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St. Andre Program

The St Andre program is designed to support students with intellectual disabilities in an inclusive setting.  The St. Andre program believes that all students deserve opportunities to maximize their academic, social and spiritual potential that supports our mission to educate hearts and minds in a dynamic, inclusive Catholic school community rooted in the Holy Cross tradition.

Students in the St. Andre program attend courses with their peers at least half of the day, along with receiving specialized instruction in our St. Andre classroom in reading, math, and writing.  Students in the St. Andre Program participate in all aspects of the Holy Cross community. They join clubs, and athletics teams; serve at Mass; and participate in choir, dance concerts, and school plays.  Students in the St Andre program receive a certificate upon completion of their high school program. This is a non-diploma program.


At Bishop McNamara, each student’s schedule in the St. Andre program is carefully designed with input from parents/guardians, teachers, and the student. Every student has a schedule that includes a mixture of college preparatory and elective classes, as well as small classes in reading, writing, and math that are specifically designed for students in the program.

Why Do We Call it the Saint Andre Program?

On October 17, 2010, St. André Bessette became Holy Cross’ first saint when he was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI. On this day, the Church recognized that God chose a very simple man for a remarkable life of service to the Church.

Alfred entered the Holy Cross Novitiate on December 27, 1870 and took the name André. Brother André was assigned as doorkeeper of Notre Dame College in Montreal, and he continued this assignment as a professed brother. Among his many duties, he greeted visitors and tended to their needs. Eventually many people began to experience physical healings after praying with Brother André and his reputation spread. So many people flocked to see him that the Congregation allowed him to see sick people at a trolley station across the street. The crowds got larger, more cures were reported, and Brother André became increasingly well-known. Through it all Brother André remained humble, often seeming confused that people would lavish such praise on him. He knew that the real source of these miraculous cures was St. Joseph’s intercession.

As Holy Cross’ first saint, we named this program in honor of Alfred Bessette to form empowered leaders, inspired by the Gospel, transforming the world.

Financial Aid Information

The St. Andre Program is sustained through generous grants from organizations such as the Catholic Coalition for Special Education and Tribute 21. We are grateful for their support.

Interested to Learn More

Families interested in learning more about the St. Andre program should contact Mrs. Abigail Greer, Director of Student Support, by phone at (301)-735-848, ext. 153 or vial email at

Prospective students should submit an Application for Admissions online and then contact Mrs. Greer directly to schedule a family interview.

Bishop McNamara High School
6800 Marlboro Pike, Forestville, MD 20747
Phone: 301.735.8401
Fax: 301.735.0934


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