The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program at the USC Rossier School of Education is designed for aspiring K-12 teachers looking to gain the skills and knowledge needed to become great teachers and help all students succeed. In addition to earning a master's degree in a core content area, candidates have the opportunity to further specialize in special education with an Education Specialist Credential in Mild/Moderate Disabilities or gifted education with a Certificate in Gifted Education.

Capella offers a 100% online MS in Special Education Teaching. This program prepares you to instruct children with learning disabilities across diverse populations and apply these skills in real-life situations. Request information about Capella.

Purdue University's online MSEd in Special Education offers separate tracks for initial teacher licensure, and for licensed teachers looking to add advanced endorsements. Request information to learn more.

The online MSEd in Special Education from Saint Joseph's University online MSEd in Special Education from Saint Joseph's University offers concentrations in ASD, Hearing Impairment and the Wilson Reading System®. Request information to learn more.

50 Best Private Schools for Special Needs 2015

Badge - Masters in Special Education-2By Kelley Jacobs
September 2015

The evolution of special education over the last 50 years has resulted in positive impacts for students with special needs. More and more students are finding success in traditional classroom settings with specialized supports. Sometimes, additional supports are needed beyond what a traditional school can provide. Fortunately, there are private schools which are able to provide those supports. These schools offer supports such as day programs, boarding or residential programs, after care or in home support, parental support and community integration opportunities. For this article, we researched hundreds of private schools offering supports to students with needs related to:

  • Blind or Visually Impaired
  • Deaf or Hearing Impaired
  • Developmental Disabilities
  • Social/Emotional Disabilities
  • Learning Disabilities

Schools were selected for this list using the following criteria:

1) Schools were licensed and/or accredited by an appropriate entity relative to the types of services they provide.
2) Schools offer a low faculty to student ratio allowing for individualized instruction when possible. In all programs, the opportunity for 1:1 intensive therapy and additional supports were evident.
3) All schools selected for this list offer community outreach or support as students re-enter the mainstream.
4) Schools selected for this list offer financial assistance or can be paid for (at least in part) with funding from the students home school district. Some schools have elected not to post their tuition, but have acknowledged that there are opportunities for financial assistance.

Schools meeting the above criteria are included in this list. Data for this list was collected using school websites, accreditation entities websites (including CARF and the Council), individual state licensure websites, Guidestar, and approved private special education state lists, and the National Association of Private Special Education Centers (NAPSEC) website. We recognize that each student and family have their own unique needs. While one student may benefit more from greater interaction (a consistent 1:1 dedicated staff for example), another may benefit more from a program with greater community interaction. Instructors and teachers may also have preferences when referring students or considering work opportunities. It is always ideal to visit the program to determine if it is a good match. We have provided a list of what we determine to be the best based on the above criteria.

Jump to:

Schools for Children and Adolescents with Developmental Disabilities
Schools for Children and Adolescents with Learning Disabilities
Schools for Children and Adolescents with Social/Emotional Challenges
Schools for Children and Adolescents Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
Schools for Children and Adolescents Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired


Schools for Children and Adolescents with Developmental Disabilities


Children’s Institute-Verona, New Jersey

Children's Institute

Website

The Children’s Institute offers evidence-based strategies and supports to those with autism and related disabilities. The approach used by TCI includes Applied Behavioral Analysis, Differentiated Instruction and Universal Design. Students receive assistance integrating into the community to reach their full potential as productive members of society. The philosophy of “teaching the whole child” is first and foremost to develop independence and become successful. TCI offers a preschool/elementary school, middle school, and high school. Those needing assistance to transition from high school to adulthood can benefit from programming for ages 18-21.

Faculty to Student Radio: 1:3

Licensure, Memberships and Awards: TCI is accredited by the National Commission for the Accreditation of Special Education Services (NCASES). TCI is a member of the National Association of Private Special Education Centers (NAPSEC), ASAH, The Alliance of Private Special Education Schools of North Jersey, Autism New Jersey and the New Jersey Educational Computing Cooperative.

Crotched Mountain-Greenfield, New Hampshire

Crotched Mountain School

Website

Crotched Mountain offers residential and day school services for children pre-k through high school. Crotched is specially designed to educate children and adolescents who display challenging behaviors due to developmental disabilities, autism and emotional disorders. The campus includes both a licensed hospital and a skilled nursing facility. Crotched Mountain classrooms are equipped with environmental controls, adjustable desks and state of the art adaptive technology to provide a comfortable learning environment. The CMS science class manages a professional weather station.

Faculty to Student Ratio: 1:2

Licensure, Memberships and Awards: Crotched Mountain is approved by the State of New Hampshire. CM is approved in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, New York, New Jersey, and several other states as a special education school.

The Cyzner Institute-Charlotte, North Carolina

Cyzner

Website

The Cyzner Institute is an educational, therapeutic and biomedical center for students ages birth through 18. Students typically have needs related to developmental disabilities, learning disabilities and social-emotional concerns. The Cyzner Institute Day School offers weekday programming for children in preschool through middle school. Students benefit from small group and individualized attention. The Cyzner Institute also offers therapeutic support services for children age birth through 18 in areas of occupational therapy, speech-language, Applied Behavior Analysis, case management and consultation.

