Tenia Jordan ’16
When St. Joseph’s Teacher Elaine Greene thinks of McNamara’s expansion, she sees an opportunity to serve more students with learning disabilities.
“The students always had a special place in my heart,” Greene said.
She’s creating a new program, the Saint Andre Academy, separate from the St. Joseph’s program. The difference between the St. Joseph’s program and the new academy is this is for students with learning disabilities, such as autism, while the St. Joseph’s program is for students with learning differences.
The program has been approved and supported by McNamara’s administration and the Archdiocese of Washington. The only similar school in the archdiocese is Catholic Coalition for Special Education, which is also assisting Greene in her efforts of the new school.
“I decided to start this program when I found out that there were families in the Archdiocese of Washington and they were being turned away,” Greene said. “So students didn’t have anywhere to go to school.”
The Archdiocese of Washington was unable to provide the number of families that couldn’t attend Catholic high schools because a lack of training to teach children with learning disabilities.
Greene wants to have an environment where students with disabilities who are capable of being in a school environment can learn, as well as interact with students outside of the program.
“The students will be included in any classes they can manage, specifically fine arts, gym, lunch periods, school masses, clubs and athletics,” she said.
Greene wants to keep all the students involved and help get them get into college at schools that will accept them.
“I want to promote all types of programs and colleges,” she said.
The program was named after Brother Andre, who was a member of the Congregation of Holy Cross in Canada and fostered devotion to Saint Joseph, caring for the sick and afflicted.