The purpose of this article is to provide Catholic educators, administrators, families, and broader parish communities an understanding of critical elements required to effectively include all students, particularly those with disabilities, in Catholic schools. With an understanding that Catholic schools enroll and will continue to add not only students with disabilities, but also other students who may struggle with learning in some manner, the Catholic school community needs to keep abreast of effective practices that facilitate meaningful inclusion. This is especially relevant for those Catholic families who desire a Catholic education for their children with disabilities, as well as their typically developing children. This article seeks to: (a) offer a rationale for the need to include all learners in our Catholic schools through the reinforcement of Catechetical teachings, (b) define inclusion in Catholic education, (c) outline characteristics of high quality, inclusive schools, (d) review relevant research on inclusion that is applicable to the needs of our Catholic school environments, and (e) provide a case study of an effective, inclusive Catholic school to further contextualize to the field what is not only possible, even given limited resources, but what is happening in today’s Catholic school settings.
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Smith, S. J., Cheatham, G., & Amilivia, J. M. (2020). Defining Inclusionary Practices in Catholic Schools. Journal of Catholic Education. https://doi.org/10.15365/joce.2302062020