Special Education

//Special Education
Special Education 2018-04-25T16:57:03+00:00

Beginning in September 2018 the Archdiocese of New York will launch an
Enhanced Special Education Program at five archdiocesan schools. Click here for more information.

Special Education Mission Statement

As a school system rooted in the Catholic faith, we are committed to providing a learning environment that is safe, inclusive and welcoming for students with special needs.

The Archdiocese of New York is committed to providing children with special needs an education that meets their spiritual, academic, emotional and social needs. Students with special needs flourish in our Catholic schools as we offer a nurturing, accepting, faith based environment with a focus on individual strengths and abilities to help each child reach his or her God-given potential.

Children with learning disabilities (LD), other health impairments (OHI), and speech or language impairment (SPL) have their special education needs met with resources that parallel those available to other students in their public school district. These may include special education teacher support services, resource room, speech-language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy and counseling.

2017 Update

Our Catholic schools are leaders in inclusive education, serving approximately 4,200 students with learning disabilities, speech or language impairments, autism, or other health impairments.
Last spring the Office of the Superintendent of Schools conducted a comprehensive study through the Survey for Parents of Children with Special Needs. The results revealed that parents with children in public school believe that the caring, faith-based environment of a Catholic school holds special promise for a student with special needs.

We are dedicated to providing a Catholic education that empowers students to overcome barriers to success through the support of a nurturing school community. Our Catholic schools are in the process of implementing multisensory learning into the curriculum, as research supports the positive outcomes of this method in meeting the needs of a wide range of learners.



Contact: Eileen Murtha, Director of Special Education Archdiocese of New York
1011 First Avenue
New York, NY 10022
Phone: 646-794-2880
Fax: 212-758-3018

John Cardinal O’Connor School

The John Cardinal O’Connor School is a private Catholic school dedicated to providing an affordable, language-based academic curriculum for children in grades 2 – 8 with learning disabilities, speech or language impairments or other health impairments. Multisensory teaching techniques are used throughout the set of courses including the Orton-Gillingham Methodology to phonemic awareness. Students are exposed to a full academic curriculum modified to the goals and objectives of their Individualized Education Program (IEP) or Individualized Education Services Plan (IESP). In addition, social skills are taught through Catholic doctrine and a character development curriculum. The John Cardinal O’Connor School’s goal is to teach children the strategies they will need to become confident, productive members of society.

The John Cardinal O’Connor School is a resource for those who learn differently. Through a small student to teacher ratio with certified special education teachers, and additional academic guidance and instruction, students are enabled to achieve their academic and personal potential. In addition, teacher feedback and class discussions are aimed at developing skills and awareness of learning styles.

Contact: Mrs. Kristen O’Leary, Principal
16 North Broadway
Irvington, NY 10533
Phone: 914-591-9330
Fax: 914-231-7688

Seton Foundation for Learning

The Seton Foundation operates four programs on Staten Island:

  • Joan Ann Kennedy Memorial Preschool, for students 2.9 to 5 years, located on the campus of St. Joseph Hill Academy at 850 Hylan Boulevard.
  • Mother Franciska Elementary School, located on the campus of St. Joseph Hill Academy at 850 Hylan Boulevard.
  • Bishop Patrick V. Ahern High School, for students 15 to 21 years, located on the campus of Moore Catholic High School at 315 Arlene Street.
  • The Therese Program for children on the autistic spectrum, located on the campus of St. Joseph Hill Academy at 850 Hylan Boulevard.

The Seton Foundation is a not-for-profit, non-sectarian corporation that is affiliated with, and accredited by, the Department of Education of the Archdiocese of New York. It was founded in 1985 and is open to children of all faiths. It does not receive funding from the Archdiocese.

The Seton Foundation works cooperatively with the Departments of Education and Speech Language Pathology at St. John’s University and the Nursing Department of the College of Staten Island. Its programs are approved by the New York State Department of Education.

Contact: Mary Hughes, Executive Director