Ivymount Aspire School Program

Compassionately combining science with the art of practice

The Ivymount Aspire School Program offers two learning paths: a Diploma (grades K-12) and a Certificate of Completion (ages 4-21) across our Elementary/Middle, High School and Post High School Programs. All students access the general education of their state and local school system. Teachers differentiate content to allow for a variety of instructional methods.

We individualize curricula, schedules, instruction methods, and treatment procedures to capitalize on each student’s strengths. IEP goals are taught systematically in structured and natural settings to promote the maintenance and generalization of skills. Staff continually monitor student progress and address difficulties based on data analysis. The interdisciplinary educational team includes speech-language therapists, occupational therapists, mental health providers and physical therapists, who provide services as indicated on each student’s IEP as well as collaborate to ensure integration of skills into the classroom.

Aspire Elementary/Middle School

Our Elementary & Middle School serves students in Kindergarten through Grade 8 pursuing either a diploma or a certificate. Students are assigned to our Academic & Social Learning or Academic & Applied Learning models based on their individual academic and adaptive strengths and needs. To help every student achieve their highest level of development, we partner with students, their families, Ivymount School team members, and local education agencies to create individualized programming.


The Endeavors School Program also serves elementary/middle school students in a separate program. 

Aspire Secondary School

Our Secondary School provides diploma and certificate offerings for students in grades 9 through 12 and certificate offerings for students ages 14 through 21.  

Aspire High School

Our High School students, ages 14 to 21, are assigned to one of our program models based on their individual academic and adaptive needs.    

Students may participate in the Post High School during their final year of High School when their curriculum of instruction can be best met in this community-based model. 

Aspire Post High School

Aspire Program students who remain in school after 18 to receive a certificate of completion graduate into our Post High School. Students participate in a program emphasizing increased autonomy in critical life areas such as employment, community access, activities of daily living, recreation/leisure planning, and activities to enhance social connectedness. To help every student achieve their highest level of development, we partner with students, their families, Ivymount School team members, and local education agencies to create an individualized program. 

Students match their strengths and interests with community job placements, which provide meaningful opportunities to acquire and use life skills in practical ways. Students also participate in community-based instruction to support their successful transition to living and participating in the community. In all settings, students acquire pragmatic and functional educational skills, basic and advanced social interaction skills, work attitudes, and skills that contribute to their successful transition to adult life. 

Aspire Secondary Students in the Post high School have the opportunity to prepare for their future in the workforce or at college. Students gain experience in a variety of work environments doing a multitude of jobs. From these various experiences, students can learn about the types of work and environments they enjoy and where they are most successful. Through partnerships with community job sites, Ivymount students acquire practical educational and vocational skills, work attitudes, and skills to help ensure successful transitions.

Additionally, through technology and travel training, students can increase their level of independence as they prepare for their futures. Students pursuing college can learn about their college options. Some students may participate in credit or non-credit college offerings while in their final year(s) of high school.

The curriculum includes instruction in literacy, finance, employment, socialization, safety, transportation, life skills, health, technology and more. By acquiring and utilizing these skills in practical ways in their natural environments, students are better equipped for active participation in their communities. The modified curriculum is designed to assist individual students to:   

  • Build skills for competitive employment  
  • Become self-advocates  
  • Manage and be responsible for their behavior  
  • Increase autonomy  
  • Develop skills to solve problems    
  • Increase social confidence   
  • Develop and maintain friendships   
  • Connect with the community   
  • Work toward desired life goals  

Each student works with a transition team that includes special education teachers, therapists, job coaches and a transition specialist to seek, secure, and maintain employability, social and community skills. Classroom instruction supports job-related and life skills activities.  
Rather than emphasizing the acquisition of a specific set of skills for one particular job, young adults in the PHS program have the opportunity to gain experience in a variety of work environments doing a wide range of jobs. From these various experiences, learn about the type of work and work environments where they are able to perform most successfully.

During their final year in PHS, employment opportunities are customized as much as possible to support students’ individual interests and strengths and, whenever possible, to plan for continued employment upon completion of school. As our young adults prepare for their transition to adult life, they leave Ivymount School with an extensive résumé showcasing their work experience. They are able to identify their preferred work environments and work tasks and take an active role in planning for and pursuing their future employment. 

The Endeavors School Program and Project SEARCH also support secondary students in separate Ivymount School Programs.