Faculty to Student Radio: As low as 1:1

Licensure, Memberships and Awards:The Cyzner Institute is accredited by The National Commission for the Accreditation of Special Education Services (NCASES).

Developmental Disabilities Institute-Smithtown, New York

DDI

Developmental Disabilities Institute serves ages 5-21 through its residential and day program. Both Applied Behavior Analysis and Positive Behavior Supports are utilized to assist to youth reach their maximum natural potential. Staff include nurses, a psychology coordinator, an applied behavior specialist and a staff trainer. Approximately 40 students live in the residential program allowing for individualized attention. Students are eligible for placement in the program if parents and the school district agree that 24 hour supports are needed.

Faculty to Student Ratio: 1:6 (plus 3 assistants)

Licensure, Memberships and Awards: Education program is governed by the New York State Education Department (NYSED) and the residential program by the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD). The Developmental Disabilities Institute is a 2015-2016 National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) School of Excellence.

Heartspring-Wichita, Kansas

Heartspring

Website

Heartspring offers a residential and day school for young men and women ages 5-21. Students served include those with developmental disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, speech and language impairments and Down syndrome. Heartspring offers several different program options which can be tailored to a student’s needs. Options include an intensive model, a program development model (12-24 months), and a LEAD Plus program for those needing less intensive supports. Heartspring also offers a three month diagnostic placement and a day program only option. Heartspring maintains an international presence through training and advocacy work. Heartspring is also known for autism outreach efforts.

Faculty to Student Radio: 1:5

Licensure, Memberships and Awards: Heartspring is accredited by the National Commission for the Accreditation of Special Education Services. Heartspring is licensed by the Kansas State Department of Education and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

HMS School for Children with Cerebral Palsy-Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

HMS

Website

The HMS School for Children with Cerebral Palsy serves children with complex disabilities which can result from cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury or neurological impairment. HMS offers both a day and residential program. HMS is unique by offering an extensive inventory of adaptive technology including both high and low tech items. HMS benefits children and families by offering an extended school year and appropriate needs to meet developmental needs. HMS also offers nursing and social work services.

Faculty to Student Ratio: 1:2

Licensure, Memberships and Awards: HMS is a designated an Approved Private School by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The residential program is certified by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, Division of Children, Youth and Families.

The Ivymount School, Inc.-Rockville, Maryland

Ivymount School

Website

The Ivymount School serves more than 200 individuals with developmental disabilities, speech and language impairments, health impairments and autism spectrum disorders. Ivymount offers Multiple Learning Needs Program for students ages 4-14 with a variety of disabilities needing a variety of supports including therapies, academic assistance and social support. Ivymount also offers an autism program, a model Asperger program, an outreach programs to the community and the Maddux School-a supportive programming program for children age three and a half to age eight. Students ages 18-21 can receive supports through the Post High School Program which helps them transition from high school to adult life.

Faculty to Student Radio: 6:1

Licensure, Memberships and Awards: The Ivymount School has been named twice as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. Ivymount is a member of the National Association of Private Special Education Centers (NAPSEC) and is licensed by the Maryland State Department of Education.

Kennedy Krieger Institute-Baltimore, Maryland

Kennedy Krieger Institute

Website

Kennedy Krieger is an internationally recognized institution which provides educational supports to children and adolescents with a broad range of developmental disabilities. Kennedy Krieger includes a kindergarten through eighth grade school, a high school, a LEAP program, a physically challenged sports and recreation program and educational evaluation services. The Kennedy Krieger Institute also provides research and training opportunities and is home to the Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities. Community members benefit from ongoing community projects, programs and services to integrate people with developmental disabilities and encourage them to reach their full potential.

Faculty to Student Radio: As low as 1:1 depending on program.

Licensure, Memberships and Awards: Kennedy Krieger Institute is a Blue Ribbon School and was a 2012 Leadership and Innovation in Special Education awardee by the National Association of Private Special Education Centers (NAPSEC). Kennedy Krieger is accredited by the Joint Commission and the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and the State Department of Education.

Land Park Academy-Sacramento, California

land park academy

Website

Land Park Academy serves students ages 3-22 with Autism Spectrum Disorders. LPA offers students several locations to attend and also provides services to school districts. LPA has an onsite occupational and speech therapist. The program is strongly behavior based, but services are designed to treat the whole child including physical needs, social-emotional needs and communication needs. Assessments are conducted on a regular basis to gauge progress and determine if additional supports are needed. Land Park Academy has implemented its own Quality Assurance Program to essentially “raise the bar” when it comes to level of service and staff training.

Faculty to Student Ratio: 1:1.5

Licensure, Memberships and Awards: Land Park Academy follows the California State Standards and the Special Education Administrators County Offices adapted standards for learners with challenges.

