Exceptional Learner Resources

Catholic schools strive to be inclusive of all learners, and teachers and administrators are seeking strategies, best practices and resources to help serve the needs of exceptional learners in the classroom.

NCEA Talk Blogs


Promotional Videos

FIRE Foundation - Lynn Hire

St. Nicholas of Tolentine (K-8)

Our Lady of Lourdes (K-8)

Teaching Together Chicago - Persons with Disabilities as Interns Program
Featuring Cardinal Cupich

Diocese of Grand Rapids Student Services Network
Featuring Superintendent Dave Faber and Bishop David Walkowiak

Josephinum Academy of the Sacred Heart (All Girl’s High School)

Notre Dame College Prep Burke Scholar Program (K-8)

Dr. Raul Escarpio - Shepherd Consulting

Dr. Jim Rigg - Superintendent, Archdiocese of Chicago

Dr. Katy Lichon - Director of New Language Program, University of Notre Dame

Jodee Blanco - NY Times Bestselling Author

Sue Gerenstein - Vice President of Professional Development and Lee Anne Housley, Vice President of Instructional Excellence, Catapult Learning

Dr. Christie Bonfiglio - Director of Program for Inclusive Education, University of Notre Dame


Growing Together: Best Practices for Catholic Schools

The focus of this Best Practices document is to provide a process for launching a Student Services Program in Catholic Schools. The process described can be implemented at the arch/diocesan or school level or adapted to meet the unique local school community needs.




Momentum Articles


Parent Engagement Flyer

Essential flyer for parents to help them understand Education Savings Accounts (ESA) that have the potential to transform our educational landscape. Parents know their children’s strengths and needs better than anyone, and ESAs put parents in the driver’s seat when it comes to choice in education.

Flyer in English    Flyer en Español


Federal Program Series




More Suggested Reading


White Papers

English Learners White Paper – Encountering, Embracing and Educating: Answering Our Call to Serve Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students

The white paper provides a solid rationale for our Catholic schools in serving and supporting linguistically and culturally diverse students, a discussion around the potential challenges in executing this mission and a roadmap for future implementation and success.

Download White Paper


Exceptional Learners White Paper: One Spirit, One Body

This white paper provides a rationale for serving students with disabilities in Catholic schools by exploring the Church’s call for inclusion during the last 50 years. Additionally, a framework is presented that outlines a systematic approach to developing a comprehensive system of support for inclusion practices in Catholic schools.

Download White Paper


Additional Resources

A Prayer Service for Openness in the Coming School Year

As we prepare for the opening of the school year, we are filled with many emotions. Let us listen and reflect on a time when Jesus’ disciples watched as he was approached by a demanding parent, and experienced a surprising result.

Download Resource

Who Are Exceptional Learners in Catholic Schools?

Catholic education is rooted in the conviction that Jesus Christ provides the most comprehensive and compelling example of the realization of full human potential. From this emanates the belief that all students are exceptional in that they are made in the image and likeness of Christ and should have access to a Catholic school education.

Download Resource

Called to Inclusion Infographic

As Catholic educators we are called to inclusion. This timeline outlines inclusion efforts promoted by the Church over the past six decades and outlines for us a call to action.

Download Infographic

Autism Behaviors Infographic

The Whys and Whats for students who have difficulty with transitions or changes in routine, come across as rude or insensitive to others, or talk excessively about topics etc.

Download Infographic

Gifted Students Myths and Truths Infographic

Addressing and dispelling the myths that surround gifted education aids in the implementation of education programs and teaching practices that attend to the unique needs of gifted students.

Download Infographic

Who Are Exceptional Learners
(Adobe PDF File)

NCEA 2021

Be a part of the largest gathering of mission-driven teachers and leaders just like you.


Lenten Resources

Lenten resources that guide students during this season of prayer and penance.



The publication offers relevant, timely and important articles and best practices.