current program is a strong step in that direction, but the work is far from complete.
Thank you to those who have expressed a desire to see such a program developed more fully at Helias Catholic. We share that goal and see it as an immediate priority. As our vision statement expresses, we are building a community of saints and scholars for Christ. Expanding this program is not an overnight endeavor, but together we can realize our collective goals.