About Raphael Academy

Raphael Academy student colors with teacher

About Raphael Academy


Our mission is to meet our students and their families with reverence and compassion; and to educate them wholly, awakening their full potential as unique individuals, so that they may be actively involved in life and engaged in community.


In 2011, Raphael Academy began as a summer program for special needs students. By the fall of 2012, the school opened with five students ages twelve to twenty. The school quickly grew into a state-licensed, private school and now offers a Transition Program for students in grades 9-12.  Just one year later in 2013, The Guild was founded for young adults ages eighteen and older. The Guild was created to provide post-secondary education for adults with disabilities including vocational and life-skills training, social opportunity, and self-expression through the arts.

In December of 2016, the board of directors announced the founding of Raphael Village, which combines Raphael Academy, The Guild, and a future residential program, The Hearth. Raphael Village is an affiliate member of the Camphill Association of North America . Camphill is an international movement of intentional communities designed to meet the needs of children, youth and adults with developmental disabilities through a combination of community life, the arts, vocational training, and sustainable gardening.

Our Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Statement

March 2021

As an Affiliate member of the Camphill movement, our mission is driven by “Three Essentials”: an active recognition of the wholeness and dignity of every human being; a commitment to self-development in service of others; and the striving to create inclusive communities. 

Raphael Village has made a commitment to engage in anti-racism education and ongoing conversations for our leadership, faculty, and staff for the foreseeable future.  REI’s ‘Groundwater Approach’ and Circle Up Education’s  ‘Uncovering Racism’ are two examples of some of the recent training we have participated in. 

We will continue to look internally at our policies and practices to ensure that there is equitable access through tuition assistance or scholarships for those we serve and for those seeking employment at Raphael Village.  

We will listen deeply to all voices in order to assess where we need to make changes to support the creation of a truly diverse community where ALL feel welcome and can participate freely.

Raphael Village Board of Directors

“We enrolled our daughter, Sadie, in Raphael Academy three years ago. Sadie has Autism and was struggling in school. The small class size and individualized lesson plans have made her thrive and enjoy learning. The teachers and staff at Raphael Academy understand each student’s special needs are different and take the time to help them succeed.”

—Margo and Bates Whiteside

Nola Family: Family Favorite 2017
Nola Family: Family Favorite 2018
Nola Family: Family Favorite 2019

Raphael Academy was chosen as the ‘Best Special Needs School’ ​for three years in a row!

Student Profile

Raphael Academy is a private school for children who may have been in other private or public schools, but would benefit from a more practice-oriented, adapted Waldorf curriculum. Review our student profile to see if Raphael Academy is the right choice for your child’s educational needs.

All Grades (9th–12th)

Raphael Academy’s classrooms provide a teacher and an assistant, but cannot provide one-on-one assistance to children who need individual full-time academic or social inclusion assistance. In order to provide a positive learning environment, Raphael Academy cannot accept children who are physically aggressive (hitting, biting, kicking, slapping, spitting, cursing, self-injurious behavior, etc.) towards other students or staff or who may threaten the safety and security of others.

Individual aides (shadows) for academic or medical support may be considered on a case-by-case basis. All fees associated with an aide are the responsibility of the family. Please know we are not able to accommodate students who require shadows due to behavioral issues that would distract from classroom instruction or the safety of our faculty and students. All aides must be interviewed and approved by Raphael Academy and provide a recent background check or submit to a background check as part of our licensing requirements.

Raphael Academy accepts children who have independent toileting skills and do not require assistance going to the bathroom. Raphael Academy does not have a school nurse on staff.

Raphael Academy students sit together on an outdoor bench, waving

Learn More about Raphael Academy

Raphael Academy student reads at his desk


Raphael Academy uses a Waldorf-inspired curriculum for students who need a more practice oriented approach to academics.


Raphael Academy is currently accepting applications for the 2023–2024 school year.


Read our FAQ for more information on common questions about Raphael Academy.

Learn More About Raphael Village from Our WDSU Feature


Please contact Marianne at 504-524-5955 or [email protected] to learn more about our current openings.

Raphael Academy is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, age, color, creed, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, ethnic origin, or disability.