Veritas Christi: Nation’s First Catholic High School Exclusively for Students with Special Needs

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Editor’s note: Today, I’m thrilled to share information about a very unique learning environment. Veritas Christi is the nation’s very first Catholic high school designed exclusively to meet the unique learning abilities of students with special needs. If you would like to help with a financial contribution, please go to veritaschristi.com to make a secure, tax-exempt donation. To learn more about Veritas Christi, please feel free to call Chip Clearwater, co-founder and principal, at 269-744-6138. Lisa

EDUCATORS TO CREATE ‘A FIRST’ IN CATHOLIC EDUCATION

Nation’s First Catholic High School Exclusively for Students with Special Needs

Chip, his wife Maureen, and daughter Olivia

Chip Clearwater, his wife Maureen, and daughter Olivia

ANN ARBOR, MI, August 19, 2014…The group of educators behind the creation of Veritas Christi, the nation’s first Catholic high school exclusively for students with special needs, has produced a video to explain the need for such a school, and to ask for help “bringing our school to fruition.”    http://veritaschristi.com/

The 10-minute video will be marketed nationwide and targeted specifically to those parents around the country who have lost confidence in their public school systems to provide their children with special needs the kind of educational experience that fosters self-sufficiency and self-respect.

Jake Espinosa, the father of a daughter with special needs, speaks for many families in the video when he says, “I’m looking for a school that will be sensitive to the learning needs of my child; a school that will challenge her to be all that she can be; and to develop her skills in a moral, ethical, and Catholic setting!”

Fr. Don Vettese, SJ - Board Member

Fr. Don Vettese, SJ – Board Member

“Students with special needs are no different from any other child with respect to their need for moral development,” said Father Don Vettese, a Jesuit priest, a former teacher and administrator, and a Veritas Christi board member. “As Catholics, we are all called to pay attention to those who are vulnerable, to those who have less access and thus more need.”

The high school will include 7th through 12th graders. It will open with a minimum of 15 students. Each class will have no more than eight to 10 students in it, to create the best possible environment for each and every student to excel and succeed.

The school will offer two curriculums: one for those interested in pursuing a post-secondary education and another for those whose immediate focus is to earn their high school diplomas. Both curriculums will be based on the Jesuit/Ignatian model, administered and taught by Catholic educators trained and certified in special education. Every teacher will have an aide, also Catholic and trained in special education.

Students will be involved in community service, take part in retreats, attend daily Mass, and participate in prayer services.

“Every child is valuable, every child has meaning, and every child deserves to get our very best every day, as teachers and administrators,” said Chip Clearwater, principal and co-founder of Veritas Christi. Chip is the father of a daughter with special needs and a principal with years of experience in special education.

The plan is to open the administrative offices as soon as possible followed by the school itself, in time for the January 2015 semester. A nationwide fundraising effort is currently underway.

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If you would like to help with a financial contribution, please go to veritaschristi.com to make a secure, tax-exempt donation. To learn more about Veritas Christi, please feel free to call Chip Clearwater, co-founder and principal, at 269-744-6138.

Please share our video with parents you may know of who have lost confidence in their public school systems to provide their children with special needs the kind of educational experience that fosters self-sufficiency and self-respect.

Veritas Christi accepts all students regardless of their race, creed, or background. 

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About Author

Lisa M. Hendey is the founder and editor of CatholicMom.com and the bestselling author of the Chime Travelers children's fiction series, The Grace of Yes, The Handbook for Catholic Moms and A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms. As a board member and frequent host on KNXT Catholic Television, Lisa has produced and hosted multiple programs and has appeared on EWTN and CatholicTV. Hendey hosted “Catholic Moments” on Radio Maria and is the technology contributor for EWTN’s SonRise Morning Show. Lisa's articles have appeared in Catholic Digest, National Catholic Register, and Our Sunday Visitor. Hendey travels internationally giving workshops on faith, family, and Catholic technology and communications topics. She was selected as an Elizabeth Egan Journalism Fellow, attended the Vatican Bloggers Meeting, the “Bishops and Bloggers” meeting and has written internationally on the work of Catholic Relief Services and Unbound. Hendey lives with her family in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Visit Lisa at www.LisaHendey.com for information on her speaking schedule or to invite her to visit your group, parish or organization.

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