The Bradley School

Specialized education for students who need academic, social, and emotional support

Learning That Makes a Difference

Students who suffer from mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders often struggle to learn in traditional classroom settings. They might have trouble paying attention or following directions, or their strong emotions may lead to challenges with interpersonal relationships. Students in these situations will benefit from a different kind of academic experience that helps them address the underlying challenges which keep them from succeeding in class.

Education with Standards and Structure

The Bradley School is a licensed, private academic school for elementary and secondary students. Our school serves the students who reside at The Bradley Center as well as students who commute from surrounding school districts. All Bradley School academic programs are operated according to the guidelines set by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) with regard to special education regulations. All of our teachers are certified by PDE, and our structured classrooms are supported by highly-qualified teachers’ assistants, Master’s level therapists, and a certified principal and special education supervisor.

Individualized Education Plans (IEPs)

Students at The Bradley School learn through highly individualized education plans (IEPs) to help them achieve their full potential academically, socially, and emotionally. This is achieved through the use of the Sanctuary Model®, SOAR (Safe, On-Task, Accountable, Respectful) Behavior Modeling, and the School-Wide Positive Behavior Support Program. Each student’s behavioral progression is evaluated daily, and their IEP and curriculum goals are reassessed on a weekly basis to determine whether a student is making progress or whether new adjustments to the plan need to be made.

“The Bradley School accepted a student from our district who had experienced great difficulties attending school. When we considered outside placement for the young man, I told his family that I had faith your program would be a good fit and promised that we would all work together to address the challenges that he was experiencing. That faith has been justified.

I am delighted to report that our student is now attending school regularly, making friends with his peers, and even talking about trying to join the district’s basketball team. In addition, this young man had never previously been able to ride the school bus because of anxiety issues. He is now riding the district buses unaccompanied both ways. For a student who missed more than 100 school days, this truly is an extraordinary accomplishment that represents enormous progress for this young man, and both his family and the district are truly appreciative.”

Jessica Taylor

Director of Student Services, Avonworth School District

Deciding to Attend Bradley

Every child who comes to The Bradley School has been enrolled through an IEP team or a school-based team decision, which includes the child’s teachers and parents; students are encouraged to participate in this decision-making process. Voluntary participation helps form a basis of student-teacher trust, as well as the positive self-investment by the student which establishes the intention for self-improvement.

Academic Social Learning

Therapists are available to provide individual and group therapy as designated in the student’s IEP.

School Lunches

Students at The Bradley School are served a healthy lunch each day, provided in accordance with The National School Lunch Program.

Technology + Training = Opportunity

Students’ attention, focus, and behavioral and academic skills are enhanced within The Bradley School’s well-structured and technology-enhanced classrooms. Each classroom serves a maximum of 12 students, which maximizes the personal attention between teachers and students. All of our classrooms are equipped with interactive SmartBoards, and students have access to iPads as well as two fully-equipped computer labs for additional research and skill remediation using online programs.


All students aged 14 or older also participate in intensive and individualized transition planning that helps them develop their career preparation skills. Through the use of the Daniel Memorial Curriculum/Independent Living Skills Curriculum, our specialized AZTEC career readiness curriculum, on-campus internships, community outings, and structured daily living activities, students develop the communication and organizational skills they will need in the workplace.

The Bradley School also partners with local businesses and organizations that enable individual students to safely transition to off-campus internship  experiences.

Interventions and Supports

  • Cognitive Behavior Intervention for Trauma in School (CBITS) — Through a screening process, students are invited to participate in the CBITS prescriptive group during the school day
  • Character Education — Students participate in weekly social emotional learning exercises and activities within the classroom community
  • Community Based Instruction — With partnering businesses and organizations, students are able to participate in workforce development training and independent skills development at several community-based sites
  • Group Social Skills Instruction — Students participate in daily social skills instruction with the classroom community to develop interpersonal relationship skills
  • Independent Living Skills Instruction — During the school day, independent living skills instruction development is directly addressed through formal instruction, and is also incorporated into the classroom curriculum
  • Individual and Whole Group Incentives — Reinforcement for prosocial behavior and academic progress is delivered on an individual basis, as well as in a whole group setting
  • Individual Therapy — Students have opportunities for regular individual therapy sessions with a Master’s level clinician, as determined by the IEP team
  • Peer Mediation — Facilitated by school staff, students who experience interpersonal relationship challenges can participate in sessions to resolve differences with their peers
  • Peer Mentoring — Younger students are assigned an older student as a peer mentor to model and reinforce appropriate prosocial skills
  • Pet Therapy — Classroom pets and therapy dogs certified through Animal Friends provide opportunities for students to practice care, compassion, and empathy
  • Service Learning — Students participate in various volunteer activities in the community and at The Bradley Center to generalize learned social skills
  • Supported Employment/Work Release — In coordination with the IEP team, students are able to participate in work release during the school day, with the employer and the school monitoring and assisting with IEP/Transition goals
  • Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (TCI) — TCI is used to help students when they feel frustrated, angry, or distracted, and may include implementation of passive physical restraints in times of unsafe behavior

Measuring Student Success

Every student’s home district has its own criteria for determining when a child is eligible to leave the Bradley program and return to his or her traditional classroom. These criteria often include regular attendance, demonstrated behavioral improvements, meeting academic standards, and achieving their IEP goals. It is important that students prove they are reliably capable of meeting their goals within the smaller and more predictable environment of The Bradley School before they attempt to fully return to the larger and often more distractible environment of their home district.

What Is The Bradley School’s Student Success Rate?

On average, students attend The Bradley School for one to one-and-a-half academic years before fully returning to their home district. Over the past five years, students at The Bradley School have had a 99.9% success rate in achieving a full return to their home district.

Interested in Referring a Child to The Bradley School?

To discuss referring a child to The Bradley School, please call the school at 412-788-8219, fax 411-788-8215, or e-mail us.