Mission Statement

We empower students with learning differences to flourish in a Christ-centered, academically excellent, and welcoming environment where they are confident to reach their full potential and become life-long learners.

In keeping with our vision to empower students with learning differences, we propose the following:

  • To foster the inclusion of students with disabilities in our schools to create a more diverse group and expose all students to a wider variety of personalities, interests and abilities.
  • To assist administrators and teachers to partner with parents of students with disabilities.
  • To enable administrators and teachers to offer support and understanding that allow students with disabilities to achieve high standards and expectations.
  • To advocate for mandated services from providers of special education.
  • To promote collaboration between the general education teacher and the providers of special education.
  • To provide guidance to the schools for professional development to maximize the potential of students with disabilities.
  • To develop models for the identification of students with disabilities and monitoring the effectiveness of the programs/interventions.
  • To develop models for delivery of services for students with disabilities in Catholic schools.

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.

eeea8c9a75f0b37Contact: 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.

The key to a student’s success is their ability to communicate. This extends beyond basic reading and writing skills. It also includes understanding and following directions, organizing information, building general and content area knowledge, solving problems, expressing ideas, assuming responsibility and assessing social interaction and behaving appropriately. A trained staff and a consistently applied instructional approach that explicitly teaches these skills help students close the gap between their intellectual potential and their academic performance.

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 for Learning provides comprehensive educational services for children with special needs and their families. It is organized on the premise that early intervention for children who are developmentally disabled can enable them to achieve their full potential. It is the goal of the Seton Foundation to provide children with the fundamental skills needed to enter training programs for competitive employment and independent living. This goal is attained through the provision of a strong sequential educational and prevocational curriculum.

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