All Saints Academy endeavors to carry out its mission statement established firmly in a philosophy that encompasses the following principles:
1 – All students are embraced as members of the Body of Christ as an integral part of the Academy.
In 2004, the USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops), revised their Special Needs Directory, a compilation of what services are offered by various (arch)dioceses across the country to “serve as an invitation, to us as bishops, and to our diocesan administrators, pastors, catechists, principals, teachers, and families, to strive constantly to open our doors wider to accommodate the uniqueness of all members of our Catholic family. May Jesus bless and guide those efforts, as we heed his exhortation to ‘Let the children come to me.’… Our commitment as Catholics to a culture of life calls us not simply to accept, but to celebrate the special gifts that persons with disabilities bring to our Catholic family.”
In 2005, the USCCB also published a document entitled Renewing our Commitment to Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools in the Third Millennium. In this document, dioceses, schools, and persons who have taken the initiative to serve those students with disabilities by providing a Catholic education were applauded and encouraged to continue in this endeavor. It is with this visionary effort along with the presence of a true need in our Diocese that All Saints Catholic* Academy has been established. No one should be denied the opportunity to receive a Catholic education. The inclusive philosophy requires that we see the person before we see the disability. This is visible in the emphasis on personalism that John Paul II often emphasized.
2 – A Classical Education model offers a rich and complete foundation for learning for all students.
Classical education is a model of education, which dates back to medieval times. It consists of two parts: the Trivium and the Quadrivium. The Trivium refers to the first three instructional stages of this educational model, which correlate to a child’s natural cognitive stages of development. All of the Trivium emphasizes the use of reading the “great books.” It places a priority on words as the foundation of thought. The mastery of words is gained through the careful study of highly inflected languages such as Greek and Latin.
The Trivium consists of:
3 – Parents are an integral component of each child’s education.
The Vatican II Document Declaration on Christian Education states that parents are the first and foremost educators of their children, and that "their role as educators is so decisive that scarcely anything can compensate for their failure in it." This is echoed in Familiaris Consortio, where it states "the right and duty of parents to give education is essential...it is original and primary with regard to the educational role of others...it is irreplaceable and inalienable and therefore incapable of being entirely delegated to others or usurped by others."
Therefore, the Academy views and encourages the participation of parents in the educational process as a priority. Parents will be expected to contribute their time to the school. Only when parents are integrally involved will the mission of the school be accomplished.
4 - Family Unity is to be preserved and promoted in faith and education.
Often in fulfilling their duty to choose an appropriate educational environment for their children, parents are faced with options that compromise the unity of the family. The family is the original cell of social life. It is the natural society in which husband and wife are called to give themselves in love and in the gift of life. Authority, stability, and a life of relationships within the family constitute the foundations for freedom, security, and fraternity within society. The family is the community in which, from childhood, one can learn moral values, begin to honor God, and make good use of freedom. Family life is an initiation into life in society. CCC 2207
The family should live in such a way that its members learn to care and take responsibility for the young, the old, the sick, the handicapped, and the poor. There are many families who are at times incapable of providing this help. It devolves then on other persons, other families, and, in a subsidiary way, society to provide for their needs: "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained from the world." CCC 2208
In Centesimus Annus, the Holy Father noted the crucial role of the family in combating individualism and in promoting life. Through the mutual gift of self in the family, one learns “what it actually means to be a person. Here we mean the family founded on marriage.” (39) “In order to overcome today’s widespread individualistic mentality, what is required is a concrete commitment to solidarity and charity, beginning with the family.” (49)
ASA is not “just a special needs school...”
If ASA had been exclusively founded as a special needs school, it would already serve to meet an increasing need in education, but God placed a different mission in the hearts of its founders; a mission that seeks to embrace each child individually as well as within the context of society’s greatest treasure -- the family. ASA does not claim to have all the answers about how to best serve each child and family but is committed to working with families to identify and implement programs and policies that serve.