Online special needs school uses Ignatian method

Jake Aspinosa with his daughter who is a student at Veritas Christi school
Jake Aspinosa with his daughter who is a student at Veritas Christi school

Veritas Christi, the USA’s first Catholic online high school for students with special needs, has teamed up with the Jesuit Virtual Learning Academy (JVLA) to provide online access to the same theology courses taught at Catholic high schools across the country to teenagers with special needs.

“This is a first in the field of Catholic special education online,” said Father Don Vettese SJ, a member of the Veritas Christi board of directors. “Veritas Christi joins an impressive list of Catholic high schools already using JVLA’s excellent curriculum but we are the first and only Catholic high school to make it available online to children everywhere with special needs.”

Launching with online classes in spring 2011, the independent Catholic secondary school provides theology material as well as the standard, non-religious coursework such as maths, science and English.

The founder, Richard Nye, was a special needs student himself throughout his academic life who overcame his difficulties to become a teacher in both public and Christian schools. He had always wanted to open a school to serve students with learning challenges.

Under the guidance of the local bishop, the school hopes to serve a wide range of students with special needs through both online classes and the campus experience.

“We are providing children who struggle with special needs - and for whom a classroom setting is just not feasible - the same chance every other child has to earn qualifications from a Catholic high school,” Richard Nye said.