What is Mainstreaming?

Preparing students to transition to mainstream school environments is a key part of The Joy School's mission.

Students transition from The Joy School at different ages and grade levels. The timing is based on a number of factors, including:

  • Academic progress
  • Social and emotional maturity
  • Resiliency
  • The next school being considered

How do we know a student is ready to mainstream?

The first sign of a student's readiness is consistent, proficient demonstration of The Joy School’s Keys to Success, as seen above. The Keys to Success are integrated into everything we do at The Joy School.

Secondly, we look for students to show independence in academic tasks and age appropriate social skills and behavior. Students ready to transition are prepared academically and equipped with the strategies, technology and tools to succeed in other schools. From our social and executive functioning skills taught by our speech-language pathologists to our small groups run by the Deans of Student and Family Support to the social coaching during recess and lunch to community events and our weekly Friday dance parties, everything we do is intentional to help students practice their social skills in the spirit of #howschoolshouldbe.

Finally, we monitor student growth through required diagnostic testing which is updated every three years, annual standardized testing every spring and teacher reports each semester. This allows us to ensure the student’s skills match the expectations of his or her future school.

What happens when it is time to mainstream?

When a student is ready to transition, the beauty is they are usually the ones to know first. The Transition Coordinator works with the entire family to find the most appropriate school based on the student’s and parent’s needs. The fact that our students consistently prove to be academically and socially successful in a variety of public and private schools is a testament to the preparation they receive at The Joy School. A student who is ready to spread their wings and soar into a new successful journey is what truly puts the "joy" in The Joy School. However, even after a student has transitioned out, the Transition Coordinator continues to offer parental support. We like to say, once you’re at The Joy School, you are a part of our family forever.


If you want to know more, please contact Andrea Dorr, Transition Coordinator.