Havern School — Fifty Years and Counting
By Marlene Spero
The 2016-2017 school year marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of Havern School. Located in Littleton, Colo., Havern is a Loretto-founded-and-sponsored school that officially opened its doors in September 1966 to 24 learning- disabled students. On the faculty and staff were several Sisters of Loretto, two of whom had just returned from a special graduate program at Syracuse University in a new and exciting field of educating students with perceptual handicaps, a term later changed to learning disabilities. After completing the master’s program and doing an internship at Pathways in Norristown, Penn., they returned to Littleton to help plan for and open a school in the Denver area to educate learning-disabled children. Curriculum materials for this new type of education were not yet available so these dedicated professionals taught by day and worked by night to create materials suited to the individual needs of their students.
As the years went by, both students and staff steadily increased, and in 1970 the sisters incorporated the school and turned it over to a private, non-denominational board of trustees. Today, Havern operates as a non-profit independent school. Sisters continued to be involved in teaching and select facets of administration until 2005, and for all 50 years have maintained a presence on the board of trustees.
Havern caters to bright elementary and middle school students who have been diagnosed with a learning disability.For the past several years Havern has had a 100 percent high school graduation rate for its students while the average for all other students across the state of Colorado is less than 78 percent. Currently, Havern students come from 48 different ZIP codes, and that includes some families who have moved to Colorado to attend Havern.
Throughout its 50-year history, Havern has been committed to a strong financial assistance program that helps students whose families are not able to meet the costs of tuition.
This golden anniversary celebrates not only the past but also the future as Havern looks forward to 50 more years of quality education in the same location. Havern intends to purchase the Denver Loretto Center building and grounds. The sale of this property to a purchaser who shared Loretto values was mandated by a Loretto Assembly decision in 2015. Havern has exciting plans for expansion of both services and enrollment with its new available space. Perhaps a future Interchange article will detail some of these dreams fulfilled in reality!