Leake and Watts Services, Inc. Residential Treatment Center-Yonkers, New York

Leake and Watts Services, Inc

Website

The Residential Treatment Center at Leake and Watts Services, Inc was founded in 1831 and serves individuals with developmental disabilities ages 12-21. During the day, students attend the Carol and Frank Bioni Education Center. Programming includes work with a psychologist, psychiatrist and social who work with students using Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). Students are able to take advantage of community volunteer opportunities, as well as recreational, educational and therapeutic activities.

Faculty to Student Radio: 1:3

Licensure, Memberships and Awards: Leake and Watts Services, Inc. is accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Leake and Watts Services, Inc. is a 2015-2016 National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) School of Excellence.

May Center for Child Development Schools-Randolph, Massachusetts

May Center for Child Development Schools

Website

The May Institute operates four private schools for children in Massachusetts and California for children with autism and other developmental disabilities. The May Center School in Randolph, MA offers a residential program in addition to a more traditional day program for students age 2.9-22. The May Institute was one of the first schools in the nation for children with autism. Students benefit from staff who are extensively trained in applied behavior analysis and other effective, research based methods of instruction. The May Center School in Randolph boasts a state of the art facility including an adaptive gymnasium, custom built play areas, art and music rooms and a medical suite.

Faculty to Student Ratio: 1:2

Licensure, Memberships and Awards: The May Center for Child Development received the 2007 award for Enduring Programmatic Contributions in Behavior Analysis from the Society for the Advancement for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies. The May Institute is accredited by CARF.

Pace School-Pittsburg, Pennsylvania

Pace

Website

Pace School is an approved private school for students with the most severe disabilities. Students have utilized all of the supports provided by their home school district and are in need of additional services. Pace offers a broad array of services to its students including a hospitalization program which allows for on-site therapeutic levels of care, a learning center, an extended school year for ages 5-12 and an autism center. Students at Pace come from over 40 school districts around the state.

Faculty to Student Radio: 1:3

Licensure, Memberships and Awards: Pace is licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the State Board of Private Academic Schools. The Partial Hospitalization Program is licensed by the Department of Public Welfare.

The Phoenix Center-Jutley, New Jersey

the-phoenix-center

Website

The Phoenix Center serves students ages 5-21 with autism, multiple disabilities, behavioral and intellectual disabilities. Curriculum is person-centered with emphasis on real-life, community-based instruction. The mission of the school is to prepare students for real life, outside of the classroom. The Phoenix Center employs almost 200 staff and serves 150 students. Many students receive one on one supports. The Phoenix Center offers supports to parents and families as well as transition services, behavioral support services and customized programming. School districts are able to benefit from collaborative workshops.

Faculty to Student Radio: As low as 1:1

Licensure, Memberships and Awards:The Phoenix Center is accredited by The National Commission for the Accreditation of Special Education Services (NCASES) and the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools.

Princeton Child Development Institute (PCDI)-Princeton, New Jersey

Princeton Child Development Institute

Website

The Princeton Child Development Institute (PCDI) offers an educational program for students with autism ages 5-21. PCDI is known for providing quality applied behavioral analysis services and autism intervention. PCDI is also a research center. Students learn social skills and appropriate interactions from an early age with the assistance of expertly trained professionals focused on autism. The Edutopia website called PCDI “a leading private school for autism” and the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis called PCDI an “enduring” program in Applied Behavior Analysis.

Faculty to Student Ratio: As low as 1:1

Licensure, Memberships and Awards: The Princeton Child Development Institute has been recognized by the National Teaching Family Association, the Senate of the State of New Jersey, the Norwegian Association for Behavior Analysis and Division 25 of the American Psychological Association.

T.C. Harris School-Lafayette, Indiana

TC Harris

Website

The T.C. Harris School offers a residential program, a group home program and a day school service. Programs are offered to students’ ages 6-21 with needs related developmental disabilities, behavioral needs, emotional disabilities, and autism (among others). Specialized staff include licensed occupational, speech and clinical therapists. Expectations are high and students work with a team of professionals to achieve their personal and educational goals.

Faculty to Student Radio: 1:2

Licensure, Memberships and Awards: T.C. Harris School is a 2015-2016 National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) School of Excellence and is Freeway accredited by the Indiana Department of Education.


Schools for Children and Adolescents with Learning Disabilities


AIM Academy-Conshohocken, Pennsylvania

AIM Academy

The AIM Academy serves over 280 students in grades 1-12 with language based learning differences which include dyslexia, dyscalculia and dysgraphia. AIM offers a supportive environment for students allowing them to be successful. Many graduates of AIM Academy go on to be successful in college. AIM partners with the Disney Youth Education Series to offer guided field trips in a variety of areas. AIM is the only school recognized by all the top research based programs including Wilson Reading System (Barbara Wilson), LETRS (Louisa Moats) and RAVE-O (Maryanne Wolf).

