Welcome to Julie Billiart Schools, a family of K-8 coeducational, catholic schools for children with learning and social differences.


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Over the past 65 years, thousands of children and families have experienced a life-changing education at Julie Billiart Schools. Our past is deeply rooted in the educational principles of the Sisters of Notre Dame and our namesake and patroness, St. Julie Billiart.

As we thoughtfully and strategically expand our services to more children and families, we can never forget the guiding light of the women who started it all.


Beginning in 1954, the Sisters of Notre Dame set the standard in Northeast Ohio for providing the highest level of education and care for children in grades K-8 with unique academic, social, and emotional needs. The Sisters often accepted children who were cast off by society and considered beyond help. They knew that every child was deserving of love and acceptance and built a school where every child could find a sense of belonging while receiving a highly customized education. 

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.


As time passed, JB grew to serve more students, hire more faculty and staff, and send more young men and women into the world prepared for self-advocacy and lifelong learning. 

In the 1970s, increasing enrollment led to building expansions including a gymnasium and new classrooms. In 2006, the Arter Mansion underwent a 16,000 square-foot addition to include resource rooms, classrooms, and an art room. Nearing full capacity, JB leadership began to explore the broader need for special education in Northeast Ohio.

In 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. Recent statistics reveal 25,000 students are on IEPs in Ohio. Recognizing this, the Network enacted strategic plans for growth to serve up to 700 students by 2025. Each new school is painstakingly planned to ensure that the students and their families will benefit from the same culture and services that have made our students so successful since the beginning.


After careful planning and collaboration with the community, Julie Billiart Schools opened its first expansion school in Akron, Ohio in 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. 

In 2020, JB celebrated its first graduate from JB Akron. As enrollment at our Akron school continued to climb, the Network purchased a building in Westlake, Ohio. Our newest school, JB Westlake, opened to grades K-4 in August of 2021 and will open to grades 5-8 in 2022. 

Every single child that has passed through Julie Billiart Schools is part of our history. While they learn from us, we also learn from them. They are the reason for our continued growth and are the impetus for the many improvements we make to our schools each year. Our history not only defines us, but propels us forward. 

Our Namesake

We are honored to have Saint Julie Billiart as our schools' patroness. Born in France in 1751, 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, which was forbidden and dangerous when the French Revolution began.

In 1804, Saint Julie founded the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. The Sisters cared for orphans and 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." After she joined her heavenly Father in 1816, her legacy continued. She became the Spiritual Mother of the Sisters of Notre Dame of Coesfeld. In 1840, members of SND Coesfeld traveled to the United States and eventually settled in Cleveland, Ohio. Those Sisters then founded Julie Billiart School.


St. Julie’s deep experience of God’s Goodness, translated at JB to “God is Good…All the Time”, is not only our mantra but our practice. It reminds us that we can always find His goodness in our kids, in one another, and in our world. 

In 1969 Julie was canonized by Pope Paul VI.

Our Sponsors and Spiritual Leaders


The Sisters of Notre Dame have served children and families in need for hundreds of years. They started Julie Billiart Schools in 1954 and continue to support JB with their spirit, direct guidance, and prayer. They sponsor Julie Billiart Schools and hold reserved powers to ensure our catholicity, governance, and mission. 

Founded in 1850 in Coesfeld, Germany, the international congregation began as an expression of God’s provident and caring love. The first Sisters dedicated their lives to the care and education of poor children. Other ministries included a boarding school, a day care center, and a teacher training institute. Today, the Sisters of Notre Dame serve the church on five continents. Our strong ties to the Sisters of Notre Dame continue to this day. We are grateful to them for establishing our school, loving our kids, and providing the educational vision and principles that continue to guide JB.


open-quote Julie Billiart Schools gave us hope after our daughter was diagnosed with a learning disability. At JB, she thrived in the small classes, received necessary therapies, and developed the self-confidence to ask for help when she needed it. close-quote

JB Parent

open-quote All of the teachers and staff at JB are patient and willing to take the extra time to make sure we, as parents, understand and are comfortable. close-quote

JB Parent

open-quote I don’t think I will ever be able to put into words how grateful I am that you saw my daughter for all that she is today and all that she is yet to become. close-quote

Tammie Sommer

open-quote My kids love everything about JB and look forward to going to school every day and seeing their friends and teachers. JB is truly a one of a kind school enriching young lives everyday. close-quote

JB Parent

open-quote They have all the resources necessary, specialized to the individual learning of each child, and the heart that goes with it. I don't think we would have stayed in Ohio if it wasn't for JB! close-quote

JB Parent

open-quote Julie Billiart Schools has helped my child become a better version of himself. The teachers and therapists at JB really know and understand how to reach children who learn differently. close-quote

JB Parent

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