The Stewart Home and School is an impressive residential school in Franklin County, Kentucky for intellectually disabled individuals. At Arlington, we are always searching for creative ways in which our clients can prudently use their special needs pooled trust funds. More families and providers need to learn about this amazing facility.
The school was established in 1893 by Dr. John Q.A. Stewart and five generations later it is still being run by his descendants. We met CEO Barry Banker at a conference in late 2014, who is married to the great-grand daughter of Dr. Stewart and he gave us a tutorial.
Most special education programs end at age 21, and then adult settings focus on vocational options or daily living. Stewart Home and School has no age limitations for students and assigns each person a special education plan in addition to goals for vocational placement, daily living skills, and social maturity growth. Says Sandra Bell, the Director at Stewart:
“Our students thrive on structure and love to be busy. They can’t initiate much themselves but look forward to being scheduled. Our youngest is 13 years old and our oldest student is 86.”
The old bluegrass estate has residence halls, classrooms, a gymnasium, a pavilion, a fitness center, library, ball field, riding ring, stables, fishing ponds and extensive grounds. The setting is as lovely and complete as any rural college campus. Students at Stewart enjoy the common areas as much as their own private rooms.
The faculty of the school program has experience with the learning styles of people with autism, Down syndrome, Fragile X syndrome, Williams syndrome, as well as other intellectual disabilities. It is the objective of the school program to create successful learning experiences for all students and to consistently reinforce an individual’s enthusiastic motivation for participation and further growth.
While Stewart offers practical curricula — Math, Health and Wellness, Computer Skills, Reading, Science and Social Studies — it also offers a wide variety of electives. Some examples are: Fine Art, Music, Yoga, Leadership Class and Current Events. One of the most popular courses has to do with daily living skills and money management. Many families want to emphasize rudimentary math skills in conjunction with an understanding of day-to-day finances. Each teacher is assigned to a group of students and tasked to create an individual plan. Progress with an individual’s program is communicated to the person’s family throughout the semester.
The tuition cost is $3,020.00 per month and is the same for every student; this includes room and board. In addition the school instructs that $300.00 or so may be needed for incidentals. There is no pre-established length of time for a person’s learning program. While a semester lasts four months, parents can customize a learning program for as short as a week. More information is available on the school’s website (www.stewarthome.com).
We encourage clients that have adequate funds in their special needs pooled trust to look into the school as an education option or as an alternative to a vacation.