Website

Tuition: $32,352-$35,711/year

Faculty to Student Ratio: 1:6

Licensure, Memberships and Awards: AIM is the only school in Pennsylvania to be named a 21st Century Skills Exemplar School. AIM Academy is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools and accredited by the Pennsylvania Association of Independent Schools (PAIS).

Brehm Preparatory School-Carbondale, Illinois

Brehm Preparatory School

Website

Brehm Preparatory School is a small day and boarding school of approximately 90 students and over 150 staff. The school follows a holistic, individualized approach to special education. Students are trained to use assistive technology and software including Dragon Dictate, Fast ForWord, and Inspiration. The school utilizes a tiered scheduling approach and is the first boarding school in the world to use the Arrowsmith Program to strengthen underlying weaker cognitive areas.

Tuition: $71,000/year

Faculty to Student Ratio: 1:1

Licensure, Memberships and Awards: Brehm Preparatory School is a United States Department of Education Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. Brehm is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States and the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA).

Camperdown Academy-Greenville, South Carolina

Camperdown Academy

Website

Camperdown Academy is for students in grades 1-8 with language based learning disabilities, with a specialization in teaching those with dyslexia. Almost 99% of students served by Camperdown Academy graduate from high school because of the assistance they received at Camperdown. This is significantly above average for those with special needs. All students receive financial aid to help offset the cost. All Camperdown teachers receive Orton-Gillingham training which improves outcomes for students with dyslexia.

Tuition: $17,000-$20,400/year (day program)

Faculty to Student Ratio: 1:3

Licensure, Memberships and Awards: Camperdown Academy is accredited by the South Carolina Independent School Association and the Orton-Gillingham Academy as both a teaching and training institution.

Gateway School-Arlington, Texas

Gateway School

Website

Gateway School offers educational services to students with diagnosed learning disabilities including dyslexia, Asperger’s, Tourette’s, and ADD/ADHA. Gateway School serves youth in 5th through 12th grade. Students benefit from instruction using the Read Right Program, which helps develop complex cognitive processing needed to understand written text. Parent involvement is emphasized to provide a cohesive network of supports. Students are integrated into the community during community outings and activities.

Tuition: $14,200/year (day program)

Faculty to Student Ratio: 1:5

Licensure, Memberships and Awards: Gateway Schools is accredited by SACS CASI and is recognized by the Texas Education Agency. Gateway is a member of the Texas Association of Non-Public Schools, the Texas Independent School Consortium and the National Center for Learning Disabilities.

Kildonan School-Amenia, New York

Kildonan School

Website

The Kildonan School offers a day program and boarding school program for students with dyslexia and language based learning difficulties. Students in grades 2-12 can attend the day program while those in 5-12 can take advantage of the boarding program. Kildonan offers one of the only high school level chapters of Eye to Eye which helps develop self-awareness and confidence. Tutors are trained by Fellows in the Orton-Gillingham Academy. Technology is state of the art with extensive use of iPads and assistive technology to support the educational experience.

Tuition: $49,900/year (day program) and $68,900/year (boarding program)

Faculty to Student Ratio: 1:2

Licensure, Memberships and Awards: Kildonan School is accredited by the New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS) and the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioner Education (AOGPE). Kildonan is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) and The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS). Kildonan is also a member of the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) and New York Boarding Schools. Kildonan is proud to be a Candidate School for the Middle Years Programme through the International Baccalaureate World School.

Landmark School-Prides Crossing, Massachusetts

Landmark School

Website

The Landmark School is a residential school for grades 9-12 with approximately 160 students. Landmark is for students with language based learning disabilities (LBLD) which includes dyslexia, disorders of written language, expressive language disorders and executive function weakness. The school takes an individualized approach to education and boasts over 90% of graduates attend college. Landmark values small class size with most classes having between 4-8 students.

Tuition: $69,700/year

Faculty to Student Ratio: 1:3

Licensure, Memberships and Awards: Landmark School is accredited by the National Association of Independent Schools. Landmark Schools is a 2015-2016 National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) School of Excellence.

Miriam School-St. Louis, Missouri

Miriam

Website

Miriam School offers educational opportunities for students ages four through 8th grade. Students participate in a unique multi-grade classroom structure to better teach to the level of the student rather than age alone. Students work with three state licensed speech/language therapists in the classroom. The Miriam Learning Center provides additional educational opportunities through tutoring, social groups, parent groups, after school programs and evening or weekend programs for children and families in the St. Louis area.

Tuition: $26,850/year

Faculty to Student Ratio: 1:10

Licensure, Memberships and Awards: Miriam School is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS). Miriam is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) and the Independent Schools of St. Louis (ISSL). Miriam School is also approved by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).

Riverview School-Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Riverview School

Website

Riverview School is a private day/boarding school which serves children and youth ages 11-19 with language learning and cognitive disorders. Riverview uses a research validated, instruction approach to education and incorporates visual arts, drama and music into their curriculum. Currently there are almost 180 students served from 20 states and seven different countries. Riverview offers a structured and supportive environment which is success oriented.

