St. Rita School for the Deaf

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St. Rita School for the Deaf
1720 Glendale Milford Road
Cincinnati, Ohio, (Hamilton County) 45215
United States
Coordinates 39°15′10″N 84°26′54″W / 39.25278°N 84.44833°W / 39.25278; -84.44833Coordinates: 39°15′10″N 84°26′54″W / 39.25278°N 84.44833°W / 39.25278; -84.44833
Type Private, Coeducational
Motto Teaching communication for life
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic
Established 1915
Executive Director Sr. Marianne Van Vurst, S.C.
Chaplain Rev. Wysong
Faculty 99
Grades PK12
Enrollment 180 (2008-2009)
Campus size 237 acres (0.96 km2)
Color(s) Green and Gold
Athletics Basketball, Volleyball
Nickname Lions[1]
Athletic director Tim Kelly

St. Rita School for the Deaf is an independent Roman Catholic[2] school located in the village of Evendale, near Cincinnati, Ohio.


Challenged by Archbishop Henry Moeller, Father Henry J. Waldhaus, with the help of the Knights of De l'Epee and the Saints Mary and Joseph Society, was able to raise the funds necessary to purchase the land for St. Rita School. The school opened in 1915 and became the first accredited high school for the deaf in Ohio. In 2016, Sr. Marianne Van Vurst SC was named as interim Executive Director of the school.

Approach and languages used[edit]

Currently, their philosophy is "comprehensive communication" — essentially Total Communication with a different name. The school's deaf and hearing teachers use ASL as a method of instruction, but the majority use is Simultaneous Communication.

Academics and programs[edit]

While based in the Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati, St. Rita School works to meet the needs of hard of hearing and deaf children along with any student with communication challenges in the community.

St. Rita's is one of the first schools in the country to develop a program for dyspraxic children, sometimes referred to as "global" apraxia. The program teaches to the students communication disabilities (oral-buccofacial apraxia) and encompasses each student's global dyspraxic apraxia disabilities that affect the student's fine and gross motor skills with their motor planning; sequencing and motor- processing abilities (which include but is not limited to ideomotor, ideation, limb-kinetic and ocular motor apraxias).

The school's LOFT program (Language Opportunities for Tots) is designed to meet the development needs of hearing and deaf children, from birth to 3 years of age. The school also features a Montessori preschool, elementary, high school, and vocational programs.


St. Rita's competes with area schools in basketball and volleyball. In 1962, the high school division petitioned the Greater Catholic League to compete in football at the reserve level.[3] Later, the high school became a member of the Girls Greater Cincinnati League.[4]


Like many Greater Cincinnati Catholic parishes, major funding comes from annual festivals. The St. Rita Fest began in 1916 and is one of the area's largest. While the school holds multiple events, including the annual Halloween St. Rita Haunted House and scholarship benefit dinner, the yearly festival is the school's biggest fundraisers.[5]


  1. ^ Vissing, Jessica (January 2008). St. Rita School for the Deaf Lion Tracks (PDF). St. Rita School for the Deaf. 1 (1) Retrieved 2010-09-13.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ Amos, Denise Smith (2011-03-11). "Q&A with James Rigg, superintendent of schools". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Gannett Company. Retrieved 2011-03-18. 'With the exception of St. Rita School for the Deaf, which is controlled by an independent board, there are three kinds of Catholic high schools in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati...' 
  3. ^ "History". Greater Catholic League. 2006-06-14. Retrieved 2010-09-13. 
  4. ^ "History". Girls Greater Cincinnati League. 2008-02-06. Retrieved 2010-09-13. 
  5. ^ Steigerwald, Shauna (2007-07-11). "St. Rita Fest, an enduring summer rite, arrives Fri.". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Gannett Company. p. B3. 

External links[edit]