The Hand in Hand Options Program at Pope John Paul II High School serves students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Through the HIH Program, students experience JPII community, while accessing individualized programming designed to meet their academic needs. Hand In Hand began in 2004 and continues to be one of a handful of Catholic Schools nationally offering an inclusive education for those with IDD.
Course Of Study
Each student’s course of study is individualized to meet his or her academic needs and to build upon strengths and interests. Students enroll in academic classes within the HIH program. Students also enroll in general education classes with a modified curriculum which may include theology, fine arts, history, or physical education. Additionally, HIH students take Innov8 courses which provide for authentic learning experiences that will engage students in hands-on learning. HIH students are encouraged to participate in after school activities such as theater productions, pep band and athletics.
Language and Literature (4 years)
Math (4 years)
Study Skills (4 years)
Science (3 years: Physical, Earth, Animal)
World Geography (1 year)
Theology (4 years)
History (3 years)
Physical Education (1 year minimum)
Fine Arts (2 years minimum)
Careers (1 year)
Since JPII is located in Sumner County, students eligible for special education services are served by the Sumner County school district regardless of the county in which the student resides. Students who are eligible for speech and language therapy services are served by a Sumner County school district therapist. In addition, special education eligibility is maintained by the Sumner County school district.
Each student in the HIH program has the opportunity to interact with peers throughout the day, in classes, at lunch, and before and after school. Additionally, HIH students have peer mentors in the majority of their classes who offer academic and social support. Peer mentors volunteer to serve as peer support in either an inclusion class or in a HIH course.
A candidate should have a current Individualized Education Plan (IEP); history with a school setting; must be able to provide self care; have good communication skills; and no history of conduct or behavioral problems. Prospective students will participate in the general admission procedures for JPII which includes interview with the Director of Academic Support.