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Education is at the heart of everything we do.

From academic education to college prep and job training, we tailor our approach to each student’s learning style. Our instructional team is licensed by the Virginia Department of Education and is passionate about helping our students learn, grow and thrive.

Dooley School at St. Joseph’s Villa

Dooley School is one of our longest-running services. We are small enough to meet the individual needs of students and large enough to provide a high quality educational and social experience. As a K-12 school, we primarily serve students diagnosed with emotional disabilities, specific learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disabilities and other health impairments. Staff-to-student ratio ranges from 1:6 to 1:8 depending on disabilities being served in the classroom.

Local school systems place students with Dooley School to help address academic and behavioral challenges. Counselors on staff help students develop self-esteem, learn how to build relationships and be successful in their community.

Virtual Learning

Dooley School is currently providing both in-person and online classes to special education students. Our in-person school is following a rigorous mitigation plan that has a limited number of seats available to students due to CDC and Virginia Health Department recommendations, and our stringent school safety plan. Due to these constraints, we offer a comprehensive virtual school program for K-12 students that is supported by several online platforms and teachers.

The virtual learning program follows both synchronous and asynchronous models to accommodate student and parents. Teachers provide synchronous direct instruction, in addition to providing supervision to asynchronous learning programs. Academic classes, P.E., electives and the Career and Transition Services program are offered through our virtual learning.

Teachers use a combination of programs to support instruction and academic growth, including Edgenuity, Flocabulary, NearPod, Reading A-Z, Gizmos, Kahoot, SOLPass, Google Classroom and Google platform. Chromebooks and hot spots may be provided to ensure each student can fully participate in their classes. As part of our holistic approach to education, our counselors meet with students online to assist with social and emotional needs as an additional resource.

Take a virtual tour of Dooley School.

LEARN MORE | 804-553-3265

Dooley Center for Alternative Education

Dooley Center for Alternative Education serves middle and high school students residing in Henrico, Hanover, and the City of Richmond who have been suspended or expelled from public school, or are returning from a state learning center. The curriculum covers all areas of academic study while stressing the importance of making positive choices and providing students with support and guidance within a structured environment. We help students make up the academic work they missed during their time out of school, using a duel service delivery approach of both direct instruction and online learning to meet students’ individual needs.

Staff and students work creatively to set goals and earn rewards for success.

Take a virtual tour of Dooley Center for Alternative Education.

LEARN MORE | 804-553-3291

Our Students

We work closely with local school divisions to ensure the individual needs of each student are met. Our goal is for students to develop the skills they need to successfully transition back to their zoned public school.

At St. Joseph’s Villa, each student receives:

  • Individual assessment upon admission to determine academic strengths and needs to guide instruction
  • Structured learning environment with small class sizes and low teacher-to-student ratios
  • A supportive environment with all staff trained in Trauma Informed Care
  • Use of technology in instruction
  • Opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities such as team sports and prom
  • Access to Career and Transition Services to prepare for life after high school

Career and Transition Services

Career and Transition Services (CATS) at St. Joseph’s Villa prepares students to successfully navigate their education, the workforce, or post-secondary training or school. Through a combination of classroom training and actual worksite training, our goal is to help students envision a future that is productive, achievable, and stimulating.

Students work on-site at one of the Villa’s specialized work centers to put into practice skills and behaviors learned in the classroom. We also partner
with local businesses and nonprofits to provide students hands-on experiences at actual work environments. Find out more about our work centers.

For more information, contact our Director of Career and Transition Services at 804-533-3224 or email.

Recent News

We're hiring Clinicians for our Crisis Stabilization Unit!

URGENTLY HIRING CLINICIANS Crisis Stabilization Unit Are you... Ready to test your skills in an intense dynamic setting? Licensed to practice in Virginia? Not so sure you have the skills?

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SDCA presenters

SJV Center for Autism staff share pivots in education model at state conference

When Governor Northam ordered the physical closing of every school in the Commonwealth due to COVID-19 on March 13th, 2020, the Villa's Sarah Dooley Center for Autism (SDCA) rebooted as

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We Rose Up

RiseUP Campaign exceeds $25 million goal to upgrade programs and campus

History has been made at the Villa! We are so grateful for the generous support of our community, and proud to announce that the Villa’s five-year RiseUP Campaign raised over

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ST. JOSEPH’S VILLA IS COMMITTED TO TAKING ACTION FOR RACIAL EQUITY. READ OUR FULL STATEMENT HERE.