Abstract: Current state and federal legislation mandate public schools to provide a vast array of educational services for students with disabilities. Catholic high schools are, for the most part, exempt from laws requiring them to provide those same services. Although many Catholic schools attempt to assist students with disabilities, the students they are willing to accept and accommodate generally have learning disabilities categorized as mild to moderate, who may not need the scope and breadth of services available to them in public schools. However, they are bound by their identity as Catholic to include and embrace all members of the community. This qualitative study employed interviews of four administrators and eight teachers to assess the extent to which teachers and administrators at one coeducational suburban Catholic high school felt spiritually and professionally called to accommodate students with disabilities and to encounter the ways teachers and administrators at this school put the call of Catholic social teaching and the obligations of social justice into a relationship of care for students with disabilities. Findings indicated little formal preparation and infrequent professional development for teachers accommodating students with disabilities combined with inadequate resources. These deficiencies were countered by professionalism, passion, and a passionate call to care on the part of educators. The findings support the need for Catholic high schools to begin engaging in conversation surrounding the best ways to support and train administration and faculty to improve current accommodation practices and to expand their current offerings to students with disabilities.
Keywords: Catholic,High school students with disabilities,Intellectual disabilities,Federal legislation , Educational services