September, 2015: We're officially official! One Classroom receives approval of tax exempt 501 (C) 3 status. Let the fundraising begin!
Hot dog! After many weeks of filling out forms, reviewing and creating documents, and waiting for the cogs of our blessed republic to turn we received notice that our application for tax exempt status as a public charity was approved. We would like to thank Jim Ritts and John Price of Rubin Brown, and Chris Lawhorn and Leo MacDonald of Carmody MacDonald for their excellent work and counsel during this process.
April, 2015: “Bus trip” to KC/FIRE for Mary Queen of Peace in Spring 2015.
With many thanks to the tireless efforts of Mary Queen of Peace parishioners, members of the MQP Board of Education and Parish Council, Principal Amy Schroff and Pastor Bob Reiker, a day trip was arranged to tour inclusive schools of the St. Joseph diocese and meet with the FIRE organization.
The visit with FIRE and three St. Joseph diocese schools was an extraordinary experience and filled with the presence of the Holy Spirit. Everyone we met with, the founders of FIRE, pastors, administrators, teachers, and especially the kids, inspired us by their example. They are truly changing the world and doing Christ's work. We are tremendously excited by what the inclusion of children with special needs can mean for our children and faith.
It was a privilege to spend the day in the St. Joseph diocese and we are deeply grateful for their willingness to share more about inclusive Catholic education. The work of the people we met is truly remarkable. So many of the wonderful children we met with will stay in our memory. We have reflected on many of the special moments that gave witness to the Holy Spirit at work and are inspired and filled with joy at what is possible through faith.
All over the country Catholic education is embracing the inclusion of children with special needs. We are committed to supporting our St. Louis archdiocese and its parish schools as one by one they open their doors to truly welcome all children.
“REACH TO TEACH!” It was One Classroom’s privilege to support our teachers and Dr. Cathy Johns, Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, and the Catholic Education Office and sponsor a fantastic day of professional development at the Cardinal Regali Center. The event was designed to give learning consultants and school leaders insight into meeting the diverse learning needs of today’s students. Recognizing that schools have different needs regarding this topic, it was also designed to reach the needs of a wide audience.
Seeing is believing! Twenty four educators, parents and pastors from the St. Louis archdiocese travelled to the Kansas City / St. Joseph diocese and toured seven inclusive schools. We met with pastors, principals, learning consultants, teachers, students and parents. The generosity and hospitality of our friends in Kansas City was amazing! Our group was lead by Dr. Daniel Peters Superintendent of Schools, Pat Burbach Assistant Superintendent, Nicolette Gibson Director of Inclusive Education, Lynn Hire Executive Director of FIRE and Maura Nulton a founding parent of FIRE. What an amazing group of leaders! We saw inclusion in action, heard testimony from students and parents, learned from administrators and educators in an amazing day of inspiration. We learned about the innovative high school peer mentor programs. The students we met are living their faith every day! If you are a family of a child with special needs anywhere in the country and hope for a catholic education, the schools of the Kansas City / St. Joseph diocese are a beacon of hope. What a privilege it was for us to get a front row seat and learn from these wonderful people and educators!
December, 2016:One Classroom sponsors professional development day with Catholic Education Office
Wow! What a great evening! One Classroom welcomed over eighty attendees including principals, learning consultants, teachers, parents, students and parishioners from over thirty parishes!
Topics included: An introduction to the inclusive schools of the Kansas City, St. Joseph diocese / The benefits of inclusion / What inclusion looks like in the classroom / Strategies for your parish.
April, 2017:All aboard! One Classroom sponsors third annual bus trip to Kansas City!
April, 2017:Inclusion Summit 2! Wow, what a magical event!
One Classroom is privileged to support our Catholic school teachers and had a wonderful day taking a great group from four different parish schools to tour the inclusive schools of the Kansas City, St. Joseph Missouri diocese. Every trip to visit these amazing schools and dedicated educators is inspirational. The works of the Holy Spirit are on display everyday in the classrooms and in the hearts of the wonder full teachers, administrators and children we visited. We are very grateful for the support of Nicolette Gibson, Director of Inclusive Education for the Kansas City, St. Joseph Diocese, Lynn Hire, Director of the FIRE Foundation, and Superintendent Dr. Dan Peters, and Associate Superintendent Patricia Burbach.
July, 2014: One Classroom meets with Archbishop Carlson.
