Special Needs

What Does St. Ann's Offer for Special Needs?

If your child or anyone you know has special needs and would like to receive religious education at St. Ann's, we offer individualized education within the mainstream classroom for any child by providing that child with a Special Needs Buddy or offering accommodations.

In order to receive class accommodations or apply for a Special Needs Buddy, please contact Jenny Kiehl or fill out a secure online form

LAUNCH Children’s Ministry Special Needs Policy

Mission Statement

The purpose of the Special Needs Division of LAUNCH is to provide any child with needs the opportunity to have a relationship with the Triune God through religious education instruction and the sacraments.



  1. To create an accepting, inclusive, and accommodating environment within the program for the child and family living with a disability.
  2. To develop an appropriate accommodation plan (Individual Religious Education Plan or IREP) and/or supports for the individual with needs while working within the policies and resources available to the Catholic Church of St. Ann.
  3. To provide religious education and services to help any child with special needs have a basic understanding of their Catholic faith and know Jesus Christ.
  4. To educate staff, volunteers, peers, and other families about the wants and needs of children and families with disabilities and how to best support them.
  5. To equip volunteer catechists or Special Needs Buddies with the necessary supplies, tools, or items required to communicate the daily message to each child with special needs.



  1. Special Needs services can be requested by the individual themselves, the family of the individual, or the ministry leader(s) or volunteers serving the individual.
  2. Families have the right to request or decline the one-on-one services of a Special Needs Buddy to assist their child in the classroom with activities and behavior needs.
  3. Parents or guardians have 30 days from the day of their child’s registration to notify LAUNCH staff of the full and complete needs of their child. After this time period, LAUNCH staff has 30 days to contact the family and decide on an accommodation plan for the child, that is approved by all involved parties. If the child’s guardians do not notify the LAUNCH staff of any existing special needs or accommodations within a 30 day window of registration, LAUNCH staff will not be held responsible for providing services until the following semester.
  4. Children who do not have a school IEP may be asked to provide medical documentation to receive accommodations or an IREP in order to make sure special needs resources are being properly allocated.
  5. “Special Needs” encompasses a broad range of needs and may include: learning needs, intellectual disabilities, neurological disorders, developmental delays, communication disorders, physical disabilities, social skill deficits, sensory needs, medical conditions, or emotional disabilities. Due to the wide range of needs the Catholic Church of St. Ann may not be able to provide full and accurate services to all that qualify. The church will do its best to meet any needs present, but if they are unable to provide assistance after making inquiries, it is within their rights to decline services at their location due to limited or insufficient resources; however, it is required that they notify the family within 60 days of registration that they are unable to meet their needs at this time. A full refund will be issued to families that have been notified that services are unable to be provided.
  6. The LAUNCH department is not equipped or able to provide therapy, professional counseling, behavior modification programs, or extensive medical intervention. Medical assistance will be provided in emergency situations or for injuries only.
  7. The LAUNCH department is required to provide special needs training and background checks to all volunteers working with a child that has special needs.


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Launch Staff
Jenny Kiehl (x6023)
Launch Director & Pre-K-First grade Coordinator
Kristen Ott (x6041)
Coordinator of Religious Ed., Second-Fifth grades
Jackie Kmet (x6040)
Sacramental Events, VBS & Family Enrichment Coordinator
Linn Hodges (x6039)
Launch Office Coordinator
Susan Rhodes (x6043)
Launch Office Administrator



The Catholic Church of St. Ann is a La Salette parish family dedicated to reconciliation through worship, word, works and sacrament.

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