Whatley Program & Siena
Whatley is an innovative Archdiocesan program designed to meet the needs of students of average and above average intelligence, with a documented learning disability, in grades K-8.
The program is staffed by highly qualified special education teachers, with the assistance of part-time aides, who design specific programs to meet the personal learning needs of each child. Small group sizes and a modified curriculum for Language Arts and Math are hallmarks of the program.
Whatley remains a source of hope for parents who want their children educated in a Catholic school environment.
Children enrolled in Whatley pay an additional $2,000 per year. If a student is enrolled in only one academic subject (i.e. Math or Language Arts) they would pay $1,000 per year.
Students in the Whatley Program benefit in three ways:
- A Student Accommodation Plan, known as a SAP, is developed for each student accepted into the program. Whatley teachers use the SAP to plan language arts and math instruction in a small group setting. This instruction occurs during the regularly scheduled language arts and math time periods.
- Each child in the program is an integral part of a regular homeroom and is fully included with their peers in subjects such as social studies, science, religion, and special area subjects. Students receive accommodations that are identified through the formal documentation which identifies their learning disability. All accommodations written in the SAP are also integrated into the general education classrooms.
- The Whatley program is welcomed by the total school community and fosters an environment where all students succeed. Parents receive ongoing support and teachers are engaged in continuous professional development.
St. Catherine of Siena was born in Italy in 1347. As a young child, she began to have visions of guardian angels and was able to see them clearly as the people they protected. At age 16, now in the Dominican order, she continued to have visions of Christ, Mary and the saints. St. Catherine had no formal education but she is considered to have been one of the most brilliant theological minds of her time. She is one of only three women to have been named a Doctor of the Church.
It is fitting that we name our program for Academically Talented Students in her honor.
Students in grades 4-8 who qualify for the program using the three ring model of gifted behavior: above average ability, creativity, and task commitment. Students may qualify for an accelerated curriculum in math and/or reading/literature.
Using differentiated instruction within the regular classroom such as curriculum compacting, tiered instruction, independent projects and curriculum acceleration, students in the program are encouraged to develop their full potential.
Using Christ as our model, we seek to serve all students, including those to whom much has been given. Of them, much will be expected, and we are committed to preparing them to take a leadership role in the future.