One Classroom directors Tony Armitage & Fred Brown Sr. enjoyed a wonderful lunch meeting with Archbishop Carlson and Sharon Gerken, Executive Director of the Today And Tomorrow Educational Foundation. The Archbishop shared his bold vision for Catholic education and his personal experience with inclusive education. Tony & Fred were able to share their ideas for a foundation to support the inclusion of children with special needs in our Catholic schools and their commitment to support the Archbishop's Alive In Christ Initiative. Archbishop Carlson facilitated an introduction and meeting with the new superintendent of Catholic schools Dr. Kurt Nelson with a recommendation to learn more about inclusive education and the wonderful work being done by the FIRE organization of Kansas City and the Catholic schools of the St. Joseph diocese.
July, 2015: One Classroom receives letter from Superintendent Dr. Nelson supporting Mary Queen of Peace program, support in cooperative fundraising, mentioned pilot program in the “Review.”
Following our visit with the Catholic School Board Dr. Nelson issued a letter of approval for the inclusion program at Mary Queen of Peace and reiterated the recommendations of the Catholic School board. One Classroom is deeply grateful to Superintendent Nelson for helping to create an environment where innovation and inclusive education is welcomed.
We were thrilled by Dr. Nelson's article in the August 24th edition of the review where he mentioned the inclusion program. To our knowledge this the first time the opportunity of inclusive education for children with special needs has been "officially" communicated from the office f Catholic education. We are blessed and grateful for the opportunity to carry out the work of Christ in service to children with special needs.
One Classroom directors LeeAnn and Anthony Armitage and Fred Brown Sr. were very pleased to meet with Archbishop Carlson and share how joyful we are for the progress that has been made in establishing the One Classroom foundation and welcoming children with significant special needs into our Catholic schools, and our excitement about the opportunity to reach more families and schools. It was also an opportunity to thank the Archbishop for his support and acknowledge the support of many others, in particular Superintendent Dr. Kurt Nelson, Archdiocesan Board of Catholic Education member Ann Tollefson, Director of Curriculum and Instruction (K-12) Dr. Cathy Johns, and St. Louis Review reporter Dave Lueckling. We are deeply grateful for the support of Archbishop Carlson. As a community in Christ we have made amazing progress. Our visit with the archbishop was an opportunity to inform him of our progress, celebrate the blessings we have enjoyed, share our hopes and plans for the future, and to seek his continued guidance.
One Classroom is thrilled to announce that Immaculate Conception Dardenne Parish will start an inclusion program for the 2017/18 school and welcome two students with Down Syndrome. Please read their amazing announcement by clicking on their logo:
One Classroom is proud to support the efforts of Immaculate Conception Dardenne Parish! Congratulations and many thanks to Pastor Msgr Ted Wojcicki and Principal Dan Mullenschlader.
April, 2016: One Classroom hosts bus trip to inclusive schools of Kansas City / St Joseph diocese!
May, 2015: One Classroom presents to the St. Louis Archdiocese Catholic Board Of Education.
One Classroom directors Tony & LeeAnn Armitage & Fred Brown Sr. presented information on inclusive education, the mission of One Classroom, the results of the trip to Kansas City, and progress at Mary Queen of Peace, to Dr. Kurt Nelson and the Catholic School board. This was a wonderful opportunity to share our hopes for Catholic education and to seek advice and encouragement from the school board. It is a privilege to serve Christ's church and to work with so many wonderful people in carrying out the work of Christ's through the ministry of education. The schools board was very encouraging and recommended One Classroom continue to communicate our service to Christ, the core issue of respect for life, and to find way to cooperate with the Roman Catholic Foundation of Eastern, Missouri. One Classroom regularly communicates with the Catholic Schools board and provides update on our work with parish schools.
The Inclusion Summit 2! coincided with the start of NCEA convention in St. Louis. The event was a gathering of inclusion leaders from around the country working to make inclusion in Catholic schools a reality. The summit was a fantastic opportunity to plug in, network, and get a pulse for what people involved in this movement are up to. We heard testimony from parents, teachers, administrators and organizations devoted to making inclusion in Catholic schools a reality.
December, 2014: Gained funding sufficient to support 2-4 pilot programs.
One Classroom was very fortunate to received funding commitments to help support the start of inclusive programs! This initial commitment provides sufficient funding, and the continuity of funding, required to support the first few schools that adopt inclusive education.
March, 2016: One Classroom hosts inclusive education seminar!
We are very excited to share that St. Mary Magdalene of Brentwood has agreed to move forward with a One Classroom inclusion pilot program and welcome a student with Down syndrome in August of 2017. One Classroom and Principal Kathy Wiseman will begin planning for the program and supporting teachers and staff with professional development. This marks the second pilot program for One Classroom and we hope to support another 1 to 2 schools. We are blessed to be able to support the St. Mary Magdalene parish and families and are grateful for the leadership of Pastor Jack Siefert and Principal Kathy Wiseman.
