ST. MICHAEL SCHOOL, 1522 Chippewa St., New Orleans: The mission of St. Michael School is to provide a Catholic environment where students with special educational needs are able to grow in faith and reach their full potential – academically, socially and physically. St. Michael has an Upper School that is specialized to meet the individual needs of its students while also providing a typical high school experience.
The typical high school experience includes clubs based on interests, extracurricular activities, student council, cheerleading and other activities. St. Michael is accredited by AdvancEd and the Louisiana Department of Education and has been recognized for the last two years as a School of Excellence by the National Association of Special Education Teachers.
“We believe every child deserves a typical high school experience where they are able to fully engage in activities designed for everyone,” said Tish Sauerhoff, president/principal of St. Michael. “Our students are surrounded with these experiences. This focus on the whole child helps students achieve academically while simultaneously growing socially and physically in a loving, Catholic environment. Students are able to live out the St. Michael motto, which is ‘learn, grow and belong.’ This enables them to go out into their inclusive communities and be successful, productive citizens.”
In addition to a strong academic program, St. Michael offers inclusive activities with more than 21 schools in the Greater New Orleans area.
The Upper School Program assists students ages 16 to 21 with the transition to adulthood. Students continue to progress in academics while further developing independence, life skills and proper work habits. Students attend weekly Mass and daily religion classes. In addition, classes are offered in the areas of reading/writing, writing skills, mathematics, computer, science, social studies, art, community integration, independent living skills, culinary science, industrial arts, health and physical education, simulated work environment and high school equivalency (General Education Development).
Class schedules are based on individual student needs and elective choices. Skills fostered include improving academic knowledge, using effective decision making skills, engaging in positive interpersonal relationships, choosing and maintaining employment (when applicable), participating in community activities and developing life skills that foster independence
The Upper School Program provides students the opportunity to participate in several extracurricular activities such as clubs that meet weekly during the school day, intramural sports, the Bell Choir or Vocal Choir, cheerleading, student council and partnerships with multiple local high schools that offer inclusive activities. Elections for student council include campaigning, speeches and ballot voting. All Upper School students are members of the student council.