Gretchen Everhart School
Where EVERYONE is EXCEPTIONAL!
Gretchen Everhart School is part of the Leon County School system and serves students with intellectual disabilities ages 3-22 years of age. The school started by concerned parents as the Candle of Hope School during the late 1960s and relocated in 1972 to its’ current location on Mission Road. Today the school accommodates approximately 200 students with severe to moderate mental handicaps. All students at the school in grades K-12th have cognitive deficits and special needs which are addressed in Individual Education Plans for each student. The school serves students from Leon County and the surrounding counties of Gadsden, Jefferson, Taylor, Wakulla, Liberty and Franklin whose needs can’t be successfully met in a traditional school setting.
Current initiatives at the school include literacy instruction, instruction on the Florida Sunshine State Standards through the appropriate access points, use of technology and assistive technology and the coordination of transition services to post school settings. A critical component of learning for our students is the ability to apply skills in real life through trips to community settings. It is the goal of the school to help all students achieve to their maximum potential and enjoy an improved quality of life. Activities at the school include participation in Special Olympics, chorus, cheerleading, proms, dances, swimming instruction, opportunities to learn and be exposed to sensory activities in a specially designed Sensory Room, family carnivals and a special family camping trip each fall. Students have the opportunity to participate in music, art, P.E., and computer lab activities each week in addition to the specialized instruction provided in the classrooms. The school offers a before and after school enrichment program (SMILE) that helps reinforce skills and activities learned during the school day while at the same time providing specialized supervision to students beyond the school day. The school is able to help students achieve through the hard work of the dedicated employees and the active participation of parents, volunteers, school partners and our own Everhart Excellence Foundation Board. The school has approximately 35 teachers, 70 paraprofessionals, 3 speech therapists, 2 occupational therapists, 2 physical therapists, and a teacher of the visually and hearing impaired. In addition the school has 3 nurses and 1 school health assistant on staff to meet the complicated medical and physical needs of the students.
Come and visit! It is a wonderful experience that you will never forget!