Tuition: $76,987 (boarding school) and $45,998 (day program)

Faculty to Student Ratio: 1:8

Licensure, Memberships and Awards: Riverview is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), and licensed by the Department of Early Education and Care (DEEC). They are approved by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). Riverview also is a member in good standing of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS).

Triad Academy at Summit School- Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Summit School

Website

Triad Academy at Summit school is a day school program for students in jr. kindergarten through fifth grade. Students at Triad typically have dyslexia or other language based learning needs. Students benefit from an educational approach with is both diagnostic and prescriptive. Triad Academy offers community outreach to educate parents and community members about the latest research and teaching methods for students with disabilities. Triad also offers a summer camp program for students in 2nd-4th grade who are struggling academically.

Tuition: $28,600/year

Faculty to Student Ratio: 1:5

Licensure, Memberships and Awards: Triad Academy is one of only 13 programs in the United States to be accredited by the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators. Accreditation is also awarded by the Southern Association of Independent Schools.

Wooster School’s Prospect Program-Danbury, Connecticut

Wooster School

Website

The Prospect Program at Wooster School is a co-ed program within Wooster School for students in 5th-8th grade with language based learning disabilities, ADHD, and executive functioning weakness. Faculty are highly educated with over 80% having an advanced degree in a related area. The program helps those who are behind their grade level catch up using individualized strategies and techniques which are tailored to each student. The Prospect Program operates on the belief that there is no “one size fits all” approach to education.

Tuition: $46,500/year (day program)

Faculty to Student Ratio: 1:9

Licensure, Memberships and Awards: Wooster School is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Wooster is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools, the National Association of Episcopal Schools, the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools and the Cum Laude Society.


Schools for Children and Adolescents with Social/Emotional Challenges


Boulder Creek Academy-Bonners Ferry, Idaho

Boulder Creek Academy

Website

Boulder Creek is a coed therapeutic boarding school for teens struggling emotionally, mentally, and academically. Students are served from across the country. The program is unique because there are opportunities for boys and girls to participate in school and social activities both together and separately. Students have the opportunity to participate in therapeutic horseback riding, shelter dog training, horticulture and animal husbandry. Parents and children have the opportunity to participate in adventure education including rock climbing expeditions.

Tuition: $108,750/year (includes a one-time enrollment fee of $1,950)

Faculty to Student Ratio: 1:6

Licensure, Memberships and Awards: Boulder Creek Academy is licensed by the State of Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, Child Care. They are also an Approved Special Education Program for the Idaho Department of Education. Boulder Creek is accredited by the Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC) and is affiliated with the National Association of Schools and Programs (NATSAP).

Bridges Academy-Bend, Oregon

Bridges Academy

Bridges Academy is a private boys boarding school for students ages 13-17. Students attend school on campus with three certified teachers. Students are able to catch up academically to grade level while working through a treatment plan to help them be successful once they leave Bridges. Students are able to take advantage of an equine program, outdoor adventure and sports and recreation programs.

Website

Tuition: $6,400/month ($76,800/year)

Faculty to Student Ratio: 1:8

Licensure, Memberships and Awards: Bridges Academy is accredited by the Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC). Bridges is licensed by the Oregon State Department of Health and Human Services. Bridges is a member of the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs.

Devereaux Glenholme School-Washington, Connecticut

Devereaux Glenholme School

Website

The Devereaux Glenholme School is a therapeutic school for students ages 10-21 with social, emotional and academic needs. Students come to the school with diagnoses such as anxiety, depression, autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, PTDS, RAD and Tourette’s. Devereaux Glenholme is home to a world class center of the arts which provides experiences that may not otherwise be available to students. Students enjoy participating in the culinary, equestrian, and community service programs. The Devereaux Glenholme School provides a positive support system for students and their families.

Tuition: $125,925/year

Faculty to Student Ratio: 1:4

Licensure, Memberships and Awards: Devereaux Glenholme School is accredited by the Council on Accreditation and the New England Association of Colleges and Schools and the Connecticut Department of Children and Families.

Discovery School of Virginia-Dillwyn, Virginia

Discovery Schools

Website

The Discovery School of Virginia serves youth ages 11-17 struggling with ADD/ADHD, ODD/Depression, Mood Disorder, and PTSD. The Discovery School is a for-profit, experiential outdoor program. Students benefit from small class size and individualized attention. Upon arrival, students start in the experiential outdoor program and earn formal academic classes through behavior and their ability to confront problems.

Tuition: $60,000/year

Faculty to Student Ratio: 1:10

Licensure, Memberships and Awards: The Discovery School of Virginia is accredited by the Virginia Association of Independent Specialized Educational Facilities. They are a member of the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs. Licensure is granted by the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Education.

Grove School-Madison, Connecticut

Grove School

Website

Grove School is a private college prep therapeutic boarding school for young men and women ages 11-18 who are experiencing social or emotional challenges. While primarily a boarding school, they are able to enroll up to 21 day students. Special programs include art therapy, EMDR, family therapy sessions and recreation therapy. Students have over 20 different choices of clubs including biking, photography, and painting.