November, 2014: One Classroom meets Superintendent Dr. Kurt Nelson in fall of 2014.
One Classroom directors Tony & LeeAnn Armitage & Fred Brown Sr. met with Dr. Kurt Nelson, the new superintendent of Catholic schools. Dr. Nelson commitment to Catholic education and goals for our archdiocese schools are inspirational. Dr. Nelson also shared his personal experience in developing inclusion programs in Catholic schools. One Classroom shared their vision for a foundation to support children with special needs and their inclusion in Catholic schools. One Classroom communicated its desire to serve Dr. Nelson's office and support our Catholic schools. Dr. Nelson expressed interest in learning more about the FIRE program of Kansas City and the inclusion programs of the St. Joseph diocese and his desire to go visit their schools! One Classroom facilitated introductions with FIRE and Dr. Nelson.
One Classroom was excited to put faith based education front and center and proudly presented the workshop “Faith and Inclusion: Embracing Inclusion for People with Disabilities in School and Community” at the National TASH Conference in St. Louis. TASH is a national organization advocating for the inclusion for individual with special needs and disabilities in all aspect of society. One Classroom invited leaders in the Catholic inclusion movement to present on a variety of topics designed to ignite the passion for inclusive education in our faith communities and schools, equip the attendees for advocacy and change, and provide specific tools to they can use to make inclusive education possible in their communities. It is our goal to follow Christ’s example in all we do. One Classroom was privileged to have a wonderful panel of experts including:
“Michele Chronister: Author of “Handbook for Adaptive Catechesis” and “Taking the lift to Heaven” an eBook and practical introductory guide to ministry for those with special needs.
Lynn Hire, Executive Director of FIRE Foundation
Michael J. Boyle, Ph.D., Director of the Andrew M. Greeley Center for Catholic Education at Loyola University Chicago
Nicolette Gibson, Director of Inclusive Education, Kansas City, St. Joseph Diocese
Amy Schroff, Principal at Mary Queen Of Peace School, Webster Groves, MO
February, 2017:Exciting News! Immaculate Conception Dardenne starts inclusion program!
April, 2017: One Classroom meets with Archbishop Carlson!
Summer, 2015: One Classroom hires nationally recognized inclusion expert to support Mary Queen of Peace in arranging for training, hiring, and implementation.
One Classroom contracts with Nicolette Gibson, Director of Inclusive Education, for the Kansas City, St. Joseph's diocese, and founder of "Learn In Style" to provide consulting and training to Mary Queen of Peace teachers and staff. Nicolette Gibson has considerable experience in developing successful inclusive programs in Catholics schools. Nicolette has implemented, and helps support, close to twenty inclusive programs in the St. Joseph diocese. Nicolette visited with Mary Queen of Peace teachers and staff, parents and parishioners over the course of three months to help develop and install the program.
January, 2016: One Classroom is in discussions with three new schools to fund and support new inclusive programs.
One Classroom is actively engaged in discussions with three additional parish schools regarding the implementation of new pilot inclusion programs. We are very fortunate to have the opportunity to serve these parish schools and their families and are optimistic new programs will start with each new school year. We are also looking to organize another trip to the Kansas City, St. Joseph diocese for parents, principals, teachers and supporters from our archdiocese to observe, learn and be inspired by inclusive education.
Presenters included Nicolette Gibson, Director of Inclusive Education for the Kansas City, St. Joseph Diocese, Inclusion expert and founder of Coach To Learn Kristi Peck, Mary Queen of Peace Principal Amy Schroff, and One Classroom Co-Founder Tony Armitage.
It was an amazing evening where our Catholic community gathered to learn and support each other as we look to find new ways to welcome children with special needs into our parish schools.We are very grateful to St. Louis Priory School for hosting the event and the many volunteers that made the evening possible.
May the Holy Spirit continue to guide and inspire us!
December, 2015: One Classroom hosts its first parent meeting at the ARC!
What an amazing evening! One Classroom hosted families from ten different parishes! One Classroom is very thankful for the support of the ARC and the families that attended of first parent event. It was a privilege to serve Christ's church and share the opportunity of inclusive education with these families. We are very exited to share that three of the attending families have reached out to their parish schools to request the opportunity of inclusive education for their children! One Classroom looks forward to supporting these families and their parishes with expert resources, training and funding.
