I am honored to be representing Stewart Home & School at the 2015National Association of School Psychology Annual Convention in Orlando, Florida. This year’s convention is built around the theme of “Student Success: Mental Health Matters.” Many paper and poster presentation sessions are focused on the importance of promoting mental health services for all students in private and public schools to improve behavior, academic achievement, and socialization. While I’m getting to attend many such sessions (e.g., I attended a session this morning regarding comprehensive mental health screening for all students in a school), I’m also getting the wonderful opportunity to talk about our students and what makes our school so unique. In the first day of the convention, I spoke with school psychologists from Frankfort, Salt Lake City, Louisville, St. Louis, New Hampshire, Florida, New York, Louisiana, and many others from around the U.S (plus, one from Bangladesh!). Over and over again I heard, “There is nothing else out there like this school,” “How have I never heard of you!,” or “What an amazing option for the families I work with.” Over and over, convention attendees described students who would be a perfect fit at SH&S.
What the school psychologists at this conference are discovering is what all of us members of the SH&S family have known as foundational for over 120 years – our school strives to provide a one-of-a-kind experience promoting both an active life and life-long learning in a supportive, caring environment. As we know, few options truly exist for individuals with developmental or intellectual disabilities after transitioning out or graduating from public schools; and, school psychologists were ecstatic to see what SH&S has to offer.
Though some learned about SH&S for the first time, others knew a lot about our school. I spoke with the family member of a long-time SH&S student expressing her love for the school and a former SH&S reading teacher excited to see some familiar faces in our the SH&S yearbook. I’m looking forward to learning more throughout the conference and sharing more about Stewart Home & School!