The Frost School
Hours: 8:45 a.m. - 3:15 p.m. M – F
Maximum Number of Students: 125
Number of Classrooms: 30
The Frost School is a non-public, special education day school serving students age five to 21 with emotional and behavioral disabilities and autism spectrum disorder. The Frost School, part of the Sheppard Pratt Health System, contains several programs each providing a supportive and structured environment to integrate specialized academic instruction, counseling, transition services, and behavioral modification specific to each student population. All of our programs offer small classes, related services, psychiatric services, and academic curriculum adapted to the needs of each student. We offer vocational training, internship opportunities, and transition services for students starting in middle and high school.
Programs offered at The Frost School include:
The Therapeutic Community Programs
The Therapeutic Community Middle and High School Programs serve middle- and high school-age students utilizing a therapeutic community/group model. The model incorporates special education with integrated group counseling, community meetings, and multiple family group counseling. We work to teach students communication skills, personal accountability, problem solving, conflict resolution, and relationship building skills through daily group counseling sessions and community meetings.
Our program works primarily with students who have emotional and behavioral disabilities and autism spectrum disorder, but is appropriate for students with learning disabilities, speech and language impairments, mild intellectual disabilities, or attention deficit disorders whose problem solving, social skills, and communication skills impede their ability to access the general education curriculum. Students within the Therapeutic Community Program receive instruction based on their Individualized Education Program (IEP). Instruction may be remedial or advanced and students with learning disabilities are accommodated. Speech and language and occupational therapy are available to students needing these services, as long as the Local Educational Agency (LEA) has approved these services in advance. Before our students are ready to return to their regular education program, meetings are held with the parents or legal guardians, and the LEA representatives to determine the most appropriate school setting for the student. A transition plan and possible “after-care” service is prepared to assure continued growth and development.
Our program offers small, structured classes, related services, vocational training, and internship opportunities, as well as transition services for students. We provide a safe and supportive environment in which students feel comfortable expressing their emotions in more acceptable ways than they previously had.
Our staff works to provide a structure in which our students are protected from the forces in their lives that have become stumbling blocks or destructive to healthy growth. Our students are encouraged to begin to understand the meaning of their actions and to accept responsibility for their behavior. We strive to teach our students to identify options, evaluate choices, and to discover and build on their strengths, in part through individual and team oriented activities. For instance, students may be entrusted with a weekly job assignment—such as cleaning and caring for birds and reptiles in the animal room, or cooking in the communal kitchen—with the eventual goal of earning money for these tasks. To foster a sense of community, our students participate in school spirit competitions such as holiday door decorating contests.
Academic work, counseling, and play time are combined into the daily and weekly schedule to assure a well-rounded experience for each of our students. We work hard to ensure our students feel safe and accepted, which leads to more consistent attendance and more positive interactions.
Parents and families take an active part in the learning and growth of their children. We believe that the family is a primary force in the student's life and must be a central component in any program designed to help the student make positive, long-term changes. Families may need to understand and/or change their usual ways of interacting in order to help the student stop self-destructive patterns of behavior. Without the family's inclusion in the student's program, success is unlikely. We provide weekly multi-family counseling groups to support and nurture the growth process for our students within their families and communities.
The Lodge Program
The Lodge High School Program offers a therapeutic model for students in high school with emotional, behavioral, social, and cognitive disabilities who require a supportive and structured learning environment. Ongoing individual, group, and family counseling are provided as embedded services. Through the formation of positive relationships with onsite clinicians and peers, our students are encouraged to work through social and emotional obstacles impeding their development as students and productive community members. Students are joined with their peers in the Therapeutic Community High School program for all academic courses and social opportunities.
We employ teachers, support counselors, a clinical director, assistant principal, and administrative assistant. We also have a variety of full and part-time clinicians available to provide therapies at the school. A consulting psychologist, an educational diagnostician, a speech therapist, and an occupational therapist are also available as needed. Areas of study include math, English, fine and practical arts, foreign language, physical education, health education, social studies, science, technology education, career education, and remedial education.
