Special Education - Religious Education

This document is intended to guide directors and teachers toward the inclusion of ... administrative focus points and teaching strategies for church schools to ..... http://www.lifeway.com/lwc/files/lwcF_crd_ss_EforE_Special-Needs-Book_pdf.pdf.
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Special Education

FOR ORTHODOX CHURCH SCHOOL

“T RAIN

UP A CHILD IN THE WAY HE SHOULD GO ;

AND WHEN HE IS OLD HE WILL NOT DEPART FROM IT .”

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. . . . . . . GRE EK

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GREEK ORTHODOX METROPOLIS OF CHICAGO

DEPARTMENT OF RELIGIOUS EDUCATION

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2017

introduction “For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?” (1 Corithians 12:14-15). As all members of the Church have a place in the body of the Church, our church schools must embrace the unique gifts each learner brings to the classroom. This document is intended to guide directors and teachers toward the inclusion of students with disabilities in church school. Inclusion is a principle in education that caters to all students’ needs and is free of discrimination of differences. The application of this principal in church school ensures that students with disabilities have opportunities to learn alongside their peers as valued members of our community. An inclusion church school promotes a positive social and emotional environment for students and their families, sending a message that we want all the children to emotionally develop and grow within the Church from baptism to adulthood to the fullest of each of their abilities. For church school purposes, a disability is a physical or cognitive impairment that significantly limits some major life activities. Some students with disabilities have Individualized Education Plans in public schools that highlight differences in learning capacities and styles that can be summarized by parents as relationships with church school leaders are built upon confidence and trust. As church schools welcome all their children to learn about their life in Christ, this document offers some administrative focus points and teaching strategies for church schools to develop their programs to include children with special needs successfully. An effective church school of inclusion does not happen ovenight. It calls upon leaders to continuously collaborate, reflect, and dedicate their efforts year after year to the inclusion of all children who each exist as members of the Church, no matter their difference.

church school administration GETTING STARTED REGISTRATION

Church school registration allows time for program directors to plan classroom space, resource allocation, and volunteer teacher positions for incoming students. The line item, “Does your child have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) in school?” should be included on the registration form so that program directors can have ample time to prepare to meet the special needs of students. When registration forms have been gathered and sorted by grade level, the program director can review each form to identify children with IEPs. Then, he/she can make a phone call to the parent to inquire about the nature of the child’s disability and the accommodations that might be needed in class: “Hello. Upon reviewing our Church School registration forms, I noticed that [Child’s Name] has an IEP in school. Because I highly value his/her learning about