In 2008-2009, Bishop Hendricken High School launched the Brother Thomas R. Leto Options Program, which was partially funded by a generous donation from a Hendricken benefactor. Brother Leto recognized the need to educate ALL young men, and his vision provided students with special needs the “option” of benefiting from a Catholic Christian education.
The Options Pilot program served two young men. One year later, six students benefited from this special program; today our numbers continue to grow as we provide students an opportunity to prepare for a successful life after high school.
Bishop Hendricken is the fifth Catholic high school in the U.S. with such a program, and the first single-sex school of its kind.
The Options Program at Bishop Hendricken is designed to provide a Catholic high school education for students with mild to moderate developmental disabilities. Its purpose is to meet the needs of a unique set of learners in a school community that allows these students to embrace the spirit of the Hendricken man: heart, mind, body, and soul. The focus of the program is to provide academic, social and spiritual growth for each student in order for them to be successful and independent adults in the future.
The curriculum used in the Options Program is centered on developing the students’ life skills in the areas of English and Mathematics. Our faculty conducts these core classes in the Options classrooms where they use a variety of hands-on activities, cooperative learning and interactive technologies to meet each student’s needs.
The Options Program places a strong emphasis on vocational and transitional exploration and includes a junior and senior internship at a job site in an area of future career interest. Our goal is to help students become independent and productive members of our community.
Students further develop their social skills by attending some general education classes, like their electives and physical education classes, along with Theology, foreign language, science, and history classes. Learning needs in these classes are met through modified assignments and assessments as well as the presence of the peer mentors.
The Peer Mentor Program is an integral part of the Options Program. Students in the Bishop Hendricken community are eligible to participate; they give up their study period in order to attend one of the regular education classes with a student in the Options Program. The Peer Mentors support and encourage the Options students and assist with note-taking and reading tests and quizzes. The Mentor program reaches beyond the classroom as well. The mentors foster meaningful relationships with the Options students and this results in long-lasting friendships both in and outside of school.
Contact & Information
For additional information about this revolutionary program, please contact:
Mrs. Natalie Kessimian
Director of the Options Program
401.739.3450, ext. 141