MHY Family Services’ Longmore Academy opened its doors in 2000. As a Private Academic School licensed by Pennsylvania Department of Education, Longmore provides education for at-risk youth in grades 1 through 12. Students who attend Longmore Academy benefit from a structured and supportive learning environment that is responsive to behavioral and emotional factors that impede students’ academic success.
Why Choose Longmore?
The student to teacher ratio never exceeds 12:1, and every teacher is Pennsylvania state-certified. Teaching Pennsylvania’s Common Core Curriculum allows credits earned by students to transfer back to their home school district for promotion and/or graduation.
We make all necessary accommodations for students and individualize instruction. Almost half of our teachers hold PA special education certification. Daily communication among all Longmore faculty members ensures close examination of student progress both academically and behaviorally. We offer counseling and post-secondary transition planning through our School Counselor.
Students in the elementary classes are offered a small class size where they are given the opportunity to work on social-emotional skills as well as the core subjects. Students learn by direct instruction as well as labs and activities. In the elementary class students are given frequent breaks and are offered a variety of coping skills. The elementary class is run as token economy where students can earn points for completing work. The points can be turned in for items. In the elementary class there are also student incentives such as the STAR program.
Longmore offers special education services for students with the following needs: specific learning disability, emotional disturbance, intellectual disabilities, other health impairments, and multiple disabilities. Services include learning support, emotional support, life skills support, speech & language, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and assistive devices. We also offer extended school year (ESY).
All students are screened with Math (MLI and GMADE) and Reading (RLI and GRADE) grade level indicators to provide teachers with students’ current academic strengths and needs. We also use IXL and Khan Academy online tools for students who may need advanced or AP classes.
The School Counselor promotes the academic achievement, career readiness, and social/emotional wellness for all students. The School Counselor in conjunction with the Behavior Specialist work to ensure that teachers are implementing social and emotional learning.
New to the 2020-21 school year is Longmore Academy’s Life Skills Program which provides students with intellectual disabilities an adapted learning environment with a high concentration on independent living skills training and development. Students will be exposed to academic and social/emotional skills instruction at their individual skill and grade level. Each student’s learning experience will be enhanced by exposure to speech and language services, intensive reading and math instruction, STEM programming, art, music, physical education, daily living skills and assisted technology. In recognition of students who will be served with sensory needs, including students who have an Autism spectrum disorder, Longmore will provide sensory support as well.
The curriculum incorporates traditional core subjects with electives such as art, music, current events, creative writing, STEM and career readiness. Students also have remediation through Title I Mathematics.
Art classes explore the foundations of how to create using the elements of design, color theory, and self-reflection. Students learn various techniques in drawing, painting, sculpting and crafts while practicing proper usage of supplies. Students are introduced to famous artists, historical art movements, and arts of different cultures as influences for their projects.
Longmore Academy students engage in music through recreation, improvisation, composing, and active listening in order to address social and emotional goals, as well as PA state education standards. Students are able to engage in playing instruments and making music to increase self-expression and practice coping skills.
We offer ESY for 7 weeks for all students who qualify. ESY typically runs from early June through the end of July, Monday through Friday from 8:10-11:43am. There is no school on the 4th of July. Students have 5 periods of instruction and earn credit. This provides an opportunity for credit recovery and enrichment. An individual student's risk for regression and recoupment can determine need for ESY program.
All students benefit from very small class size which enables teachers to provide personalized learning opportunities. Each teacher also builds incentives over the summer school program-i.e. classroom store, Pittsburgh historical walking tour field trips, museums, using the campus as an outdoor classroom, for reinforcement to maintain previously acquired skills.
Longmore Academy teachers and support staff utilize the Sanctuary Model is a guide for creating a safe and nonviolent environment for the students in our school and the staff who care for them. The Sanctuary Model helps maintain a therapeutic community that promotes safety and non-violence as the basis for everything we do to help students heal. The Sanctuary Model is a way of guiding everyone in the school: leaders, teachers, teacher aides, administrative assistants, children and families to share in the same values and language.
We call our shared values the Seven Commitments. We are committed to:
- Nonviolence-Being safe outside (physically), inside (emotionally), with others (socially) to do the right thing.
- Emotional Intelligence-Managing feeling so that we don’t hurt ourselves/others.
- Social Learning-Respecting and sharing the ideas of our teams.
- Shared Governance-Shared decision making.
- Open Communication-Saying what we mean and not being mean when we say it.
- Social Responsibility-Cooperating so that together we accomplish more. Everyone makes a contribution to the organizational culture.
- Growth and Change-Creating hope for our students and ourselves.
Longmore Academy embraces the Sanctuary Model that helps many people heal from trauma and the impact of chronic stress in their lives. The Sanctuary Model parallels many bullying prevention programs in that it strives to develop a community of nonviolence. There are 4 concepts that guide the way we work and the way children heal and make progress in their lives. S.E.L.F.
Safety-Physical, psychological, social, moral
Emotions-Managing feelings without becoming self/other destructive
Loss-Feeling grief, coping with loss and preparing for change
Future-Re-establishing the capacity for choice
Students and staff at Longmore Academy utilize community meetings and safety plans on a daily basis. Community meetings take place every day at the start of first period and all students and staff participate. These meetings allow for the opportunity to identify and express feelings in a safe and supportive environment. Each person asks and answers three questions: 1. How are you feeling? 2. What is your goal? and 3. Who can help you achieve that goal? Community meetings promote a sense of belonging in the classroom setting. Staff and students also develop a safety plan which lists 5 coping skills that are positive and appropriate for the school setting. Safety plans serve to maintain safety through emotion management.
Longmore Academy is an innovative educational program that offers a number of enhancements in programming to the academic program. The Sanctuary Model is infused in the fabric of the school, the faculty and the students. The life skills classes focus on opportunities to identify and develop areas of interest in career and vocation. The extended school year and summer school program gives students academic programming that reduces the likelihood of regression during the summer months.
Longmore Academy referral form is located near the bottom of the page.