Started by Pope John Paul II High School in the Diocese of Nashville, Hand In Hand Options has been highly successful since 2004. Hand In Hand Options offers academic opportunities to families with students of all abilities to attend school together. The Hand in Hand Options program was later extended to St. Ann School for elementary and middle grades during the 2017-2018 school year, followed by St. Matthew School in 2018-2019. With the Hand-In-Hand Options program, families who desire Catholic education can keep their children together throughout their school careers.
“As a Catholic community, we are called to provide a supportive and inclusive faith-based community where all students can learn and grow in their faith while receiving the necessary educational foundation for success,” says Rebecca Hammel, superintendent of schools for the Diocese of Nashville. “We are so pleased three schools in our diocese chose to offer this program allowing parents to send all of their children to school together for academic preparation and the opportunity to grow in their faith.”
Hand In Hand Options has enjoyed over 15 years of success at Pope John Paul II High School, with its students graduating and continuing to post-secondary programs and entering gainful employment.
The success at the high school level, and the need in the community, prompted Hand In Hand Options at St. Ann School in 2017-2018, the first Catholic elementary school to offer this program. Through the collaboration of experts from Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, Vanderbilt University Peabody College Center for Special Education, and parochial school professionals, Hand In Hand Options had a highly successful first year, and that success continues. Vanderbilt continues to support all Catholic School educators through professional development opportunities.
Hand In Hand Options offers children with various learning needs, curriculum accommodations or modifications, as determined necessary by professional evaluations, teacher recommendations, and observations. Hand in Hand Options allows students to engage in coursework at the high school level, resulting in a certificate of completion or high school diploma, determined by individual needs of each student in the program.
This years pageant is May 1, 2021 at 1:00. This pageant is open to all boys/girls with intellectual differences and disabilities. SEE VIDEO…
Our Catholic schools have a long-standing tradition of educating the whole child, knowing each is made in the image and likeness of God. Our Catholic schools in the Nashville Diocese have held this philosophy for over one hundred years when the first Catholic school opened here. For this reason, we are thrilled to have Hand In Hand Options, and are working to further its reach. Stay tuned for more information, we are just getting started.
On behalf of our Catholic school students and families yet to be served in our schools, we ask that you prayerfully consider a contribution to Hand In Hand Options. The benefits to the entire school community are life-giving. The presence of Hand In Hand Options has enhanced the inherent goodness, value, and wholeness of all students. One of the most significant testimonies to this claim is a statement from a parent of a Saint Ann’s student whose child shares a classroom with a student in Hand In Hand Options, “I do not think our school was completely whole before Hand In Hand Options was started.”
Please join us in our efforts to serve more children in our Catholic schools. Your generous gifts of prayer and contribution are greatly appreciated and will go a very long way in making a difference in many lives.
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