Tuition: Approximately $100,000/year

Faculty to Student Ratio: 1:4

Licensure, Memberships and Awards: Grove School is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, MATSAP, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and is a member of the World Federation for Mental Health.

Innercept-Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Innercept is a coeducational boarding school for students ages 13-24 struggling with Asperger’s, trauma, OCD, attachment disorders, as well as mood and anxiety disorders. There are several different programs to meet the individual needs of students and families including intensive, transition, aftercare, and stabilization. Innercept also has a program for young adults. Academic services allow children to complete their diploma and prepare for college. Academic testing is provided by licensed clinical school psychologists.

Website

Tuition: $9,800/month ($117,600/year)

Faculty to Student Ratio: 1:5

Licensure, Memberships and Awards: Innercept is a member of NATSAP, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent, Adolescent Acute and Medical Residential Programs, Adult Acute Psychiatric and Chemical Dependency Programs, ISPS and SEVP. Innercept is licensed by the Idaho State Department of Health and Welfare and is accredited by AdvancED/Northwest Association of Accreditation Commission (NWAC).

Little Keswick School-Keswick, Virginia

Little Keswick

Little Keswick is a private boarding school for young boys ages 9-15. Students typically receive services for learning, emotional and behavioral challenges including ADHD and self-regulation problems. Students typically attend Little Keswick for two to three years. Each teacher is certified in areas of emotional disturbance and/or learning disabilities. Activities include arts and crafts, wood shop, and an equestrian program. Cutting edge technology is utilized including an interactive metronome to assist with assessment and treatment.

Website

Tuition: $111,028/year

Faculty to Student Ratio: 1:5

Licensure, Memberships and Awards: Little Keswick is licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Education, Interdepartmental Regulation of Children’s Residential Facilities (CORE) and the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Mental Health. Little Keswick is accredited by the Virginia Association of Independent Specialized Education Facilities. Little Keswick is also a member of NAPSEC and the Small Boarding School Association. Little Keswick is proud to have received an “Excellence in Education” award from Woodbury Reports.

Monarch School-San Diego, California

Monarch School

Monarch School is the only known school in the United States providing an exclusive educational opportunity for students in grades K-12 who are impacted by homelessness. These students often experience complex trauma and through no fault of their own, fall behind in school. Monarch provides academic services, social and emotional services and life skills training to improve outcomes for these children. Over 450 students are served each year. Over 93% of graduates pursue college and career plans.

Website

Tuition: N/A

Faculty to Student Ratio: 1:14

Licensure, Memberships and Awards: Monarch School is a member of the NATSAP and holds a National Independent Private School Association Therapeutic Certification. Monarch is licensed by the State of Montana by the Board of Private Alternative Adolescent Residential or Outdoor Program. Monarch holds accreditation by the National Council for Private School Accreditation, the National Independent Private School Association Academic Accreditation. The current CEO at Monarch has been selected to participate in Harvard Business School’s Fellowship for Nonprofit Leadership.

New Leaf Academy-Bend, Oregon

New Leaf Academy

Website

New Leaf Academy is an all-girls boarding school for students ages 10-15 with social or emotional challenges. Students attend year round,, with the typical student staying for 12-18 months. New Leaf uses eye movement desensitization restructuring (EMDR), art therapy and cognitive behavior therapy. New Leaf boasts an 80% success rate when following up with New Leaf graduates.

Tuition: $93,650/year (includes one-time fee of $2,750)

Faculty to Student Ratio: Not Available

Licensure, Memberships and Awards: New Leaf has earned accreditation by the AdvancED/Northwest Accreditation Commission and the Commission on Accreditation and Rehab Facilities (CARF).

Northwest Academy-Naples, Idaho

Northwest Academy

Website

Northwest Academy is a therapeutic boarding school serving adolescents age 16-18 in danger of not completing high school. Students benefit from counseling, family reunification, experiential learning, academic support and assistance finding post-secondary opportunities. The average length of stay is approximately one year. Northwest Academy suggests that students participate in a wilderness program prior to attendance to build a foundation of success that they will need at Northwest. Students are encouraged to complete community service projects as well as internships in the community to develop awareness and compassion for those less fortunate.

Tuition: $96,750/year (includes a one-time enrollment fee of $1,950)

Faculty to Student Ratio: 1:8

Licensure, Memberships and Awards: Northwest Academy is licensed by the State of Idaho, Department of Health and Welfare, Child Care. Northwest is accredited by the Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC) and is affiliated with the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs.

The Oakley School-Oakley, Utah

Oakley School

Website

The Oakley School is a co-ed therapeutic boarding school for teens ages 14 to 18 struggling with emotional and behavioral issues. The school provides a strong academic curriculum which prepares students for academic success after high school. The Oakley School is unique by combining four independent cornerstones of focus-academics, student life, therapy, and experiential education. Students are engaged in the community through social outings and community service. Therapy is holistic and includes individual, family, and group sessions. For students with substance abuse issues, there are recovery groups.

