Our History and Who We are
In 2005, St. Katharine Drexel School was scheduled to close because of financial difficulties and declining enrollment. Saint Katharine Drexel was the last Catholic school in the city of Chester, Pennsylvania. Upon hearing of this news, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Neumann University, the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia and St. Katharine Drexel Parish partnered and proposed options for providing education in a safe environment to the children of Chester. Collaboration and discussion brought forth the idea of creating Drexel Neumann Academy (DNA) an independent, Catholic school with a Franciscan spirit. In September of 2007, DNA opened their doors to the community.
DNA strives to foster the moral, spiritual, intellectual, cultural, emotional, social, and physical development of each student. The school’s President and Principal provide leadership and administration in Catholic education, communication of vision and mission, strategic planning and program development. Complementing their efforts is a team of dedicated, resourceful, and creative teachers, supported and guided by an engaged Board of Directors.
DNA offers students a safe environment to learn and a challenging curriculum, which will prepare them not only for their academic future, but also for life. DNA is giving the children of Chester the opportunity to be models of peacemaking in a violent environment and the educational foundation for a bright and successful future.
Admittance is offered to any child who resides in the city of Chester, there is no discrimination based on religion, financial resources, or race. Over 85% of the 191 students are non-Catholic and over 90% require tuition assistance. Class sizes average 20 students per grade.
- The Investment Provided to our students by DNA includes:
- An extended academic year, from September to July
- Small class size
- An enhanced technology program
- Commitment to education
- 100% of DNA graduates pursuing high school educations
- Through the Terryglass Foundation, each year selected eighth grade students are awarded full four-year scholarships to Catholic High Schools
- Many of these graduates are now honor students
- Exposure to Franciscan values--which include non-violence and peacemaking!
- Through collaborative efforts with Neumann and Widener Universities, our students are offered tutoring programs.
- A state-of-the-art Science Lab