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JB History

The History of Julie Billiart Schools

Our Past

Julie Billiart Schools was founded more than 65 years ago by the Sisters of Notre Dame. Originally located on the campus at the Notre Dame Academy on Ansel Road in Cleveland, JB was the first school in the area that provided a Catholic education for students with learning differences. Opening its doors to 14 junior high students on September 8, 1954, JB quickly outgrew the original school and relocated in 1958 to the Arter Mansion on Clubside Road in Lyndhurst. Increasing enrollment led to building expansions in 1970 (gymnasium), 1979 (four classrooms) and in 2006 when the mansion underwent a 16,000 square foot addition (5 classrooms/resource rooms and an art room). Today the Lyndhurst campus includes 9 classrooms for 128 students, an art therapy room, library, music room, chapel, network administrative offices, gymnasium, multi-purpose room and a small residence for the Sisters of Notre Dame.

The Future of Julie Billiart Schools

In July of 2017, President Lannie Davis-Frecker, along with the Board of Directors and the Sisters of Notre Dame announced the formation of the Julie Billiart Schools Network. Publically known as Julie Billiart Schools, the network serves as the supporting body of all our learning facilities.
We are proud to have opened our first expansion school in Akron, Ohio for the 2017-2018 academic year.  As a ministry of St. Sebastian Parish, Julie Billiart Schools Akron operates independently of the parish and their day school but has received much-appreciated guidance and direction from the church and its parishioners. St. Sebastian Parish provides support for monthly Mass and the sacraments while the two schools often share resources and have organized group learning activities. We are most grateful for this partnership and continuously look for new ways to collaborate with the parish and day school.
Additional schools for children with autism, ADD/ADHD, dyslexia, and social learning challenges are slated to open throughout Northeast Ohio by August 2025.

St. Julie Billiart

We are honored to have Saint Julie Billiart as our schools' patroness. Born in France in 1751, the daughter of a shop owner, Julie loved teaching the Catholic faith to the village children. When Julie was a young woman, thieves robbed their family store. This traumatic experience led to paralysis that lasted twenty-two years. Julie continued to teach the faith. This was forbidden and dangerous when the French Revolution began.
In 1803 Julie founded the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. The Sisters cared for orphans, taught and educated teachers. About one year later, Julie was miraculously cured of her paralysis. She continued to spread the faith and opened schools for girls of all economic levels. God's special gift to her was a deep experience of God's goodness, expressed as "How good is the good God." In 1969 Julie was canonized by Pope Paul VI.
The Sisters of Notre Dame of Coesfeld (1850) were formed in the spirituality of Julie Billiart. Saint Julie Billiart is known as the spiritual mother of the Sisters of Notre Dame. This Congregation began Julie Billiart School in 1954, and is recognized today as a network of schools.
Time Line
1954 JB Is Founded
The Sisters of Notre Dame opened the doors to Julie Billiart School at Notre Dame Academy on Ansel Road with just 16 students.

1958 Stately & Serene
The school was relocated to the Arter Mansion in Lyndhurst.

1970 Moving and Shaking
A much-needed gymnasium was added to the mansion. Due to an increase in enrollment, the primary grades were relocated to Notre Dame College.

1979 First Edition
Three classrooms, two restrooms, a clinic, and reception offices were added to the Arter Mansion, allowing all grades to be accommodated under one roof. The primary grades were moved back from Notre Dame College.

2006 Second Edition
A 16,000-sq-ft expansion to the Arter Mansion included additional classrooms, resource rooms, and areas for art and music.

2009 Growing Leadership
As sponsors of the school, the Sisters of Notre Dame enlisted a Board of Directors to propel Julie Billiart School into the future.

2015 Time To Celebrate
Friends, families, alumni, students and staff proudly celebrated the school's 60th anniversary.
2016 Going Beyond Lyndhurst
The necessary funding, occupancy permits and licensing were secured for Julie Billiart Schools, Akron, ensuring an opening date of August 2017.
2017 Becoming A Family of Learners
Officially recognized as a network of schools adopting the name Julie Billiart Schools
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