Diocesan School Launches Unique Special Needs Program

March 17, 2017

St. Joseph Center for Special Learning in Pottsville, Pennsylvania has initiated a conductive education program unique to Catholic Schools in the United States - the only one of its kind in the Northeast.

Conductive education is an intensive, multi-disciplinary approach to education, training, and development for individuals with motor disorders of a neurological origin like cerebral palsy, spina bifida, and other motor challenges.  This system helps build cognitive skills and alternative strategies to accomplish common motor tasks and provides an avenue for independence.  Students receive five days of therapy a week partnered with an education and socialization with similar peers, meeting the mission of our Catholic schools to educate the whole child.   

Conductive education was the focus of the work of Hungarian Professor Andras Petro and now Livia Burgermeiszter, a conductor trained at The Petro Institute in Budapest, is leading this specialty program in eastern Pennsylvania. 

Principal Roobhenn Smith said that “To implement a program of this nature, we knew we needed the right expertise and knowledge.  To have someone directly linked to the founding Institute is a rare find.”  The program has been offered since January 2017 and positive outcomes are already being seen.  “The beauty of a program of this nature is that you can see the growth,” Smith said.   “You can watch how a student who might not have been able to stand but is now able to stand and has more control of their body because of this program.”

St. Joseph Center for Special Learning is accepting applications and referrals to the conductive education program and has available placements in the school.  St. Joseph Center for Special Learning is a member school of the Diocese of Allentown that serves nearly 12,000 students in 33 elementary schools, 6 high schools, and 3 special learning centers across Lehigh, Northampton, Berks, Carbon, and Schuylkill counties.

For more information, please contact Amanda Campbell at 570-622-4638 or acampbell@stjosephctr.com

Contact: Matt Kerr
               610-871-5200, Extension 265