Sheppard Pratt School in Rockville

A nonpublic special education day school serving students ages 5-21 (grades K-12) with autism, development delay, emotional disability, multiple disabilities, other health impairments, specific learning disability, and speech or language impairments.

People Cared For

  • Children
  • Adolescents
  • Young Adults

Level of Care

  • Special Education

The Sheppard Pratt School in Rockville, located in Rockville, Maryland, provides a supportive and structured environment integrating specialized academic instruction, counseling, transition services, and behavioral modification specific to each student’s needs. Students can be referred to the Sheppard Pratt School in Rockville by their local school system's special education placement office when emotional and/or behavioral problems are preventing academic progress in their regular academic settings. Classes are small and students receive instruction based on the College and Career Readiness Standards, the curriculum of their local school system, and their Individual Education Program (IEP). Sheppard Pratt School in Rockville provides a safe and supportive environment in which students feel comfortable expressing themselves in safe and acceptable ways. Students may be pursuing a high school diploma or Certificate of Completion.  

School Year and School Hours

Sheppard Pratt School in Rockville operates year-round. Students are required to attend school both during the regular school year (September to June) and during the summer months (July to August). Although the school operates every month of the year, students enjoy regular vacation periods. 

School Hours

Monday – Friday, 8:45 a.m. – 3:15 p.m. (32.5 hours/week of instruction and support)

Our Multidisciplinary School Team

Our compassionate team works side-by-side with students and their families to help students learn and grow. We offer a comprehensive program consisting of education, counseling and/or social skills training, career/work experience, and family counseling. This integrated and holistic approach, woven throughout every aspect of our program, is key to student success. 

Sheppard Pratt School in Rockville offers small classes taught by certified special education teachers; due to our small class sizes, we have the flexibility to adapt our programming to meet the academic needs of each student. And, thanks to our multidisciplinary team, we can integrate related services as prescribed by the IEP and psychiatric services as needed into each student’s programming. In addition, vocational training, internship opportunities, and transition services are available for students in middle and high school. 

Supports and Services at Sheppard Pratt School in Rockville

Sheppard Pratt School in Rockville provides an array of services tailored to meet the needs of each individual student. 

We provide the following related services and supports: 

Services include teaching communication, personal accountability, problem solving, conflict resolution, and relationship building skills. If needed, individualized behavioral intervention programs are developed by a team that includes clinicians, behavior specialists, and special educators in consultation with parents and families. All students participate in our PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) system and receive high levels of positive reinforcement aimed at establishing a positive school culture. Students are also supported by educational assistants who provide behavioral and academic assistance throughout the school day and bolster students’ generalization of learned and developing skills across all settings. Support is highly individualized; many students also participate in individual or group counseling or social skills building groups on a weekly basis. We also offer regular community meetings for our students and staff to connect and engage. Group programming at the Sheppard Pratt School in Rockville is led by members of the counseling staff who are supervised by the school’s clinical coordinator. 

Other program supports and services include a structured and predictable learning environment for students. Our students participate in classroom and community-based instruction, both individually and in small groups. Instructional areas, which are determined by each student’s IEP and complement their academic goals, may include counseling, communication skills, self-care, functional academics, fine and gross motor skills, socialization skills, and recreational/leisure skills. Each student has an individualized schedule that outlines their instructional day. Students are taught in highly structured, self-contained classrooms where our certified teachers use a variety of strategies including discrete trial, direct instruction, play based instruction, motor skill development, sensory integration strategies, natural aided language stimulation, community-based instruction, and positive behavioral support. 

Academic Programming at Sheppard Pratt School in Rockville

Students at the Sheppard Pratt School in Rockville can participate in regular, modified, and/or alternate state standardized assessments. Sheppard Pratt School in Rockville also provides registration for and administration of the SAT and ACT, college and career counseling, career/vocational interest assessments, guest speakers from different career fields, and trips to college and career fairs to help prepare students for life after school.

When we accept a new student to the Sheppard Pratt School in Rockville, we prepare a transition plan to ensure continued growth and development, as well as continuity of educational services. Each transition plan entails careful scheduling of academic courses, systematic conferencing, and communication with the referring and responsible Local Education Agency (LEA) throughout the student’s time at Sheppard Pratt School in Rockville. 

If a student demonstrates readiness, there may also be discussion of a transition to a less restrictive environment. When a student is ready to return to a public education program, a trial period of a partial day at Sheppard Pratt School in Rockville and a partial day at the student’s local public school is arranged. Once the student has adjusted to the public school and demonstrated success with this arrangement, they are able to return full time with the approval of the IEP team.

Cooperative Work Experience 

In addition to traditional academic courses, we assist middle and high school students in preparing to enter the workforce and for other adult responsibilities. 

Ample opportunities for career education are offered at Sheppard Pratt School in Rockville help students learn about different careers and ways to prepare for them. Career related issues and topics are explored, and students are encouraged and guided to explore their interests, preferences, and abilities in various career and vocational fields. Beyond preparing for a career, our independent living classes teach students many of the facts and skills necessary for living successfully and independently within a community. 

The Career Lab program at Sheppard Pratt School in Rockville is a structured and supervised experiential work program; students participate in the Career Lab program one day per week. During the “workday”, students are assigned jobs on the school grounds, within the school, or at a work site off school grounds; staff members supervise the students’ work. Students receive pay for their work and may receive pay increases as they demonstrate improved work skills. As the student increases their employability and leadership skills, they may be promoted to the role of “supervisor” and given the opportunity to manage a work crew of their peers. At the end of each “workday,” all students meet as a group to evaluate their peers’ work performance, as well as their own. This is also an opportunity for the school community to discuss and resolve problems that may have arisen “on the job” that day. This sheltered work environment allows students to practice meeting the expectations of a job while learning how to cooperate with coworkers, satisfy an employer, and perform a variety of job skills. 

In addition to “workday,” high school students can be assigned to an interest-based internship in the community when they demonstrate the ability to handle the emotional and behavioral demands of a work experience. A transition coordinator assists with internship placement with an employer in the community and monitors the student’s progress and job performance on a regular basis. When assigned to an internship, the student reports to the internship once a week instead of participating in Career Lab at school. The internship gives the student the opportunity to experience a less sheltered work situation while continuing to receive support from Sheppard Pratt School in Rockville. 


We would love to tell you more about our school or have you visit. Contact us to learn more about our programs.  

To learn more about the special education referral process, click here.

Sheppard Pratt School in Rockville is a Type I School, approved by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE).