The Frost School

Hours: 8:45 a.m. - 3:15 p.m. M – F
Maximum Number of Students: 120
Number of Classrooms: 30

The Frost School is a 12-month special education school, located in Rockville, Maryland, that provides educational services to students ages five to 21 with autism spectrum disorder, emotional and behavioral disabilities, and other related disorders.

We offer four different programs at The Frost School, each customized to a specific student population. This allows us to integrate specialized academic instruction, counseling, transition services, and behavioral modification strategies that are unique to working with each of these groups. For admission information, please contact Carol Hobbes (  Programs offered at The Frost School include:

The Therapeutic Community Program

Our Therapeutic Community (TC) Program serves elementary, middle, and high schoolers with emotional and behavioral disabilities and autism spectrum disorder. It is also appropriate for students with learning disabilities, speech and language impairments, mild intellectual disabilities, or attention deficit disorders whose behavior, problem solving, social skills, and communication skills impede their ability to access the general education curriculum. Our students come to us with a wide range of behaviors, from acting out to extreme withdrawal and school avoidance. Forbush_Froast_8402.jpg

We accept students from Maryland, Virginia, and D.C. Child advocates or their County Placement
Offices refer children to our school when emotional, behavioral, and educational problems are preventing academic progress in their regular academic settings. Students within TC 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. Each nine-week period, students receive written progress reports containing the grades for the academic work completed during that marking period. A copy of this report is mailed to the parents or legal guardians, as well as the special education office of the student's home school district. 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 your child. A transition plan and possible 'after-care' service is prepared to assure continued growth and development.

We use a therapeutic community/group model within this program that incorporates special education and group counseling, individualized academic and therapeutic support, family counseling, and psychiatric services. Students are taught communication skills, personal accountability, problem solving, conflict resolution, and relationship building skills through the daily group counseling sessions and community meetings. The program offers small, structured classes, related services, vocational training, and internship opportunities, as well as transition services. We provide a safe and supportive environment in which students feel comfortable expressing their emotions in more acceptable ways than they previously had.

Forbush_Froast_8416.JPGOur 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. 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. They 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 Therapeutic Community School is broken out by age:

  • The Frost Lower School serves students in grades one through eight in self-contained classrooms
  • The Frost Middle School serves students in grades six to eight
  • The Frost High School serves students in grades nine to 12

The Lodge Program

The Lodge Program serves students in grades nine through 12 (ages 13 to 21) with affective disorders, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and some developmental disorders. Additionally, some students with psychotic disorders who are appropriately medicated can benefit from the programs and services offered through this program. All of our students have demonstrated emotional impairments, which have interfered with their ability to function successfully in a less restrictive educational setting, but they have the potential to benefit from a language based, therapeutic school model. We are able to enroll a maximum of 30 students in this program. Forbush_Froast_8433-1.JPG

The program employs teachers, support counselors, a clinical director, assistant principal, and administrative assistant. Additionally a variety of full and part-time clinicians are 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. The school day, which begins at 8:45 a.m. and ends at 3:15 p.m., consists of a homeroom period, four morning class periods, two afternoon class periods, and a lunch period. 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. We use each students Individualized Education Program (IEP) as the basis for each students individual educational program.

A comprehensive range of treatment is carefully integrated into the educational plan for each student. 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.

Continuity of educational services is insured 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 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. Forbush_Froast_June2014_0156.jpg

Students may be referred to the Oakmont Programs by their public school systems' 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 serves students ages six to 15 with autism spectrum disorder and other related disorders. Individualized behavior and academic plans are formulated by a team of certified teachers, a licensed psychologist, behavioral support staff, licensed speech and language pathologists, occupational therapists, educational assistants, and 1:1 assistants. Students are taught in highly-structured, self-contained classrooms utilizing a variety of strategies, including:

  • Discrete trials
  • Direct instruction
  • Play based instruction
  • Motor skill development
  • Sensory integration strategies
  • Natural aided language stimulation
  • Community based instruction
  • Positive behavioral support.

The Oakmont Secondary Program

The Oakmont Secondary Program offers a unique program for students with autism spectrum disorder, including Asperger’s Syndrome, in middle and high school, who are on a diploma track. Students may also have other PDDs, developmental delays in one or more areas, severe behavioral problems, multiple learning problems, and other related disorders, including emotional disturbances.

Forbush_Froast_8379.JPGIn this program, students are integrated with all other middle and high school students enrolled in one of our other Frost 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 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
  • 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

Claire Cohen, Director

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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.

“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.