Welcome to St. Coletta
We are community of more than 400 children and adults where every day we see possibilities beyond disabilities. See us in action.
Our mission of is to serve children and adults with intellectual disabilities and to support their families. At St. Coletta we believe in the immeasurable value of the individual human spirit and the right of each individual to live as full and independent a life as possible. We respect the dignity of all persons entrusted to our care and our goal is to serve them in an atmosphere that encourages their talents, celebrates their successes and builds their self-esteem.
What We Do
At St. Coletta we celebrate individual strengths each day. We serve students and adults with intellectual disabilities, autism and secondary disabilities. We moved our school program to our state of the art building in Washington, DC, near RFK Stadium, in 2006. This enabled us both to serve more students and adults and to offer a wide-range of programs that engage, educate, and enrich our students' lives.
Our core program includes: functional academics, skills of daily living, community based instruction, adaptive physical education, arts education, computer skills and vocational training. Students earn a certificate of IEP completion upon graduation.
We believe in the inherent worth of the individual regardless of their rate of development and capacity for learning. Every person has the right to the training and support necessary for them to reach their full potential.
Our more than fifty years of experience has confirmed that the real focus of education needs to be on the individual learner and the skills they need to be successful in life. We believe that individuals learn best by doing. To that end, we plan hands-on, theme-based activities that allow for experimentation and trial and error. Instruction occurs as often as possible in the natural setting, thus our adults and students spend a lot of time in the community
We also serve the parents of our students and adults. We provide information and a community of experienced individuals who can help them meet their child's needs and help them to develop all their child's talents.
St. Coletta was founded in 1959 by parents of a child with Down Syndrome. The school began in the basement of St. Charles Borromeo School in Arlington with five students. Over the intervening years it moved to several different locations in Arlington and in 1996 school leaders made the decision to purchase a permanent facility in Alexandria that would allow for growth. The larger facility allowed the school to begin an adult day program as well as to expand the student population. In September 2006 we moved to our DC campus.
Support Our Work
We are a non-sectarian, non-profit organization. We depend on the support of caring individuals to be able to offer the tailored instruction and variety of activities that help our students and adults develop all their potential.
Contributions to St. Coletta are tax-deductible, much needed, and greatly appreciated.
We are good stewards of your contributions. 100% of your donation goes directly to programs for our students and adults. Thank you.
Watch Us Grow
You can learn more about our work and watch our students grow through our short, monthly email updates. Sign up today and you'll be assured to get something that will make you smile each month.
Meet Us Up-Close
Our state of the art building designed by the renowned architect Michael Graves enables our students and adults to develop more fully.
Our school is organized around "houses" for children of different ages and each is connected to our "village green." Students remain in the same "house" for multiple years and the teachers and therapists get to know them very well.
Each "house" has specially designed classrooms and a teaching kitchen to practice daily living skills. Our students also enjoy a full size gymnasium, a hydrotherapy room, a sensory room and art and music studios.
Come and see us in action. Contact us to request a tour.