Your support and contributions will enable us to grow and provide more activities to our students and clients. Your generous donation will fund our mission.
St. Michaels Association for Special Education
(SMASE) is a non-profit organization in
operation since 1970 and is governed by a Board
of Directors. SMASE serves moderate to
severely disabled children and adults from
throughout the Navajo Nation. SMASE has
provided Education, Day Treatment for Adults,
Therapy, Daily Living Skills, Nursing Services and
Residential services. SMASE was incorporated
with the Arizona Corporation Commission as a
501(c) not-for-profit corporation. Today, the
organization has 17 clients and employs a staff
of 36 and is located in Window Rock, Arizona on
Mustang Road and is dealing with financial
challenges. Our priority is the client members.
SMASE is committed to remain open and face
the challenges as opportunities and provide
quality services for children and adults with
▪ SMASE has a long history in serving the Navajo communities. SMASE effectively administered a system of person-centered
community support and services promoting positive outcomes for all stakeholders with a primary focus on assisting individuals
with intellectual and developmental disabilities to exercise their rights to make choices, grow and contribute to their community
and in circumstances become self-sufficient.
▪ Over five decades, SMASE has become the facility that provides highly specialized education and services for client members
with Low Incidence, Significant Complex Disorders, and Medical Needs. The level of meeting these needs comes at a high cost. Our
budget has met a shortfall due to a variety of issues, which we are addressing to bring our budget in balance for the future. SMASE
is unable to create value or positive cash flow.
▪ SMASE has faced significant challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on increased demand for services and the
changing of operational needs . Revenues have declined in terms of donations and pre-negotiated rates & fees for reimbursed
services do not cover all operating costs incurred by SMASE. Expenses and liabilities are greater than revenues by $70K/month.
▪ SMASE has been hit hard in the past 9 months due to the closure of the education department in July 2022. The closure created
a huge challenge in covering payroll and essential operating costs. Several of our employees have reduced hours and key
professional positions have not been refilled due to the current financial constraints.
▪ Buildings, classrooms, offices, and group homes are in a dilapidating condition due to the age of the building being greater than
30-40 years old, or older. All buildings, sidewalks and roads are in need of either repair, renovation, or replacement. Black mold
was discovered in 2015. The information technology systems – hardware and software – is outdated.
▪ SMASE will be requesting from the Navajo Nation 1) immediate cash funds to sustain operations, and 2) Long Term UUFB funds
for $1.573mm as a Grant assistance to stabilize the program, keep the 17 clients, employ 36 staff, reinvest in our infrastructure
through ARPA/FRF and to have the means to maintain and increase the needed services in our community.
To promote and provide a coordinated, accessible system of quality services for children and adults with
developmental disabilities including their family. Individuals shall:
• Be afforded dignity and respect
• Have options and opportunities to make choices in all aspects of their lives
• Have access to quality education, habilitation, trained medical care and other support necessary to
advance their personal well being
• Have opportunities to participate in Navajo community life
• Have an opportunity for appropriate relationships with family and friends
The school believes that a child with disabilities is foremost an
individual in his/her own right; that he/she can grow and develop
throughout his/her life regardless of his/her disability. Each child is
assisted to the fullness of this potential so that he/she can live a richer
life and participate as completely as possible in his/her family and
community. It is also the philosophy of the school to work with the
family and not just the child.
We love hearing from our friends and family as well as the community and those who want to know more about our special school.
PO Box 100, St. Michaels, AZ 86511, US
Monday - Friday: 8am - 4pm