The Day SchoolApproved Private School

Serving Students with Complex Needs

The Day School is an approved private school licensed by the Pennsylvania Bureau of Private Academic Schools and approved as a special education school by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Families and school districts alike have connected with our expert educational team to bring specialized education and related services, including autism support and multiple disabilities support, to nearly 200 students from 60+ school districts across western Pennsylvania each year.

As the only MOVE™ Model Site in Pennsylvania, we are proud to offer extraordinary educational services that go far beyond a seat in the classroom.

Our Expert Team

Our team of highly qualified professionals offers instruction based on best practices in education, including Applied Behavior Analysis, Safety Care® Behavioral Safety Training, Ukeru® training, and trauma-informed approaches. Our diverse team includes:

  • Certified Special Education Teachers
  • Board-Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs)
  • Educational Coaches and internal PaTTAN Autism Initiative Consultant
  • Adapted Physical Education, Art, Music, and Library Teachers
  • Speech Language Pathologists
  • Occupational and Physical Therapists
  • Transition Coordinator
  • Registered Nurses
  • School Psychologist and Licensed Social Worker
  • Dietitian

Explore Our Approved Private School Programs

Our Approved Private School (APS) autism support classrooms serve students with autism requiring substantial or very substantial supports, with instruction guided by the PA Autism Initiative. Utilizing Verbal Behavior (VB), a form of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), and evidence-based teaching strategies, students are better able to participate in meaningful ways in the educational curriculum. Teachers and therapists monitor progress through detailed data collection, analysis, and reporting. Our academic programming also includes a focus on the following:
  • Detailed assessment using the Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP)
  • Daily living activities, such as feeding and toileting
  • Social skills development
  • Positive behavior support
  • Community-based instruction as related to skill development.
Our multiple disabilities support classrooms serve students affected by two or more disabling conditions, including but not limited to intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, traumatic brain injury, and/or medical complexity. Through comprehensive academic instruction and related services, students with a variety of complex needs can meet their individualized goals. Programming within our Multiple Disabilities Support classrooms focuses on the following:
  • Small class sizes with opportunities for 1:1 and small group instruction
  • A highly structured classroom with clear expectations
  • Opportunities to practice skills in a variety of school and academic settings
  • Access to advanced educational technology
  • Integration of PA Academics, as well as functional life skills and adapted behavioral skills
This programming is further enhanced by our participation in MOVE International. As a certified MOVE™ Model Site, we seek to enhance the quality of life and self-sufficiency of individuals with multiple disabilities by addressing holistic areas of skill development. This program, overseen by our internal MOVE coach, focuses on using daily routines and classroom instruction to provide opportunities for students to improve motor skills such as sitting, standing, transitioning, and walking.
Through comprehensive transition services starting at age 14, students build upon skills that will help them now and for a lifetime. Opportunities expand beyond the walls of our school and out into the community – shining a spotlight on how much individuals with different abilities have to offer to the neighborhoods they call home.
  • Community-based instruction
  • Pre-vocational skills training
  • Community partnerships
With various program offerings centered around preparing students for life after graduation, our transition services were designed to meet students where they are and help them build the skills and confidence needed to become more independent at home, at school, and in the community.
Our highly skilled team provides related therapy services through a variety of delivery models focused on the specific needs of individual students. During individual and group instruction, we focus on strengthening functional and academic skills that are integrated into the students’ daily school routines.
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Speech and Language Therapy

Stand-Out School Amenities

We want the best for our amazing students and our learning environments are reflective of that. Our special needs school amenities include all the best spaces and equipment to foster an enriching environment to learn, grow, and succeed.
  • State-of-the-art sensory and gross motor rooms
  • Three-lane, full-sized, ADA-equipped swimming pool
  • Work Evaluation and Training Center (Work, ETC)
  • Food service with allergy-safe and food texture modification options
  • Student-staffed store
  • Teaching kitchens and apartment
  • Gymnasium
  • Student library
  • Interactive smart board technology
  • Accessible playground, therapeutic garden, and outdoor learning spaces

American Rescue Plan (ARP) Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund

The Pennsylvania Department of Education offered Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Funds to education agencies (LEAs) in Pa. during COVID-19. As part of that effort, the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021 provided Pennsylvania school districts and charters with $5 billion in emergency funding to support the long-term work of education recovery.

The Children's Institute's Approved Private School, The Day School, is a recipient of the ARP Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funding, which is being utilized during the 2022-23 and 2023-24 school years. 

The funds will support facility improvements to reduce the risk of virus transmission, access to instruction to increase the opportunity to learn and instructional delivery, and summer programming to specifically address the loss of instruction for students impacted by the pandemic. 

Click to view The Day School's application for further details.

"I will be amazing."

Want to learn more about what makes The Day School in Pittsburgh the best choice for your student’s education? Contact us today. Our friendly team is happy to answer all your questions and get you connected to the right resources.

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