Saint Catherine Academy opened in 1999 on the campus of the Catholic Center in Bridgeport in response to a need in the Catholic community for a faith-based alternative for students with developmental disabilities.
In June 2003, the Academy was granted approval by the State of Connecticut Department of Education as a private special education program and began accepting placements from area public school districts, as well as directly from parents. As enrollment grew, the Academy needed a larger facility, and in 2005, the School Advisory Board initiated a Capital Campaign to fund a new home for the newly-named “Saint Catherine Academy,” which opened at its present location in Fairfield, Connecticut, in the fall of 2007.
Our first graduate received a diploma from former Bishop William E. Lori in 2007.
In 2008, the State of Connecticut Department of Education extended its approval of the Academy, and again 2013 and 2018. In the 2013 report, Saint Catherine Academy was commended for its “small class sizes allowing for the development of student-specific activities; effective integration of technology in the curriculum; well-maintained facility with a Life Skills apartment; highly quality and good variety of vocational opportunities; and a high level of collaboration between education staff and therapists.”
The School Advisory Board completed a Strategic Plan in 2013 which called for broader definition of disabilities served to include developmental disabilities with autism as well as intellectual and developmental disabilities. We continue to adjust to the needs of our students.
In 2015, the School Advisory Board transitioned to a Board of Directors as the Academy became part of Saint Catherine Center for Special Needs.