In 1960, Sister Mary Evangeline Randolph, RSM recognized the need Omaha had for a school to educate children with special needs—a place where they could learn, grow and belong. She was then teaching three students at St. James Orphanage who had cognitive disabilities that prevented them from enrolling in the public school system. They had nowhere else to go for an education.
Determined to Help
Sister Evangeline was determined to help teach these children. Thus, Madonna School was conceived. Word spread in the community of the special classes she was conducting, and several other students enrolled. The school was originally called Omaha Archdiocesan School for Exceptional Children; however, the name was later changed to Madonna School serving special needs students.
By 1970, there were 38 children attending classes, and Madonna School was experiencing growing pains. Through the generosity of many donors and volunteers, Sister Evangeline was able to purchase a church in the Benson area and remodel it to accommodate the growing number of students. The school remained at this site for over 30 years.
Madonna School has evolved from its humble beginnings in the St. James Orphanage to a beautiful 20,000-square-foot building, which opened its doors in August 2004. Today, there are 58 children attending Madonna School, ages 5 - 21.