The mission of One Classroom is to create awareness, promote inclusive education, educate about inclusive education, provide expert resource and funding to our parish schools, and build a community of parents and families. We have been blessed to meet and serve these wonderful families.
One Classroom is thrilled to announce that Incarnate Word Parish in Chesterfield will start an inclusion program for the 2017/18 school year and welcome three students with Down Syndrome. Please read their amazing announcement by clicking on their logo:
One Classroom is proud to support the efforts of Incarnate Word Parish! Congratulations and many thanks to Pastor Rev. Timothy Vowels and Principal Mike Welling.
February, 2017:Exciting News! Incarnate Word starts inclusion program!
August, 2015: One Classroom gets a new logo!
With many thanks to the creativity and hard work of Justen Hong, founder of Visual Lure® http://www.visuallure.com, One Classroom unveils its new logo. Inspired by the small communities of early America and the genius of Winslow Homer we are very excited to communicate the aspirations of inclusive education and the inspiration of our Lord Jesus Christ through our new design. We hope to convey the dual responsibilities of our Catholic schools as places for education and faith formation. Learn more about our logo here:
Download our brochure!
November, 2016:TASH Conference, One Classroom showcases Catholic Inclusive Education!
The Roman Catholic Foundation of Eastern Missouri was established to fulfill a key promise of Alive in Christ!—to enhance financial resources for schools and tuition assistance for Catholic families. Beyond Sunday is the Foundation’s first major initiative. This Archdiocesan-wide fundraising campaign will greatly impact our parish and school communities for generations. We are very excited to share that Beyond Sunday has awarded a $37,000 grant to support the new inclusion program at Immaculate Conception Dardenne!
Inclusion Is Growing In St. Louis!
Three New Schools Announce Programs!
Beyond Sunday Awards Innovation Grant!
January, 2015: One Classroom registers as a non-profit in the State of Missouri.
One Classroom develops its organizational documents and takes the first step in establishing its foundation infrastructure. The directors of One Classroom developed a "Start up Plan" with the eventual goal of becoming a 501 (C) 3 organization and building out the capabilities to fundraise, manage grant processes, provide expert resources to our Catholic families and schools, organize parent meetings, and promote inclusive education.
March, 2016: EXTR, EXTRA, READ ALL ABOUT IT!!
The St. Louis Review published a great article about Inclusive Education, One Classroom and the pilot program at Mary Queen of Peace. Read the article here:
May, 2016:Exciting News! St. Mary Magdalene starts inclusion program!
April, 2017:Beyond Sunday announces grants, supports Inclusive Education!
April, 2015: Pastor Robert Reiker and Mary Queen of Peace announce launch of inclusion program!
Following the trip to Kansas City three families with children with special needs met with the Mary Queen of Peace pastor, Father Robert Reiker.
Pastor Bob Reiker said he wants to welcome their children into MQP next fall and start an inclusive program! WOW! This will be the first fully inclusive program in Archdiocese history!
Father Reiker shared with the families a history of the many accomplishments of the St. Louis Archdiocese to create educational pathways for children with special needs. The opportunity to welcome children into Mary Queen of Peace school is a wonderful way to to add to this proud history. May God bless Pastor Reiker for his leadership in welcoming children with special needs.
In the May 3rd parish bulletin Father Reiker shared the experience of the trip to Kansas City and announced to the parish his plans to establish the inclusion program. Father Reiker's leadership and decision to begin an inclusive program certainly are an important milestone for special education in our St. Louis Catholic school.
God is good!
Summer, 2015: One Classroom and FIRE come to a cooperative agreement regarding grant making processes.
One Classroom is very fortunate to have and excellent working relationship with the FIRE organization of Kansas City. The "Foundation For Inclusive Religious Education" represents the gold standard in supporting inclusion in Catholic Schools. The work of FIRE and the inclusive schools of the Kansas City, St. Joseph diocese are an inspiration to schools and families around the nation. They are truly changing the world. May God bless the many families, students, teachers and administrators of the Kansas City, St. Joseph's diocese for their hard work and devotion to the cause of inclusive education and children with special needs. One Classroom has been able to work closely with FIRE in the development of our organization and in adopting some of FIRE's best practices regarding the promotion of inclusive education and the grant making process. In an important step on the development of One Classroom's capabilities to support our Catholic Schools, our two organizations agreed on the sharing of grant process know how, methods and tools. The cooperative spirit of our two organizations is a blessing born of our shared devotion to following Christ's example in the support of His church and Catholic schools.