Villa Maria School at St. Vincent's Villa
2600 Pot Spring Rd.
Villa Maria School at St. Vincent's Villa
Villa Maria School at St. Vincent’s Villa serves emotionally disturbed children ranging in age from 3 to 11 years old, Pre-Kindergarten through 5th grade. The school is in session 12 months per year (214 days) with two week breaks before and after summer school. Our campus is a one-story building on the sprawling acreage of St. Vincent's Villa. We also have a portable building that contains a classroom for the youngest children, an art/music room, therapy offices and two rest rooms. The library and computer lab are semi-attached to St. Vincent’s Villa along with a state-of-the-art gymnasium. We have several outdoor playgrounds for the students.
Students who attend our school, like any of the three campuses of Villa Maria School, are referred by local school systems through the Individualized Educational Program (IEP) process with a recommendation for a “non-public placement.” Such a referral is made when the public school can no longer effectively educate the student in a conventional setting. Our school offers highly structured classrooms, a very low student-to-staff ratio, behavior modification systems built into the curricula and caring, supportive staff. Each nine-student class includes a psycho-educator and an educational assistant.
Villa Maria School at St. Vincent’s Villa embraces a psycho-educational approach to learning and growth. The goals of the program are to:
1. improve measurable achievement levels in reading, writing and mathematics
Our psycho-educational approach incorporates educational and clinical services, behavior management, and parent collaboration. Related services offered are medical, psychological testing and individual, group, and family psychotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, and an extended school day. Our school teams include certified special educators and educational treatment assistants, licensed counselors, social workers and a psychologist, a nurse, a speech and language pathologist, an occupational therapist, diagnostic/prescriptive teachers and behavioral specialists. A psychiatrist meets with treatment teams weekly. The program offers bi-monthly parent support groups to provide parents with a forum for addressing the challenges of parenting children with special needs.
Preschool children follow a developmentally appropriate, play-based, and child-centered curriculum. Differentiated instruction and intensive interventions are used to help students (who are often a few grade levels behind because of their disabilities) to catch up academically. Our curriculum is aligned with the required Maryland Voluntary State Curriculum, but enlivened with experiential instruction, field trips, and the use of interactive white boards.
The daily schedule provides time for core learning instruction in the areas of language arts (reading and writing), social studies, mathematics, and science. Our students also attend special classes in music, art, physical education, prevocational training, library and computer lab.
Children who attend our school have experienced significant emotional, psychiatric, and behavioral problems. These problems have interfered with their abilities to be successful learners. Each child is assigned a therapist and a child psychiatrist to help address these problems so that they can become more available for learning in the classroom. Students participate in weekly treatment groups in their classrooms. Monthly teams are held with the psychiatrist, therapist, teacher, and families to plan and monitor the treatment plan that is individualized for each student in the student’s IEP.
The school provides a resource room with behavioral supports and trained behavioral therapists. All staff receive intensive training in therapeutic crisis intervention with the goal of eliminating physical interventions and relying on preventive measures. Villa Maria School at St. Vincent’s offers Positive Behavioral Interventions, making it a PBIS school. Students can earn material incentives and special activities when their point sheets reflect an average of Level I and Level II scores. Student behaviors reflect significant improvement because of the effectiveness of this state-approved, research- based program.
Reading Initiative at Villa Maria School at St. Vincent’s Villa
Learning to read is hard work for many children, particularly students who have learning disabilities or who missed a lot of early classroom time due to hospitalization, family crisis, trauma, or behavioral referrals out of the classroom
Villa Maria School at St. Vincent’s Villa offers two scientifically-based reading programs: the Wilson’s Fundation program and the Language program for fifth graders. The word study program is offered within a 90-minute reading block and is based on research which has shown us which skills must be taught and the best methods to teach those skills so that our children become successful readers.
If you are interested in learning more about our school or arranging a tour, please feel free to call Principal Sally Maxton at 410.252.3725 x1501 or 1500.
Sally Maxton, M.Ed.
Tia McLaughlin, M.S.