The Pope Francis Center for Student Success

The Pope Francis Center for Student Success
Excellence for All


The Pope Francis Center for Student Success at St. Anne Catholic School, is aligned with the school’s mission statement to spiritually and academically prepare, challenge, and inspire students to become virtuous leaders of society. The St. Anne leadership team created The Pope Francis Center in order to provide effective differentiated instruction for all students within an inclusive classroom setting.

The Pope Francis Center provides extra support for students so they are able to perform in a rigorous academic environment. Support is primarily available for students in grades 1-12 who have been evaluated by a licensed psychologist for a learning disability, processing deficit, ADHD, or other condition affecting their ability to achieve success. Students must be able to participate in the regular classroom setting in all content areas and meet both behavioral and academic standards for their grade level using the St. Anne Catholic School approved accommodations.

In order to maintain optimal ratios between our learning specialists and their students, enrollment in The Pope Francis Center is limited per grade level to support the St. Anne staff as to fulfill the mission of St. Anne Catholic School. As a result, a student who has formally been identified as needing services is not guaranteed admittance to the program. Each case will be carefully assessed and reviewed by the Dean of Student Services, Department Director, Assistant Principal, and Principal.

Mission Statement

The Pope Francis Center for Student Success welcomes all children who are seeking a Catholic and inclusive education. We believe that special education services should respect the dignity of the human person and provide an atmosphere of solidarity which binds each student together as brothers and sisters.


Every Christ-centered classroom at St. Anne School provides a plan for each child in an inclusive setting supported by highly qualified staff working in collaboration with the classroom teacher.

Student Services

Inclusion – A Pope Francis Center teacher goes into the classroom to service the student in the general education classroom setting. The Pope Francis Teacher and the general education teacher work together to design a plan of how to best meet the child’s goals, within the general education setting.

Resource Services –The student is pulled out of the classroom for small group instruction by a Pope Francis Center Teacher. The small group instruction is tailored specifically to meet the need of the student through programs such as Leveled Literacy Instruction, Barton, or teacher designed writing or math instruction.

Consultative- The student has an Individual Catholic Education Plan (ICEP) for accommodations and modifications, but does not require inclusion or resource services to meet their needs. The Pope Francis Center Teacher assigned to the student consults with the general education teacher on a regular basis assuring the accommodations are applied according to the ICEP and student success is achieved.

Programs Offered

Individual Catholic Education Plan (ICEP)-This plan is written by a Pope Francis Center Teacher in conjunction with the student’s parents, general education teacher(s), and Department Level Director or Principal.  The ICEP is written for students who would qualify for an IEP in the public school district.  Determination is based on a full educational evaluation of the student by a licensed psychologist through the public school district or an Pope Francis Center approved private testing facility.  The plan includes clearly stated accommodations and modifications to the general education curriculum.  It also includes clearly stated annual goals to address the student’s disability.  Since St. Anne Catholic School provides inclusive education programs, all academic teachers receive a copy of the plan and support the annual goals with the assistance of the Pope Francis Center Teachers.  Parents and teachers are provided a copy of the ICEP.

Academic Support Plan(ASP)– This plan is crafted by the Department Level Director with the final approval of the Dean of Student Services.  The plan is developed by a multidisciplinary teacher which includes the Department Level Director, general education teacher(s), Pope Francis Center Teacher, parents, and in some cases the, Guidance Counselor, Dean of Student Services, Assistant Principal, or Principal.  Multiple documents to support evidence of a student’s need for an ASP must be provided to the multidisciplinary team in order for a plan to be put in place.  Evidence includes, but is not limited to, Student Intervention Team (SIT) Data, Medical Doctor Report, and Psychological evaluations.  The plan includes accommodations that will be made in the general education classroom to support the student’s academic success.  An ASP is similar to that of a 504 plan in the public school setting.  Parents and teachers are provided copies.

Classroom Accommodations- An accommodation is a differentiated instructional strategy which enables students to perform within curriculum requirements.  If a student is receiving accommodations to the general education curriculum, it will be marked on the student’s report card.

Examples of accommodations are:

  • Provision of teacher notes/outlines
  • Provision of a peer note-taker
  • Additional progress reports (weekly, monthly, quarterly)
  • Preferential seating
  • Extended time on assignments
  • Oral testing Scribing
  • Reduction of homework or class work
  • Weekly Folder System or Weekly Progress Reports

Modified Curriculum– Modifications are tied in to assignments, grade levels, and summative assessments. A modified curriculum means a change in student performance and outcome. It also means a change in teacher expectations. A student working with a modified curriculum will not work at the same level as other students. Subjects on report cards and transcripts are marked modified.

  • Examples of modifications are:
  • Reduction of test or quiz questions
  • Omission of story problems
  • Use of specialized/alternative curricula written at lower level
  • Simplified vocabulary/spelling lists and concepts
  • Alternative reading books at independent reading level
  • Tests written at lower level of understanding
  • Use of calculator
  • Use of textbook or open notes for formal/informal assessments
  • Grading based on work completion

Standardized Testing Accommodations- A student may receive accommodations during standardized testing according to the recommendations on his psychological evaluation and documentation through an ICEP or ASP. Accommodations may include preferential seating, extended time, small group setting or scribing.

