Spring is kind of the “sandwich” season coming between winter and summer. Some of us embrace this time of year as quite ‘fantabulous’ while others can barely tolerate the seasonal allergies this time of year forces upon them.
The Catholic Christian church calendar reminds us that Lent is ending as Holy Week emerges and rapidly culminates with the beautiful, triumphant celebrating of Easter Sunday on April 1, 2018. The entire Holy Week graces us with silence, song and prayer. For me, the older I get the more I realize and better understand how God’s love for me is enduring, despite my imperfections. This rather simple acknowledgement has made a tremendous difference in my life – I am ever so grateful.
Spring also brings to mind the imminent effect of nearing the end of the school year. College students aside, in elementary and secondary schools throughout this great country, there is almost a ‘fanaticism’ encompassing the “so-called need” to subject children and teens to testing. This inordinate amount of testing “ensures” students have accomplished all the standards of their respective grade levels. In and of itself, that is not unreasonable. However, testing can become unreasonable. For example, if students with mild to moderate learning disabilities have no access to accommodations that could help relieve their anxieties, they are at a disadvantage. Simply stated, that is unfair. The concern comes if Catholic schools lose their sense of what they are about and their legacy of accepting all. These days there is little, if any, possibility that they will be able provide adequate resources for every student. Nevertheless, working to accommodate students as much as possible or referring the student to a school with the top resources obtainable are key for the future and are a matter of justice. I believe that is critical to the sustainability of Catholic Schools.
I pray God that we will act justly and walk compassionately with all our students, particularly those in need of practical learning accommodations.
May God be with us during this spring journey as we continue to improve our programs for children and youth with special learning needs in our schools and religious education programs.
Blessings and good wishes for a happy and blessed Easter.