Education and therapy take place in the larger context of extended family life. Students live in homes alongside the typically developing children of long-term volunteers. Students build upon their classroom learning with the support of a house team trained to address their specific individual needs. The houses are organized by house parents who oversee all aspects of life in the houses and supervise resident volunteers and interns who have direct responsibility for care of the children. The daily meals, chores, joys, responsibilities, and celebrations of any family are found in School dorms. Students find acceptance, meaning, a role, friends, and relationships in their dorms, better preparing them for school, life with their biological family, and life beyond school.
The educational curriculum at Maria Magdalena Special School is tailored to fit the unique needs of each student. Based on the our principles, our school is able to provide an exceptional education for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities facing academic, motor, medical, and social challenges. Each student is taught to connect with the world in spite of the obstacles they face. Our educational and vocational programs focus on bringing the arts and academics to life, weaving hands-on activities with skill building.
Each teacher follows the children from grade to grade, providing a stable environment with continuity. Therapies are woven into each student’s curriculum. Some are prescribed in their “Individualized Education Plan” such as physical, occupational, speech, vision, and hearing therapies. Others are innovative therapies: art, music, massage, movement, and colored light therapy. All therapies are conducted under the supervision of our medical doctor. Maria Magdalena Special School provides a holistic view of the student and offers a full range of therapies to ensure that wherever growth of potential is possible, there growth will occur.