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St. Joseph Program

Our St. Joseph Program is designed to provide a positive educational and social experience for a select group of students with learning differences.

The St. Joseph Program and Center was named to honor St. Joseph, a patron of the Congregation of Holy Cross which sponsors Bishop McNamara High School. Known as compassionate, caring and mindful to the Holy Spirit, St. Joseph was the foster father to whom Jesus was entrusted, along with Mary his mother. His concern for the protection of the child Jesus provides a model for the nurturance of young people everywhere. St. Joseph is also the patron saint for fathers, workers, and social justice; his feast days are March 19th and May 1st.

The Saint Joseph's Program will hold information nights to share the specifics about this program will be held twice in the fall.  Please RSVP for these events here.

For a printable overview of the program, go to St. Joseph Program Brochure.

St. Joseph Program Team

The St. Joseph’s Program is staffed with highly qualified special and general education professionals dedicated to empower students to think on their own, take responsibility for their decisions and become life-long learners.

Meet the SJP Team

Mission and Philosophy

The St. Joseph’s Program is designed to provide a positive, Catholic, college preparatory, educational and social experience for a select group of students with diagnosed learning differences.

The St. Joseph’s Program is staffed with highly qualified special and general education professionals dedicated to empower students to think on their own, take responsibility for their decisions and become life-long learners.

About Us

The St. Joseph’s Program is proud to offer individualized assistance while maintaining high expectations. Established in 2010, the program extends and formalizes the support given to Bishop McNamara High School students with learning differences. The St. Joseph’s Program provides reasonable accommodations in consultation with teachers and guidance counselors.

The St. Joseph’s Program accepts students admitted to Bishop McNamara High School with documented learning differences. As the program accepts 10-15 students annually, early application with complete documentation is encouraged. Admission to the program requires the submission of recent psycho-educational testing along with an application to the St. Joseph’s Program and an application for admission to Bishop McNamara High School.

For incoming freshmen, students complete a 4-week summer program prior to their 9th grade year. The summer program includes reading and mathematics content paired with skill development and orientation activities for high school.

Individual Accommodation Plans (IAPs)

Individual Accommodation Plans (IAP) are created for each student. Plans are based on testing recommendations, teacher observations, and student needs. IAPs are updated as appropriate.

The IAP may include:

  • Consultation with St. Joseph Center staff
  • Extended time for testing
  • Testing in the St. Joseph Center
  • An extra set of textbooks for home use
  • Copies of lecture notes
  • Preferential seating
  • Foreign language assistance
  • Adaptive technology usage
  • Other specific accommodations as needed

St. Joseph Program Testing

Students in the St. Joseph Program may have testing accommodations on their Individual Accommodation Plan (IAP). These accommodations may include one or more of the following:

  • Extended time
  • Test response monitoring
  • Multiple testing sessions

The St. Joseph Center provides a quiet, separate environment for students to take tests. When a test is to be administered for a class, the teacher sends the student to the Center to take the test.

See St. Joseph Program Testing Information.

Understanding Accommodations


  • Provide equitable access
  • Do not change the construct being assessed
  • Do not compromise the integrity or validity of the test
  • Do not reduce learning expectations
  • Result in valid, meaningful test results
  • Adjusts how a student learns and demonstrates mastery
  • Do not adjust what a student learns

Classroom Support

The support given to students in the classroom is guided by our team of skilled content-area instructors in collaboration with the St. Joseph’s Program staff and the counseling office. The teachers implement interventions and accommodations.

Families, teachers, counselors and administrators work together to support all of our St. Joseph’s Program students. The St. Joseph’s Program staff instructs the summer school program for incoming St. Joseph’s freshmen, easing their transition to high school.

Our staff is dedicated to the success of the student - academically, socially and with any of their goals.

St. Joseph Program Fees

St. Joseph Program fee (inclusive of required summer school fees) for the 9th-grade year is set at $2000. Incoming students entering beyond freshman year will receive an adjusted rate. The fee for support through the St. Joseph Center in subsequent years is $500.

Applying to the St. Joseph Program

Applications for St. Joseph Program will be submitted to the Admissions Office. The application process for the St. Joseph Program is:

  1. Applicants must first complete an application for admission to Bishop McNamara High School by December 15th along with the required fee and all admission documentation including grades for the last two years, standardized test scores, and two teacher recommendation. See Application Process.
  2. A St. Joseph Program Application AND all supporting documentation must be received with the application by December 15th. For the St. Joseph Program Application, go to SJP Application.
  3. A psycho-educational evaluation completed by a licensed psychologist within three years of application to Bishop McNamara must be submitted by December 15th. No exceptions are made to this policy. Psycho-educational evaluation must include:
    • must include diagnoses and recommendations
    • the IVA, BRIEF or WRAML-2 (measure of processing speed, fluency and executive functioning).
    • the Woodcock-Johnson IV Tests of Achievement (measure of academic skills).
    • the WISC-V (measure of overall cognitive ability).

For all application information, please contact the Admissions Office at 301-735-8401 Ext. 113 or 102.


St. Andre Program

The St Andre program is designed to support students with intellectual disabilities in an inclusive setting.

Students 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.

Families interested in learning more about the St. Andre program should contact Mrs. Abigail Greer, the Director of Student Support.  Prospective students should submit an application 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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