Day and 24-hour day and residential special education programs are available year-round to individuals who have challenging behaviors with co-occurring developmental and/or psychiatric disabilities. Grafton also educates individuals with cerebral palsy and sensory impairments when they occur in conjunction with the developmental disabilities or psychiatric conditions that are the primary reason for referral. Grafton emphasizes helping students manage their own behaviors so they can facilitate their own learning. This approach is designed to increase self-autonomy and build healthy interdependencies.

Download the Parent-Student Handbook

Educational Philosophy

Grafton embraces a research-based approach to instruction. Our best practices include informal and formal assessments, curriculum alignment, mapping, and data analysis.

Emphasis is on data based decision-making which is used to design and monitor intervention strategies to guide each student’s educational program. Student preferences, interests and abilities are noted and provide the staff guidance for student motivational opportunities. The integration of special educational and behavioral health enhances opportunities for students to recognize their strengths and use them to achieve success in learning across diverse subjects and environments. This integration allows the teacher and the student to engage in alternative formats for presentation, action, expression and engagement. This teaching philosophy fosters a motivation for life long learning, which in turn creates enhanced functional autonomy and quality of life.

Curriculum Design

Grafton provides a blended curriculum that balances academic and functional skills. It is designed to provide a variety of instructional opportunities to students with a wide range of disabilities.

All students have access to and instruction in the Virginia Standards of Learning in English, reading, math, history and social science, and science. In addition, we provide instruction in daily living, occupational preparation and guidance, and community living skills. This is achieved by the placement in and the monitoring of progress of each student in one or more curricula. Curriculum and materials are adapted to provide learning at an optimum rate with high retention and broad generalization.

Placements in the following curriculums are based on age, ability, assessment and transition planning:

  • The Virginia State Department of Education – Standards of Learning Curriculum Framework
  • The Virginia State Department of Education – The Aligned Standards of Learning
  • The STAR – Strategies for Teaching Based on Autism Research
  • LCCE – The Life Centered Career Education Curriculum, 2004, The Council for Exceptional Children
  • SAIL – Skills to Achieve Independent Living Curriculum
  • Phillip Roy Curriculum

Instructional adaptations and modifications, as well as assistive technology are based on the students’ Individualized Education Plan (see next page). The instructional methods and accommodations include environmental strategies and take into account the visual, auditory, fine and gross motor needs of each student. Instructional decisions and interventions are data based.

Download the 2016-2017 High School Program of Studies

  • Day Program
  • 24-hour Day Program
  • Residential Special Education


Males and females ages 6-21 with

  • Autism or mental retardation that may co-exist with other psychiatric disorders
  • Developmental disabilities ranging from mild to severe
  • Challenging behaviors
  • Psychiatric conditions

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