Thesis Title

Supporting Special Needs in a Catholic Junior High

Graduation Date

Fall 2006

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form


Degree Name

Master of Science

Program Name


Program Director

Madalienne F. Peters, EdD


The purpose of this study is to determine which interventions are most effective in helping students with learning disabilities in regular, junior high classrooms in a Catholic school. More and more students with learning disabilities are being taught in the regular classroom by general education teachers. Educational reforms such as The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEIA) and the No Child Left Behind Act of2001 (NCLB) require that students with disabilities in public schools have access to the regular curriculum. Though not mandated by law, many private schools also use inclusive education to serve students with special needs. As a result, general education teachers are required to educate students with learning disabilities alongside general education students. Many teachers feel unprepared to serve these students, especially in large classes with increasing curriculum demands. Accelerated students also have special needs and being unchallenged puts them at risk of failing to meet their potential.

Researchers believe that students with disabilities need accommodations or modifications to their educational program in order to be successful in school (Baumel, 2001). The research of Kochhar, West and Taymons (2000) concludes that the benefits of inclusion far outweigh the difficulties, including more academic support and higher achievement. Success of an inclusion model also depends on collaboration and communication among teachers, as well as accepting new ideas about teaching and learning. The strategies of providing individual support within the general classroom, co-teaching, collaboration, small group work, accommodations, modifications, and direct instruction of study skills are the primary interventions being examined within a Catholic junior high setting.

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