Visitation Academy in Paramus was awarded the Partners in Education Award by the EPIC School, also of Paramus. The EPIC School is located directly across from the Visitation school parking lot, a fact which allows for ample collaboration between neighbors.
Due to its proximity, EPIC students are able to walk over to Visitation, where they attend classes in art, gym, and computers. In doing so, these students benefit from learning and socializing in a “mainstream” environment.
Teachers and administrators at Visitation believe this teaming benefits their own students just as much as it does the EPIC students. “Our students get to work with students of the Epic community and apply the Gospel vales of love, patience and acceptance that we teach them,” says Principal Kim Harrigan. “They are also meeting and interacting with members of another school community.”
In addition to sharing their classes, the Student Council has held Christmas and Halloween parties for EPIC students. They have also invited them to school performances and other activities.
“Peter Gerhardt, EPIC’s Executive Director, Principal William Schmatz, and the classroom aides at Epic are exceptional educators who serve as advocates for students with special needs. As a Principal, I am deeply honored that we have received the Essential Educational Partner award. My teachers and I feel that it further solidifies our commitment to our Paramus community and models our mission: ‘We are called to act justly, love tenderly, and walk humbly with our God. -Micah 6:8’”