Inside The Industry: Nonprofit
St. Michael Special School
Students of St. Michael Special School with Tish Sauerhoff, President/Principal
St. Michael Special School was established in 1965 by Sr. Lillian McCormack of the School Sisters of Notre Dame with support from the Archdiocese of New Orleans to serve children and young adults with special educational needs. The school has served over 6,000 students in more than 50 years as a prized New Orleans institution. Under the leadership of President and Principal Tish Sauerhoff and with the support of the local community, the school currently enrolls over 200 students, ages six through adult, from 37 regional zip codes.
“It’s about possibilities, not limits,” says Sauerhoff. “Our goal is for students to succeed well beyond the St. Michael campus.”
With three programs — a K-12 and two adult programs—the school provides for the development of the whole child—academically, physically, emotionally, and spiritually—regardless of their disability or health impairment. The curriculum includes subjects from religion, math, science, and reading to creative arts, culinary science, vocational training, community integration, industrial arts and more.
Accredited by the Louisiana Department of Education and by AvancEd, the school partners with 21 area schools to provide inclusive activities for students. This year, the school was recognized as a National Association of Special Education Teachers School of Excellence. St. Michael launched its Exploration Academy, a transition program that increases positive post-school outcomes for young adults with special educational needs.
“Sr. Lillian’s commitment to serving all children through innovative programs continues to guide our vision today,” says Sauerhoff. “This is an exciting time of forward momentum as we build upon our foundation and enable students to reach their full potential through educational practices and technologies that facilitate students’ self-determination and independence.”
1522 Chippewa Street • New Orleans
504-524-7285 • stmichaelspecialschool.com