School and Parish Leadership
Parish schools and high schools within the Archdiocese of Chicago that are planning to enroll a child with special needs who would NOT be able to attend without paraprofessional assistance, technology application, or other forms for support, may apply for a FIRE grant if/when specific criteria are met. Parish communities receiving FIRE grants are committed to adopting a philosophy of inclusive education within their school and assuming ownership of the inclusion program. Potential grantees are encouraged to apply parish and school enrollment policies and guidelines (tithing requirements, available space, etc.) when considering enrollment of a student with significant special needs. When possible, it’s desirable to offer special consideration for children who already have siblings attending the school. The Archdiocesan Director of Inclusive Education provides guidance and professional development to schools looking to build or expand inclusive education programs.
Parents of a Child with Special Needs
Please contact your parish priest and school principal to request a meeting to discuss the possibility of your child attending your parish school. Parents are encouraged to provide any appropriate information to the principal including diagnosis, contact information of child’s current school, educational plans, etc., to assist the school in determining if they are able to meet the needs of your child.
All parents of children receiving support from a FIRE Foundation grant are asked to become members of Friends of FIRE!
Principals | Priests | Special Educators
FIRE has established a formal grant application process. Before qualifying for grant assistance, the following must be completed.
- Contact the FIRE Foundation of Greater Chicago to discuss your school’s desire to enroll a student with special needs who would NOT be able to attend without paraprofessional support and to learn more about partnership with the Foundation.
- Contact the Archdiocesan Director of Inclusive Education to ask for assistance in determining whether a new student requires partial or full time support in order to attend your parish school.
- Upon determination by the Archdiocesan Director of Inclusive Education and school Special Education teacher/principal, that a student would NOT be able to attend your parish school without FIRE Foundation of Greater Chicago support, please contact the FIRE Foundation to request a meeting to learn about specific grant requirements and the process for application. At that time, Friends of FIRE packets will be provided to encourage immediate participation from parents and school community members.
Grant applications will be accepted for the 2020-2021 academic year on the following schedule:
January 20, 2020: Grant application OPENS
February 7, 2020: Grant application CLOSES
Week of March 9 and March 16, 2020: Applicant In-Person Interviews (will be scheduled directly with individual applicants)
April 17, 2020: Grant Awardees ANNOUNCED
Download the complete application for 2020-2021 academic year funding. (Please note, applications will not be accepted until 1/20/2020)