Special Learning

We are committed to educating all of God’s children. We have 6 special learning programs at 6 schools for students with special learning needs and diagnosed learning disabilities. Learning support is also available to students at all 20 schools.

Our Mission

Immersed in the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Diocese of Charlotte Special Education Programs strive to meet the unique needs of all students through differentiated instruction, personalized courses, teacher collaboration, and varied resources to support equal access to the curriculum and the pursuit of lifelong learning. With stakeholder commitment, and in fulfillment of the Kingdom of God, each child’s potential will be nurtured to facilitate success as a contributing member of society.

Our Programs

Schools in Charlotte and Greensboro offer special learning programs to better meet the needs of diverse learners. In many instances, parents can provide their special needs child with a Catholic education from pre-kindergarten through high school.
Designed for students with special learning needs who require a modified academic curriculum. This hybrid program uses a self-contained classroom, with opportunities for students to attend classes with their general education peers as appropriate. Instruction in core subjects is adapted to the student’s ability level. Occupational Therapy (OT) and Speech/Language Therapy are offered on a weekly basis to students in grades 2-5. Students may continue their education via the Options Path at Holy Trinity Catholic Middle School and Charlotte Catholic High School.
Serves students both at elementary and middle school levels. In grades 2-5, the program primarily uses a self-contained setting, with daily opportunities to attend classes alongside general education peers. In grades 6-8, the inclusion model is used. The PACE classroom is designed for students struggling significantly with reading and writing. They benefit from instruction using the Orton Gillingham approach. The goal is to remediate reading/writing weaknesses, so students may eventually go to a general education classroom with learning support, once they’ve acquired the knowledge and skills needed to achieve on grade level.

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Serves students with Down syndrome. Enrollment is open to students in kindergarten through 5th grade. The program’s mission is to provide quality, functional, faith-based education in a classroom setting where each child can progress toward his/her individual potential. Basic academics and life skills are taught to help students become self-reliant and independent. The inclusive environment nurtures children spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, physically and socially. Students may continue their education via the Options path at Holy Trinity Catholic Middle School and Charlotte Catholic High School.

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Designed for exceptional students who need an individualized, modified academic curriculum. Instruction throughout the day uses a combination of inclusion and self-contained settings based on the needs of the individual student. At the middle school, Options continues a special education path for students from the Matthew-Morgan Program and MAP. Students new to MACS may also be admitted at this level. The Options classroom prepares students for entry into Options at Charlotte Catholic High School.

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Continues the K-12 path for students requiring an individualized, modified academic program. Students new to MACS may also be admitted at this level. The program is designed to give students a full high school experience, as well as prepare them for life beyond high school. This “certificate” path also allows participants to explore various options available on college campuses for students with special needs.

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Offers children with high functioning autism (early childhood through middle school) structured, individualized instruction in social skills development, academic coursework and language acquisition. This program is for students who benefit from inclusion opportunities with their typical peers in instructional and social environments. The goal of the program is to develop the whole child to become successful in all types of environments.

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Offers an education program for students whose learning needs require a small classroom setting and specialized instructional strategies – including academics and social skills. The program provides special education services to elementary students who require a self-contained classroom with a separate curriculum. Students requiring this program would be performing below grade level across subject areas, and their progress would be limited in a general classroom (even with modifications, accommodations, and pull-out services). These students receive all instruction in the PACE classroom, but they integrate with a general classroom for lunch, recess and special programs (art, music, PE and computers). The PACE teacher is trained in the Orton-Gillingham method of reading and writing instruction and state certified in Special Education.

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What is Options?

Options creates an elementary through 12th-grade pathway for students with exceptional needs at our Charlotte-area schools to continue to flourish in school and beyond.

At the elementary level, 3 distinct special education classrooms serve as starting points for the Options pathway:

  • MAP
  • PACE
  • Matthew Morgan Program

At the middle and high school levels, students continue their special education path via the Options Classroom, designed to build on these elementary programs. In high school, a “certificate” path is available for students to explore options on college/university campuses after graduation.

Why Options?

The Options pathways reflect what we are called to do for every student in our Catholic schools: to provide an immersive accessible and authentic Catholic environment, where every student can respond to their vocation to holiness, regardless of strengths, challenges or learning needs. Options features alternative pathways to achieve one’s personal educational goals. The term “Options” points to the possibilities available after completing the high school program.

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