The Ivy Street School in Brookline is a private school that serves students “overcoming” barriers of Autism Spectrum Disorder, behavioral health diagnoses, brain injury and other neurological conditions. It also offers transition planning. Equipped as a residential facility, Ivy Street School’s goal is to “help students develop self-management and executive functioning skills so that they can lead full lives as adults” (https://www.ivystreetschool.org). Serving the Brookline community since 1993, this facility hosts modern technology and employs empirically supported practices to help students. The Ivy Street School also aims to use the city of Boston as a classroom, showing the advancement in education of students with disabilities from merely containing or simply rejecting them from school to incorporating “innovative, hands-on experiences.
Specialty schools for students with disabilities have a long and colorful history. When specialty schools started appearing on the educational horizon, many of them were ill-equipped to adequately educate students with disabilities. Though they were not always the best environments by today's standards, they always provided a place for people specifically with disabilities to receive some sort of an education.
The Ivy Street School in Brookline, MA specifically supports students with: Traumatic Brain Injuries and other neurological conditions, Behavioral Health diagnoses, Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnoses. This school specializes in helping students with disabilities to acquire daily living skills to eventually transition into their communities to the maximum extent possible. Transition classes often include topics such as finding a job, using public transportation, and money management.
The Ivy Street School also values using local Boston to expose students to city life. Because of its small class sizes, the Ivy Street School is able to use the greater Boston area in a therapeutic sense to help their students acclimate to life outside of a classroom. This also helps with transition goals for their students.
The Ivy Street School is a monument to the progress made toward educating students with disabilities. Because The Ivy Street School is a private institution, it does not receive funding from the government and therefore is not bound by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Their goals are intrinsic, which shows how dedicated they are to their mission of educating and transitioning students with disabilities. This is leaps and bounds ahead of past facilities that claimed to help people with disabilities but instead housed them in dark basements or permanently restrained them to avoid dealing with some side effects of different diagnoses. The Ivy Street School marks progress on all fronts of education of people with disabilities.