John and Adrienne Haverland have five children and a lot of homeschooling experience. So, when their daughter Evelyn was headed toward second grade, they felt confident a dyslexia diagnosis was on the horizon. At the same time, a change in life circumstances opened up the possibility of sending Evelyn to a Catholic school, something they desired if homeschooling was no longer an option.

After Evelyn began second grade they discovered something they didn’t anticipate—a great deal of flexibility and the willingness and ability to accommodate Evelyn’s educational needs. “Even though we didn’t have the official diagnosis yet, they trusted us and our assessment of Evelyn’s needs,” Adrienne says.

Evelyn was enrolled into Mrs. Smith’s second grade class, where the Haverlands found a teacher ready to help. Adrienne continues, “Mrs. Smith met with me several times and was so open to collaborating in order to help Evelyn succeed.”

While the Haverlands and Mrs. Smith continued to investigate the best ways to help Evelyn, the family pursued getting a diagnosis. As they had anticipated, Evelyn was found to be dyslexic. Fortunately, Prince of Peace and the Haverlands had already been providing the intervention needed to create a great outcome for Evelyn.

Adrienne is grateful Prince of Peace listened and collaborated. “I don’t think very many schools would have been so flexible and understanding,” she says. “Most kids when they begin testing for a learning disability have had noticeable difficulties in the classroom, poor grades and oftentimes emotional stress that accompany these challenges. The interventions provided by Prince of Peace allowed Evelyn to continue to be successful despite her struggles.”

As Evelyn entered third grade, Prince of Peace had a new way to support her learning—the addition of special education teacher Ms. Krista Pfaff. “Evelyn loves Ms. Pfaff! I love Ms. Pfaff!” Adrienne enthuses.

Evelyn spends fifteen minutes every day with Ms. Pfaff and receives accommodations according to her SAP. Adrienne is quick to note, however, that her daughter is never made to feel different from the other kids. “They don’t treat her like a child with dyslexia, to them she is just Evelyn,” Adrienne says. “Having your child seen for who they are and not what they are is a level of care that makes Prince of Peace unique.”

While Prince of Peace’s acceptance of learning differences and its ability to support those students is a key feature in what John and Adrienne like about the school, they also are grateful for the faith formation at Prince of Peace.

“You never have to worry about what is being taught. You can trust the religious education completely,” Adrienne says. “And religion isn’t relegated to just one subject that they’re learning. At Prince of Peace, faith is brought into everything, and it’s nice that at home we can build upon what is already being instilled into them.”

The faith formation at Prince of Peace is one of Evelyn’s favorite aspects of her school. When describing what she likes most about Prince of Peace, she says that she loves weekly Mass. She is also quick to describe her affection for the teachers, saying, “Everyone really cares about me. Everyone is just really kind.”

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