Two Georgia Schools Merge

The Notre Dame Academy (GA) and the Sophia Academy (GA) merged in August 2017 and now operate under the Notre Dame Academy name on the school’s newly expanded campus in Duluth, Georgia. The merger
establishes Notre Dame Academy as Atlanta’s only independent Catholic institution serving children of all learning abilities from preschool through high school.

Notre Dame Academy is recognized for providing an International Baccalaureate (IB) college-prep educational track for traditional learners set within a Catholic environment, while Sophia Academy is best known for its small class sizes and individualized instruction for children with learning disabilities. Through the merger, a newly designated fifth division at Notre Dame Academy, named the Father Colin School, has been created.

“The Father Colin School will embrace the unique gifts of children with learning differences and will embody the spirit of the mission of the Society of Mary, which strives to be humble, loving, compassionate, open, inclusive, and merciful,” says Father John Harhager, president of Marist School, chair of the Sophia Academy Board of Trustees, and board member at Notre Dame Academy.

The Chicago-based Loyola University Center for Inclusive Catholic Education will provide support as Notre Dame Academy establishes an inclusive teaching model that supports and addresses the individual needs and education of each child, from traditional to exceptional learners.

“We are honored to partner with the administration, board, and families of Sophia Academy in this important endeavor,” says Debra Orr, head of school at Notre Dame Academy. “Our goal is to keep families together by providing an inclusive educational campus where students of all abilities can prepare for the world and life.”