Special Services » Options Program

Options Program

“If the disadvantaged child lives in a welcoming and open environment, he does not feel alone but in the heart of the community, and can thus learn that life is always worth living.”
-Saint John Paul II

The Options Program is an innovative, inclusive special education program for students with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities who require modifications to access the general curriculum. The Options Program provides the opportunity for students to grow socially, spiritually, and academically alongside their peers in a Catholic environment. The program focuses on academic as well as vocational skills, with each student’s education plan being highly individualized. A primary goal for each student is to be as fully integrated as possible into the total life of the school community. Options students do not earn a high school diploma. Rather, on graduation day, students receive an Options Program Certificate of Completion.

Members of our Options Community include not only our students who receive Options services, but also fellow students who serve as Peer Mentors. Saint John Paul’s Peer Mentor program is a vibrant network of students who provide friendship and encouragement to one another throughout their school day.

Goals of the Options Program

  1. For each student to be as fully integrated as possible into the total life of the school community.
  2. To inspire the school community to increase acceptance of people with disabilities, and promote respect for human life by helping all to more fully realize the value and gifts inherent in each of God’s children.

Admission to the Options Program

  1. Students who apply for the Options Program should possess the social and behavioral skills necessary to thrive at Saint John Paul the Great.
  2. The student must have the ability to independently perform all activities of daily living such as toileting, dressing, washing hands, etc.
  3. The student must have the ability to work in group situations with a minimum amount of distraction to others.
  4. Catholic or Non-Catholic, all students must be open to fully participating in the spiritual life of the school.

When applying to John Paul the Great, families will be asked if they are applying to the Options program. Within the online application portal, Options applicants will see the following requirements on their checklist: 

  1. Application for admission
  2. Principal Recommendation Form or other School Administrator (to include: attendance record; and, disciplinary records, if applicable.)
  3. Current IEP or ICEP
  4. Current Eligibility / Testing information (formal or informal testing), including related service provider reports (Speech, OT, PT, etc…). Per standard guidelines, testing is valid for only 3 years.
  5. Medical information related to the student’s disability
  6. Behavior Management Plan or Behavior Intervention Plan, if applicable
  7. Current academic records (past 2 years), to include a summary of students’ academic strengths and weaknesses
  8. A letter from a current teacher summarizing the students’ level of independence, mobility, and safety

Qualified applicants will be invited to spend a day at John Paul for observation, and appointments will be scheduled with the current school for an on-site observation.

There is an annual tuition supplement to participate in this program.