Ivymount School

For six decades, Ivymount School has been a pioneer in special education, developing innovative and comprehensive programs and services. We nurture student achievement and autonomy to help our learners live their most meaningful lives. Since our founding, Ivymount School has served more than 8,000 students through our unique blend of individualized, evidence-based student support, innovative staff committed to growing the field of special education, and our caring community of families and partners.

Empowering Each Student in Their Journey

Our diverse student body of approximately 200 students includes autistic individuals and individuals with other developmental disabilities, intellectual and learning disabilities, other health impairments, specific learning disabilities, and speech and language impairments.  

Our students experience supported learning environments that include low student/teacher ratios, academic, and adaptive instruction delivered by highly-educated and experienced staff. We offer arts and physical education, speech/language therapy, occupational therapy, mental health services, and physical therapy. Ivymount School supports students in attaining high school diplomas and other certificates of completion. All students benefit from instruction that prepares them for autonomous living, including education in vocational skills, self-advocacy and self-determination, technology and travel training, as well as opportunities for jobsite experience.

We are a non-profit, non-public, co-educational, special education and related services program approved and monitored by Maryland State Department of Education. 

The school enrollment capacity is 230 students.  With the exception of Project SEARCH Programs, all school programs are eleven months. School hours are 8:45 am to 3:15 pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Wednesday is a half day with a 12:45 dismissal.  We follow Montgomery County Public Schools’ response for inclement weather.

"I am happy Ivymount has given me the skills to be a responsible, successful adult...this could not have been possible without all these amazing teachers. Go Ivymount!"

- Ivymount Graduate

Our Program and Services

Our students have unique learning preferences, strengths and needs and benefit from the integration of academic, social and adaptive skills programming throughout the day in classrooms with low student/teacher ratios. 

Throughout our six decades in the field of special education, Ivymount School has designed programs and models to meet the evolving needs of the community and to provide individualized services to our students.

Aspire School Program


Diploma, grades K-8, and certificate ages 5-14


Diploma, grades 9-12, and certificate ages 14-21

  • High School  
  • Post High School Programs

Endeavors School Program

Elementary, Middle and Secondary

Diploma, grades K-8 and certificate, ages 4-21

Project SEARCH Program

Post High School and Young Adult

Ages 18-30

Program Services

Across all programs students receive the following:

  • Therapeutic services plus academic, social and practical skills instruction
  • Evidence-based practices, including applied behavior analysis, systematic teaching, and data-based programming, utilized across language-rich environments, including the classroom, school, and community
  • Art, adapted physical education, library, and technology components
  • As appropriate, community based instruction, recreational activities, career development and other transition services support students in achieving their highest level of development
  • Academic interventions, and any additional services, accommodations, and supplementary aids outlined in a student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP)
  • Universal design for learning and assistive technology support student learning to give students access to the general education curriculum   


Students ages 18 to 21 have access to programming that allow students to match their strengths and interests with community job placements. Students acquire practical learning skills, social interaction skills, work attitudes and skills that ensure their successful transitions and productive futures. Program staff collaborate with students and their families to generalize student progress to home and community settings. 

Each student’s IEP determines a student’s level of participation in statewide assessments and the level of supports and modifications necessary to provide access to the general education curriculum of the local school system and  the Maryland College and Career Ready Standards.  

At the time of graduation, students enrolled at Ivymount receive either a high school diploma or certificate of IEP completion as determined by their IEP.

Related Services

Students receive speech/language therapy, occupational therapy, mental health services, and physical therapy by licensed therapists as determined by their IEP. In addition, all students receive integrated services through our innovative, collaborative model. Our therapists actively collaborate with teachers and administrators, which results in a seamless blend of classroom instruction and specialized support. Therapists work with students in a variety of individual and group formats.

Universal Behavioral Support

All students at Ivymount School have access to universal behavioral support in self-advocacy skills and adaptive responses to challenging situations. Interdisciplinary teams create and evaluate the effectiveness of each student’s individual program. When a student needs more than universal support, qualified staff conduct functional behavior assessments to understand the precise causes of challenging behavior and design a Behavior Intervention Plan in collaboration with the student and relevant team members. We then teach the student the skills they need to be successful at school and beyond, with an emphasis on safety. Behavior analysts and staff at Ivymount School operate under the assumption that lasting behavior changes come from compassionate and personalized teaching and collaboration with the individual. Data-based decision making with an emphasis on social validity are essential components of all Behavior Intervention Plans at Ivymount School.  

Our Staff  

Ivymount School Staff are recognized as among the best trained interdisciplinary special educators in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. They are master educators, experienced therapists and innovators who apply their skills, training and commitment to their students every day. Classroom teams collaborate with highly trained therapists and other specialists who support student learning and skill acquisition through integrated and individualized programming. Staff training focuses on collaboration as a part of evidence-based decision making, and we have specific collaboration systems built into each school program.

Interdisciplinary collaboration is a hallmark of Ivymount programs. Core to this collaboration is a prioritization of student and family input and values.

Business and Community Partnerships  

Ivymount School students aged 14 years and older have the opportunity to gain experience in a variety of job environments. Through this experience, students can discover vocational paths where they are most successful. Through partnerships with more than 35 community job sites, Ivymount School empowers students to develop practical career and vocational skills, positive work attitudes, and constructive workplace behaviors to  ensure their successful transitions into and throughout adulthood. Students also can increase their level of autonomy through use of technology and travel training. We are grateful for the support of our business community partners!

We are a proud member of The Maryland Association of Nonpublic Special Education Facilities (MANSEF),  a not-for-profit organization of 99 nonpublic special education facilities approved by the Maryland State Department of Education. Together with MANSEF we promote quality services for disabled children and youth, unite a diverse community of educators, professionals and families and work in partnership with private/nonpublic special education facilities, families, parent groups, state and local education and government officials and related service professionals. 


“The school has been a saving grace for our family. My son has a disability that requires specialized instruction, low teacher-to-student ratios and a level of expertise and care that could not be met in our local school system. We are grateful to have an appropriate option to educate him.”

- Parent of a Student at a MANSEF school


Frequently Asked Questions

Non-public Special Education programs are funded by the state department of education and local education agency and comply with federal, state and local regulations. View the Educational Continuum in Maryland

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires schools to educate students in the least restrictive environment (LRE) that meets the needs of the individual student. Students are referred to Ivymount School by their local school system when the student’s Individual Education Program team determines they do not have a public program that can meet the student’s needs.  IDEA Overview

The student’s local education agency (LEA) typically pays for student tuition, since Ivymount School is a non-public school. Ivymount School however does accept private tuition paid for by families or other agencies (e.g., international government agencies)

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