Father Colin Program
Welcome to Notre Dame Academy and thank you for your interest in the Father Colin Program for students with learning differences. I am very excited to be a part of a Catholic school whose teaching practices create a sense of belonging. Father Colin students have the opportunity to not only attend Notre Dame Academy but to participate in all that the school has to offer.
The Father Colin Program offers a research-based, specialized learning program for students in reading, writing, math and social skills in a small group setting in order to help students with learning difficulties make progress toward their learning goals. Speech-language services are offered through a licensed speech and language pathologist for students that qualify. Students are given an opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities alongside their peers at Notre Dame Academy. Our program offers the best of both worlds for students with learning differences while serving all members of our families under one roof.
Thank you again for your interest in Notre Dame Academy’s Father Colin Program. Please contact our admissions office for more information about our excellent program.
Welcome from Mrs. Sandy Keith
Dear NDA families
Good day! I am Sandy Keith and am honored to be joining the faculty here at Notre Dame Academy as the new director of the Father Colin program. Although I don’t officially start until Aug 3rd, I wanted you to have my name and contact information so, at the very least, we can start getting to know each other even if it’s remotely (the buzz word for everything we do now!) I will be in and out of the building beginning July 20th but welcome being stopped for a quick introduction, or a longer chat.
I am coming to NDA from Fulton County Schools where I have served many years both as a teacher of students with special needs, and as an Instructional Support Teacher (IST). As a Special Education teacher I taught in both the middle and elementary setting, across all areas of exceptionality and in all subjects. As an IST, I led my school’s special education department in both instruction and delivery, as well as compliance.
I have extensive and deep experience in the field of teaching, implementing explicit instruction in the small group setting, and collaborating in the co-taught setting. As a leader, I understand that relationships matter and building community is forefront when working with students and their teachers.
I am ready to put my expertise to work at Notre Dame by building a support system where learning is accessible and meaningful for every student regardless of their individual learning style and needs.
I truly am looking forward to being a part of your child’s educational journey and a member of his/her support team. Your partnership is welcomed and valued.
Mrs. Sandy Keith
Father Colin Program Director
Mrs. Sandra Keith
Father Colin Program Director
THE FATHER COLIN PROGRAM PROVIDES:
- Small class sizes with student to teacher ratios of 8:1
- Dedicated Program Director and Guidance Counselor on staff
- Research-based specialized instruction
- Speech Language Pathologist on staff
- iPads and MacBooks available for use in each grade level
- Opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities, fine arts ensembles, and athletic teams
QUESTIONS? CLICK ON THE QUICK LINKS BELOW:
- The Notre Dame Academy Admissions Office
- Notre Dame Academy: Schedule a Tour
- Notre Dame Academy: Inquire Online Now
- Upcoming Key Admissions Dates
- Notre Dame Academy is authorized to accept SB10 funding from the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship (GSNS) Program
What is an Educational Environment that embraces an Inclusive Teaching Philosophy?
A school that embraces an inclusive teaching philosophy supports and addresses the individual needs of each child. Research has demonstrated that effective models of education that embrace an inclusive teaching philosophy not only benefit students with disabilities, but also create an environment in which every student (including those who do not have disabilities) has the opportunity to flourish.
- Mirenda (2002) found that effective instructional options for inclusive classrooms facilitate the academic and social success of students both with and without disabilities.
- Friend (2012) found that standardized test scores in co-taught classrooms are higher for all students as compared to students enrolled in gen-ed classes.
Why is Inclusion more than a place?
“Place” is not the key issue to creating a sense of belonging. Focusing on a range of services instead of diagnoses or labels, a continuum of placement options creates the best learning environment for all. Battles (1994) suggests that the goal of inclusion is not to simply place all students in general education classrooms, but to evaluate each student on an individual basis to determine if he/she will benefit from educational services provided in the general education classroom. One placement option will not suffice for the educational needs of all students. The responsibility lies with the school and a multi-disciplinary team to evaluate the strengths and needs of each student and to place them where the student will find the greatest success.