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Caritas Program at Regina Dominican

Wilmette, Illinois — Through participation in the All Are Welcome, Leading Inclusive Catholic Schools’ cohort, Regina Dominican joined a partnership with Loyola University and Aspire to provide professional development for our faculty. The aim is to strengthen the knowledge base of educational leaders in the areas of special education and inclusion to ensure all students feel welcomed.

Caritas, the Christian love of humankind, is the appropriate name of Regina Dominican’s program, offering resource support services for students who are diverse learners or who have identified learning challenges. The goal of the Caritas Program is to provide an academic support program to meet a student’s needs so that she may acquire the learning strategies, study skills, and confidence to become a successful learner and strong self-advocate.

Caritas services are not limited to those students with defined learning challenges. Other students may seek those services through our Student Services Department. Regina Dominican Caritas services are available to those students who may need accommodations in the classroom or during academic and standardized testing.

All students, particularly those with identified learning differences, have the opportunity to work with a resource teacher who will help them to strengthen their study skills and/or offer tutorial support in a daily structured study period. During this period, students develop organizational skills, executive functioning skills, and more effective learning methods that address their individual learning styles. Case management support includes weekly teacher-counselor-Caritas teacher consultation regarding student strengths and areas of needed growth.

Dr. Patricia Caine, Director of Student Services, oversees quarterly staffings — including parents, students, teachers, and counselors — and encourages round-table discussions and brainstorming sessions to address academic progress. This inclusive program provides student-centered wrap-around services that address all areas of need to provide the student with the life skills needed to advocate for herself as she transitions to college.

Caritas teacher Kelly Block observes, for example, that one of her students has started to study a lot more, realizing how important it is to study in advance for assessments. She has learned and put into practice new study strategies, such as quizzing and testing from family members. Another student used an assignment notebook for the first time in years, finding that it helps her to remember assignments. “Caritas has helped me advocate for myself because I now remember to ask teachers about assignments and for help,” said one student. 

The Caritas Program provides services throughout the school day and beyond, through an after-school Homework Lab for all students at Regina Dominican. 

For more information about the Caritas Program, please contact Dr. Patricia Caine at pcaine@rdhs.org or Meg Bigane, principal, at mbigane@rdhs.org


Feature photo: Instructor Kelly Block (standing) works with, from left, students Caitlyn Birt, Maame Boateng, and Vera Novo.


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