A comprehensive range of treatment is carefully integrated into the educational plan for each student in our program. Individual psychotherapy is provided twice a week, group psychotherapy is offered once a week, and each family is involved in weekly family therapy to maximize the family's potential to support, nurture, and enhance the growth and development of their child.
We ensure a continuity of educational services for each student by providing for a smooth transition into The Lodge Program, careful scheduling of academic courses, systematic conferencing and communication with referring and responsible local education agencies, and planning for a smooth transition to a less restrictive environment when the student is ready.
The Lower School Program
The Lower School Program offers students in grades 1-8 a self-contained classroom model that includes a combination of behavioral and therapeutic approaches, in addition to specialized academic instruction by certified teachers. This model provides our students with a structured and predictable learning environment utilizing positive behavior supports, visual activity schedules, child directed and play based therapy, integrated sensory motor activities and techniques, family counseling, and introduction to individual and group counseling as appropriate in addition to other related services.
The Oakmont Programs
The Oakmont Programs serve children and adolescents with pervasive developmental disorders
(PDD), primarily autism spectrum disorder and Asperger's syndrome. Students may also have other PDDs, developmental delays in one or more areas, severe behavioral problems, multiple learning problems, and other related disorders.
Students may be referred to this program by their public school system's special education placement offices when behavioral problems are preventing academic progress in their regular academic settings. Classes are small and students receive instruction based on the Maryland State Curriculum (MSC) and their IEP.
The Oakmont Primary Program
The Oakmont Primary Program, led by Brittany Beal, serves students age five-15 with autism spectrum disorder and other related disorders. Students are taught in highly structured, self-contained classrooms utilizing 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. Individualized behavior and academic plans are formulated by a team of certified teachers, licensed psychologist, behavioral support staff, licensed speech and language pathologists, occupational therapists, educational assistants, and 1:1 assistants.
The Oakmont Secondary Program
The Oakmont Secondary Program, led by Lessie Kauzlarich, offers a unique program for students with autism spectrum disorder in middle and high school who are on a diploma track. Content area courses are taught by certified and experienced special education teachers with the support of trained educational assistants. Students in The Oakmont Secondary Program participate in daily social skills training, resource support, and related services. Individualized behavioral programs are developed by a team that includes a behavioral psychologist, behavior specialists, and special educators, and all students are placed on a motivational system incorporating high levels of positive reinforcement.
In this program, students are integrated with all other middle and high school students enrolled in one of our other programs for classes and social opportunities. By establishing a comprehensive and integrated approach, the program offers students with PDDs an opportunity to earn a high school diploma through instruction provided by content area certified teachers with the support of other educational staff who are experienced in teaching students with autism. In addition, a fully integrated social skills curriculum is established to support and reinforce appropriate peer interaction during classroom instruction, lunch, job development, and other related activities.
Students may be referred to The Oakmont Secondary Program by their public school system’s special education placement office when behavioral problems are preventing academic progress in their regular academic settings. Classes are small and students receive instruction based on the Maryland State Curriculum (MSC), Montgomery County Public Schools Curriculum, and their IEP.
Instruction may be remedial or advanced and is provided in all courses required for graduation. Students with learning and other disabilities are accommodated as needed in compliance with their IEP requirements. In order to enhance skill development, students in the program utilize individualized daily schedules, social skills, life skills, and leisure skills training, in addition to academic instruction.
As part of Sheppard Pratt Health System, we have access to the best training, treatment practices, and technology, which allows us to provide your child with the best education to meet his or her needs and a continuum of care that helps them transition into the community and lead successful lives. We actively collaborate with other Health System schools and professionals to share learnings and best practices.
Our related services include:
- Individual, group, family counseling
- Speech and language therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Psychological services
- Academic remediation
- School nursing
Our school, categorized as Type I, is approved by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE).