CCSE aims to expand special educational mission
Debbie Docal, a St. Louis parishioner in Clarksville, wants to share a program that has enriched the life of her son, Ory.
Ory Docal, a 15-year-old with Down syndrome, is a first-year student at Mount St. Joseph High School who has benefited from the school’s partnership with the Catholic Coalition for Special Education, an organization serving schools in the USA Grants grants to Archdioceses of Baltimore and Washington to conduct programs for students with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities.
“There are other schools out there that want to participate in this type of education but just don’t know how,” Debbie Docal said. “Word needs to get around that this is possible. CCSE is doing amazing work.”
CCSE is committed to ensuring that “children with special needs are able to attend and receive an appropriate education in their local Catholic elementary and high schools”. They presented $88,000 in “Believe in Me!” grants to three schools this past fall, including Mount Saint Joseph.
St. John’s Catholic School in St. Mary’s County and St. Jerome Academy in Prince George’s County also received scholarships.
CCSE also provides technical support to schools in partnership with Notre Dame Maryland University Academy of Catholic Educators.
CCSE grants have helped more than 9,000 students, teachers and families. The organization has awarded 78 grants to 32 Catholic schools in 10 Maryland counties since its inception in 2004, totaling nearly $1.2 million.
Catholic schools use the CCSE grants to hire and train special education teachers, purchase equipment and materials, or provide adequate housing and curriculum changes.
CCSE also provides scholarships to Catholic school teachers pursuing advanced degrees in special education and provides workshops and other training/coaching support to Catholic schools.
Other schools (some now closed or merged with other schools) in the Archdiocese of Baltimore that have received grants include: Sacred Heart of Mary, Mother Seton, St Margaret, St Joan of Arc, St Louis, St John Regional Catholic, Seton Keough High School and St. Clement Mary Hofbauer.
To read more about Ory Docal’s experience at Mount St. Joseph visit:
Schools wanting information about scholarships and the program should contact Francesca Pellegrino at 240-292-1438 or [email protected].
Email Gerry Jackson at [email protected]
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