Tuition: $92,500/year (includes a one-time $2,500 enrollment fee)

Faculty to Student Ratio: 7:1

Licensure, Memberships and Awards: Oakley School is licensed as a Therapeutic School by the Utah Department of Human Services. Oakley is accredited by AdvancEd.

Shelterwood Academy-Independence, Missouri

Shelterwood Academy

Website

Shelterwood Academy is a faith based boarding school for students ages 13-17 with low self-esteem, anger, anxiety, low motivation, and ADD/ADHD. The average length of stay is 7 months before children return to their home environment. Sherlterwood has the ability to care for 55 coed students. Shelterwood students attend courses on campus rather than virtually and are taught in a classroom setting, moving around campus for each class.

Tuition: Approximately $30,000/year

Faculty to Student Ratio: Almost 2:1

Licensure, Memberships and Awards: Shelterwood is accredited by AdvancEd and is a member of the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP).

Shepherds Hill Academy-Martin, Georgia

 

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Website

Shepherds Hill Academy is a school for junior and senior high students struggling with ODD, ADHD, ADD, RAD, DTD, PTSD, Aspergers, anger, rebellion, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and other behavioral and emotional disorders. Students benefit from on campus therapists, equine assisted psychotherapy, monthly parenting workshops, and wilderness experience in a faith based Christ centered environment. Shepherds Hill values family involvement in the growth and development process.

Tuition: Various rates and payment structures

Faculty to Student Ratio: 1:5

Licensure, Memberships and Awards: Shepherds Hill Academy is licensed by the State of Georgia and accredited by the Georgia Association of Christian Schools. The academic program is accredited through the Georgia Accrediting Commission. Shepherds Hill is a member of the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs. Shepherds Hill is also featured on BestChristianBoardingSchools.com.

Spurwink School-Lincoln, Rhode Island

Spurwink

Website

The Spurwink School is a year round private, special education school. Spurwink typically services 40 students ages 5-18 with psychiatric and neurological disorders such as mood disorders, anxiety disorders and PTSD. Teachers are fully certified and many have advanced degrees in special education related fields. Spurwink also offers a family support center and an adult services program.

Tuition: Not available

Faculty to Student Ratio: 1:6

Licensure, Memberships and Awards: Spurwink School is accredited by The National Commission for the Accreditation of Special Education Services (NCASES) and the Council on Accreditation. Spurwink is licensed by The Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and a member of The Community Provider Network of Rhode Island.

Turning Winds Academic Institute-Troy, Montana

Turning Winds Academy

Website

Turning Winds Academic Institute is a specialty teen boarding school which accepts troubled youth between the ages of 13 and 18 struggling with behavioral problems, depression, ADHD, and other issues. Turning Winds serves approximately 45 students at any given time. Most students stay for approximately 12 months. Turning Winds is a hybrid program which combines the benefits of a wilderness program, residential treatment center and boarding school. Students benefit from an integrated therapeutic curriculum and 1:1 therapy.

Tuition: $215/day (average stay is 12 months or $78,475)

Faculty to Student Ratio: 1:10

Licensure, Memberships and Awards: Turning Winds is accredited by the Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC) and the National Independent Private Schools Association.


Schools for Children and Adolescents Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing


Central Institute for the Deaf-St. Louis, Missouri

Central Institute for the Deaf

Website

The Central Institute for the Deaf offers services to children who are deaf or hard of hearing to listen, talk, and read. Students age birth through 12 benefit from a school program where highly educated teachers work to prepare children for regular academic settings. CID offers highly individualized programming tailored to the needs of the student. In addition to the school program, CID offers professional outreach services and a family center.

Faculty to Student Ratio: As low as 1:1

Licensure, Memberships and Awards: The Central Institute for the Deaf is accredited by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Illinois State Board of Education. Teachers are accredited by the Council on Education of the Deaf (CED). The Central Institute for the Deaf was awarded an Impact on Learning Award from School Planning and Management magazine. The building has received several awards due to its “quiet school” technology.

The Children’s Center for Communication-Beverly School for the Deaf

Beverly School for the Deaf

Website

Beverly School for the Deaf serves children ages preschool to 22 with any degree of hearing loss. Students can be served in the community or on campus. Multiple needs are supported including ASL, oral language, cochlear implants, FM systems, hearing aids, and lip reading. Students benefit from a curriculum using the latest research-based best practices in deaf education. Beverly School also offers an after school program.

Faculty to Student Ratio: As low as 1:1

Licensure, Memberships and Awards: The Beverly School for the Deaf is licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech-Northhampton, Massachusetts

Clark School for Hearing and Speech

Website

Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech uses a listening and spoken language approach for children through age 15. Students are prepared for mainstream educational opportunities with many going on to be successful in college. Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech offers a comprehensive program which includes a parent-infant program, pre-k through 8th grade program, educational evaluation and an audiology clinic. All Clarke teachers hold masters degrees.

Faculty to Student Ratio: As low as 1:1

Licensure, Memberships and Awards: Clarke School for Hearing and Speech is licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Clarke is a member of MAAPS and a member of OPTIONS Schools.

Moog Center for Deaf Education-St. Louis, Missouri

Moog Center

Website

The Moog Center for Deaf Education provides services to children and families who are deaf or hard of hearing. Instruction focuses on helping students use spoken language. Students served are elementary age and younger. Moog offers professional education and outreach programs to educators and professionals in the field.

Faculty to Student Ratio: As low as 1:1

Licensure, Memberships and Awards: The Moog Center for Deaf Education is one of only 7 Certified Moog Programs in the United States.

Summit Speech School-New Providence, New Jersey

Summit Speech School

Website

The Summit School offers year round educational programming to students who are deaf or hard of hearing. Students in the preschool program benefit from small group settings and individualized attention as they develop skills related to listening, speech, syntax and discourse. Once students reach school age, they can benefit from the Itinerant Mainstream Support Program which provides supports to children already mainstreamed to assist with academic subjects and their speech development. Over 3,000 students have been served by Summit in over 230 different communities.

Faculty to Student Ratio: As low as 1:1

Licensure, Memberships and Awards: Summit Speech School is one of only 51 private oral/OPTION schools in the United States and the first in New Jersey.


Schools for Children and Adolescents Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired


Lavelle School for the Blind-Bronx, New York

Lavelle

Website

Lavelle School services children and young adults who are blind/visually impaired and have additional disabilities. In the Pre-K program, children with and without disabilities learn together to develop a foundation for academic, life skill, and social success. Children with disabilities can move on to the Life Skills program which builds upon the Pre-K program to teach braille, other media, and mobility training. Students of all ages benefit from augmentive devices including Ipads and computers. Most of the staff at Lavelle are bilingual.

Faculty to Student Ratio: 1:2

Licensure, Memberships and Awards: Lavelle is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

Maryland School for the Blind-Baltimore, Maryland

Maryland School for the Blind

Website

The Maryland School for the Blind serves students birth through kindergarten in its Early Learning Program. For school aged youth, MSB offers both a general and functional program for students through high school. Students who are blind in addition to having other disabilities are taught using the Unique Learning System based on the Common Core Standards. MSB also offers programming to educate those who are deafblind. MSB offers a unique program option for those who are blind and fall on the autism spectrum. This unique program provides supports for visual impairment as well as communication and sensory issues.

Faculty to Student Ratio: As low as 1:1

Licensure, Memberships and Awards: Maryland School for the Blind is approved by the Maryland State Board of Education is a “Nonpublic Educational Program.”

Overbrook School for the Blind-Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Overbrook School for the Blind

Website

Overbrook School for the Blind serves students ages 3 through high school who are blind or have visual impairments in addition to other disabilities. Students are taught to use appropriate media including braille, large print materials and speech output. In high school, students are able to compete in sports programs at a national level with other schools for the blind. Overbrook also offers a residential program and therapeutic supports. Students with deafblindness ages 3-21 can benefit from specialized programming to meet their unique needs. Overbook is home to a 25,000 square foot aquatic center offering recreational and therapeutic benefits for students.

Faculty to Student Ratio: As low as 1:1

Licensure, Memberships and Awards: Overbrook School for the Blind is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Committee on Institution-wide Accreditation.

Perkins School for the Blind-Watertown, Massachusetts

Perkins School for the Blind

Website

Perkins School for the Blind serves over 200 children and young adults from birth through age 22. Perkins provides individualized education services for students who are blind or visually impaired including those with other disabilities. Perkins community service programs include itinerant services, independence courses for students who attend public schools, evaluations, and training for educators and other professionals. Perkins serves the world’s largest concentration of students with CHARGE syndrome, which causes complex birth defects including hearing and vision impairments.

Faculty to Student Ratio: As low as 1:1

Licensure, Memberships and Awards: Perkins School for the Blind is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and National Association of Independent Schools. It is licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and by the Department of Early Education and Care.

The Schermerhorn Program at The New York Institute for Special Education-Bronx, New York

New York Institute for Special Education

Website

The Schermerhorn Program at the New York Institute for Special Education serves youth ages 5-21 that are legally blind. Students can attend a day program or a five day residential program. The program is highly individualized to meet the needs of its students, many of which have additional disabilities. The program works with students to develop employment skills as well as independent living skills. Students are able to participate in sporting activities such as goalball, cheerleading, track, swimming and wrestling. NYISE also offers the only summer program in the state of New York for children who are blind. Camp Wanaqua offers courses, field trips and activities promoting social integration and life skills.

Faculty to Student Ratio: As low as 1:1

Licensure, Memberships and Awards: The New York Institute for Special Education is chartered by the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York for and on behalf of the State Education Department. NYISE is accredited by the National Commission for the Accreditation of Special Education Services (NCASES).

About the Author

Kelley Jacobs is a Midwest business consultant and former program evaluator. Her experience includes qualitative and quantitative research, survey development and statistical analysis. With 15 years in social service, Kelley is passionate about helping others and giving back to the community.