Many students with disabilities require more intensive special education services than their schools can provide them.  These students can obtain the services they need from private schools that are designed specifically for students with disabilities.  Such schools are known as “special needs private schools.”  In Philadelphia, there are many special needs private schools, including schools that specialize in teaching students with dyslexia, students with behavioral issues, and students with processing disorders.  Some of the special needs private schools in Philadelphia are “Approved Private Schools.”

An Approved Private School is a private school which can receive funding from the School District of Philadelphia to educate Philadelphia students with disabilities.  In other words, the School District of Philadelphia can place its students at Approved Private Schools, rather than directly educating them.  (The School District of Philadelphia can also place its students at other private schools, but the District has contractual relationships with Approved Private Schools which streamline the placement process.)  All Approved Private Schools are licensed by the Pennsylvania Board of Private Academic Schools.

The Approved Private Schools in the Philadelphia area are:

  • The Delta School
  • Eastern Seals of Southeastern Pennsylvania
  • The Green Tree School
  • HMS School for Children with Cerebral Palsy
  • The Martin Luther School
  • Overbrook School for the Blind
  • Pennsylvania School for the Deaf
  • The Vanguard School
  • Wordsworth Academy

You can find more information about each of these schools here.

Berney & Sang has worked with countless families to obtain placement at an Approved Private School.  Placement at an Approved Private School can be achieved through a special education due process hearing.