Ave Maria Preparatory School

Ave Maria Preparatory School is the only 2-12 school specifically for special learning needs in Sarasota, Manatee, Desoto and Hardee Counties.

Front page NEWS!

Paul Chapman, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Education at Longwood University in Virginia has visited our school and has then sent a team of specialized department heads to work out a plan for college students studying exceptional student education to come as interns to assist teachers at our school. We anticipate the first interns in May of 2014.

Anger Dynamics course now available for Middle & High School

Donald Pratt, Ph.D. who has written “Anger Dynamics: Practical Implications for Living”  has developed this program for middle and high school students. His assistant, Bill Hassett, will be facilitating this course once a week for our oldest students. We have great hope that this program will help students who may be at risk for displaced anger at home, school, or public places.

Shepherd’s Field Update:

Five students from Shepherd’s Field are on the President’s Honor Roll at South Florida State College!!

Ave Maria Prep Partners with Goodwill

Ave Maria and Goodwill of Manasota partner in a state funded “Workforce Education Pilot Program,” in which students from Ave Maria gain employability skills while working one day a week at Goodwill and Goodwill students attend special classes through Ave Maria if they are in need of completing a high school education. One student has already graduate and four anticipate graduating in May of 2014. Ave Maria also teaches a GED program for Goodwill employees in Sarasota and North Port.

Pet Therapy

Our campus has four mini horses, one German Shepherd, 9 lovebirds, three cats and two rabbits. 
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Thrive Program

Employs research proven protocols for addressing features of Autism.
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Ave Maria Preparatory School

With new findings showing that one in every 166 children in the United States has autism, the school serves those dealing with the autism spectrum and other special learning needs including Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Pervasive Development Delay (PDD), Learning Disabilities (LD) Asperger’s Syndrome, Tourette Syndrome, anxiety and bipolar disorders.

Ave Maria serves students ages 6 to 22 from Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, Myakka City, Venice, North Port, Port Charlotte and Parrish in the Tampa Bay Area. The school accepts McKay Scholarships. Under the direction of Donald Pratt, Ph,D., Ave Maria has a very developed Anger Management Course for students.

Established in 2004 by Sister Gilchrist Cottrill, CE, the school follows the Florida Common Core Curriculum, but delivers it differently. As Sister Gilchrist explains, “We encourage students to use the Disney side of the brain -- the right, artistic, intuitive side.” The experienced teaching staff offers strong remediation programs in reading and mathematics.

“We use programs recommended by the International Dyslexia Association and the Learning Disabilities Association of America.” Sister Gilchrist has been co-presenting with the President of the International Dyslexia Association, Dr. Eric Tridas. At these conference, both Dr. Tridas and Sister Gilchrist have been keynote speakers on the topic of “Executive Function” in the classroom. This is about the planning, organizing and memory skills needed for success.

The school provides student transportation.

For more information about Ave Maria, call 941-322-1601 or send us an email.

Accredited through Florida Council of Independent Schools.

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6289 Verna Road
Myakka City, FL 34251

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Sister Gilchrist Cottrill, CE
Ph: 941.322.1601

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Partnership for Shared Services with Goodwill Industries.

Counseling Services through Community Care Family Clinic.


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