St. Mary’s makes sure that every child, no matter how medically fragile, attends school. If you prefer, your child can go out to classes at public schools in Norfolk or Virginia Beach. Many families choose to have their children stay at St. Mary’s, which partners with Southeastern Cooperative Educational Programs, a regional public school serving Hampton Roads, to provide specialized instruction in eight classrooms at the Home.
The school principal has an office at St. Mary’s, and licensed special education teachers and teacher’s assistants instruct the children in eight classrooms. An assistive technology specialist helps children use low- and high-tech devices to communicate and independently activate light switches and other items in the classroom. Two education specialists mentor teachers and provide modeling programs based on best practices for students with severe disabilities.
Each child benefits from a comprehensive special education curriculum aligned with Virginia Standards of Learning that includes physical, occupational and speech therapy; art, music and adaptive physical education; adaptive computers and audio-visual aids; and specially-designed field trips.
SECEP’s REACH Program
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 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.
Summer school also is offered each year so students receive continuous educational enrichment services.