*The number of hours of support services guaranteed to a student may include: verbal testing, scribing, extended time, separate setting, remediation/specialized instruction, study skills, parent consultation, teacher consultation, parent e-mail or phone communication, face-to-face meetings with parents and/or teachers, and make-up work.

Program Criteria

Program Criteria

  1. Acceptance is limited to approximately no more than 10% of total student body (limited to 10% per grade level)
  2. Current St. Anne students have priority for acceptance into the program, and must follow the SIT process for identification.
  3. The Principal, Dean of Student Services, and Pope Francis Center Teachers will determine admittance into the program and identify services to be offered.
  4. A current diagnostic evaluation (within three years of the beginning of each academic year) from a licensed psychologist demonstrating a need for the program is required for enrollment.
  5. Academic tutoring for students on campus is not included in general tuition or in the exceptional student education fees.
  6. Preschool and Kindergarten students are not eligible for support services.

St. Anne Admissions Policy

St. Anne School does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, national origin, age or handicapping condition in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, or athletic and other school-administered programs. SAS admits students to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students of the school. The school adheres to the tenets of Title IX:  “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participating in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”

Acceptance at St. Anne School is contingent upon space availability and a number of other factors, including an applicant’s school records, standardized test scores, recommendations, and an interview. Once the child is accepted and placed in the appropriate class, incoming students are evaluated during their first nine weeks of enrollment to determine whether or not a change in placement is warranted. The school administration reserves the right to terminate a student’s enrollment, at any time during a school year, if the school cannot meet the needs of the child.

Student Entrance Criteria

  1. Indicators of possible need include but are not limited to student working below grade level (no more than 2 grade levels), failing or near-failing grades in one or more subjects.
  2. Submission of a diagnostic evaluation (within three years) from a licensed psychologist demonstrating a need for the program
  3. Submission of all previous testing materials to St. Anne prior to program admittance
  4. Based on the expertise of the Pope Francis Center staff, St. Anne reserves the right to determine a student’s ability to meet rigorous academic standards as well as the program’s ability to accommodate student needs.

Student Exit Criteria (Dismissal From Program)

  1. Student demonstrating the ability to pass courses without accommodations and support services
  2. Diagnostic re-evaluation demonstrating there is no longer a disability or need for services
  3. St. Anne staff or teacher observations of misuse of the program
  4. Parent removal from program; a contract and parent signature are required
  5. In compliance with St. Anne School guidelines, the administration reserves the right to put a student on academic probation based on low grades, lack of effort, behavior concerns, and/or the observations and assessments made by the Pope Francis staff and teacher(s). The student will be reassessed at the end of the academic probationary period. If evidence of sufficient progress is not apparent, the student may be asked to exit the program and/or the school.

Procedures For Students Already Enrolled at St. Anne

  1. Parent and classroom teacher discussion of concerns.
  2. Classroom teacher receives signed consent to refer student to the Student Intervention Team (SIT).
  3. Classroom teacher submits SIT paperwork.
  4. Dean of Student Services sets up a classroom observation.
  5. Dean of Student Services meets with the classroom teacher to discuss findings from the internal observations.
  6. If a specific learning disability, processing problem, or developmental need is suspected, a meeting will be held with the parents and they will be referred to a licensed child psychologist for a comprehensive evaluation.
  7. Once testing results are received, and reviewed by the Dean of Student Services, Pope Francis Center Teachers, Guidance Counselor, and general education teacher(s) and ICEP or ASP plan is developed.
  8. The team listed in #7 then meets with the parents and student (when appropriate) to discuss the plan. Other professionals may be invited to the meeting based upon the needs of the student.
  9. Appropriate fees will be assessed for services.
  10. If program services ARE needed and the parent declines, a waiver will be signed.

Procedures For New Students

  1. If a student applying has already been evaluated, a current copy of the evaluation must be submitted with the admissions application.
  2. An assessment non-refundable fee of $25 is applied; the Dean of Student Services, principal, and appropriate team will determine whether St. Anne can accommodate the student’s needs.
  3. If there are concerns or questions about a student’s ability for academic success and there is no evaluation, the Dean of Student Services will contact the family to request further information or an educational evaluation. Testing must be completed before acceptance is granted.
  4. The Dean of Student Services will participate in the admissions interview and discuss results of testing and recommendations.
  5. If enrollment in the Pope Francis Center is deemed necessary for the child’s success, and the school can meet his academic needs, the Dean of Student Services, principal, specialist, parent, and child’s teacher(s) will discuss the development of an ICEP.
  6. If a student is admitted to St. Anne contingent on their participation in The Pope Francis Center, the parent must agree to enroll their student in the program or their student will not be able to attend St. Anne School.

Exceptional Needs Program Fees                                                    $4,000-$6,000 per year

Scholarships are offered through the Exceptional SC program for South Carolina resident students qualifying to received Special Education services to help cover these additional fees. Applications must be submitted. Please visit for scholarship applications and more information.