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, part of Sheppard Pratt Health System, is a nonpublic special education day school serving students ages six to 21 (grades one to 12) with emotional disabilities or autism spectrum disorders. The Frost School contains several programs, each providing a supportive and structured environment, integrating specialized academic instruction, counseling, transition services, and behavioral modification, specific to each student population. Students may be referred to these programs 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 College and Career Readiness Standards, the curriculum of their local school system, and their Individual Education Program (IEP). We provide a safe and supportive environment in which students feel comfortable expressing themselves in more acceptable ways than they may have done previously.

All of our programs offer small classes taught by certified special education teachers, enabling us to adapt to and accommodate the academic needs of each student. We also provide related services and psychiatric services for our students. Additionally, we offer vocational training, internship opportunities, and transition services for students in middle and high school.

While our programs work primarily with students who are diagnosed with emotional disabilities and autism spectrum disorders, our programs are also 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. Instruction may be either remedial or advanced, and students with learning disabilities are accommodated. Speech and language therapy, as well as occupational therapy, are available to students who require these services, as determined through assessments and IEP team decisions.

Academic work, counseling, and opportunities for socialization are combined into the daily and weekly schedule of our students to ensure a well-rounded experience for each person we serve. 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 landscaping, cleaning, or cooking in the communal kitchen—with the eventual goal of earning money for these tasks. To foster a sense of community, our students also participate in school spirit events, school wide festivals, and award ceremonies. We work hard to ensure our students feel safe and accepted, which leads to more consistent attendance and more positive interactions.

When accepting a new student to The Frost School, a transition plan is prepared to ensure continued growth and development, as well as continuity of educational services, by providing a smooth transition into our setting. We provide careful scheduling of academic courses, systematic conferencing and communication with the referring and responsible Local Education Agency (LEA) throughout their tenure at The Frost School. We may also discuss planning for a smooth transition to a less restrictive environment when the student demonstrates readiness for such a change in placement.

The Therapeutic Community High School Program

The Therapeutic Community High School Program serves students in grades nine through 12 with utilizing a therapeutic community/group model. Our model incorporates special education with integrated group counseling and community meetings. We work to teach students communication skills, personal accountability, problem solving, conflict resolution, and relationship building skills through our programming. 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, and our students are encouraged to begin to understand the meaning of their actions and to accept responsibility for their behavior.

We also 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. Parents and families take an active part in the learning and growth of their children, and families may need to understand and/or change their relational patterns in order to help their child stop self-destructive patterns of behavior. As such, we also provide weekly multiple family counseling groups to support and nurture the growth process for our students within their families and communities.

The Lodge High School Program

The Lodge High School Program offers a therapeutic model for students in grades nine through 12, with ongoing individual, group, and family counseling 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.

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 counseling is offered four times a week, and each family is involved in weekly individual family therapy to maximize the family's potential to support, nurture, and enhance the growth and development of their child.

The Oakmont Secondary Program

The Oakmont Secondary Program offers a unique program for students in grades six through 12, most of whom are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders, and are pursuing a high school diploma. Students in the Oakmont Secondary Program participate in regular social skills-building groups, as well as individual social skills training and other therapy as needed. Individualized behavioral intervention programs are developed by a team that includes a behavioral psychologist, clinical social worker, behavior specialists, and special educators, as well as frequent contact with parents and families.

We emphasize positive behavioral interventions in our program, and all students take part in motivational systems incorporating high levels of positive reinforcement. There is also additional support for our students in the form of educational assistants, who support our students’ generalization of learned and developing skills across all settings, in addition to providing behavioral and academic support to our students throughout the school day.

The Lower and Middle School Program

The Lower and Middle School Programs serve students in grades one through eight, who are diagnosed with emotional disabilities and/or autism spectrum disorders. Our model includes both self-contained and content-based classrooms, and utilizes a combination of behavioral and therapeutic approaches to foster success in our student population.

We prioritize providing a structured and predictable learning environment for our students. We ensure high levels of support for our students through positive behavior supports, visual activity schedules, child directed and play-based therapy, integrated sensory motor activities and techniques, family counseling, and individual and group counseling as appropriate.

The Oakmont Primary Program

The Oakmont Primary Program primarily serves students ages six through 15 diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. Students may also have other pervasive developmental disorders, developmental delays in one or more areas, severe behavioral problems, multiple learning problems, 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 psychologists, behavior specialists, behavioral support staff, licensed speech and language pathologists, occupational therapists, educational assistants, and one-to-one assistants.

Our related services include:

  • Individual, group, family counseling
  • Speech and language therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Psychological services
  • Academic remediation
  • Psychiatry
  • School nursing

Our school, categorized as Type I, is approved by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE).

Contact Us

4915 Aspen Hill Road
Rockville, MD  20853-3700

Phone: 301-933-3451 
Fax: 301-933-0350

Mark Hajjar, Education Director
mhajjar@frostschool.org

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“This school ‘gets’ our son.  They understand what he needs to succeed and go out of their way to provide it…  I could not ask for a more motivating and supportive placement for our son.”

Renee B.

“What I like about The Frost School are the small classroom sizes, the helpful teachers, good therapists, and that my classmates are nice and supportive."

A Student at The Frost School

“My son has been attending The Oakmont Program for the past 2 years and I cannot express how pleased we are. For the first time… my son feels comfortable, intellectually challenged, and loves going to school!"

Amanda K.

“It was Frost that helped our son start to take responsibility, learn how to advocate for himself, and realize how far he could go in life. We are thrilled to witness our son’s transformation … to a ‘Man with a Plan.’"

Cliff M.