St. Mary’s makes sure that every child, no matter how medically fragile, attends school. Your child’s team considers the least restrictive environment to meet your child’s educational needs. School options may include the Southeastern Cooperative Educational Programs’ REACH program, which is housed within St. Mary’s Home or a special education classroom within a public school in Norfolk or Virginia Beach.

The school principal has an office at St. Mary’s, and licensed special education teachers and teacher’s assistants instruct the children. Assistive technology supports student communication through low- and high-tech systems. Switch activation activities support  independence. Education specialists provide additional support to classroom teams to provide an educational experience based on best practices for students with severe disabilities.

Each child benefits from a comprehensive special education curriculum aligned with Virginia Standards of Learning. This  includes physical, occupational and speech therapy; art, music and adaptive physical education; and adaptive computers and audio-visual aids.

about SECEP’s REACH Program

REACH – Raising Expectations and Abilities for Children with Complex Health Needs – provides high-quality education to children and young adults with severe to profound disabilities who live at St. Mary’s and at nearby Lake Taylor Transitional Care Hospital. REACH students work on Individual Education Plans, or IEPs, that develop a communication system for each student and focus on meaningful academic and functional skills that will help students live more independently. You may see the children and young adults at St. Mary’s working in small groups on identifying the weather, days of the week or recognizing their names in print.

Extended School Year Services are considered as an IEP team to determine a student’s needs. Such services are part of a summer school program.