The mission and purpose of the Lavelle School for the Blind is to provide students with visual impairments the skills and training necessary for them to reach their fullest potential in life. The School offers a full range of individualized special education services, supports, and resources to allow students to grow and maximize their independence. We place an emphasis on functional academics, skills in daily living, social interaction, fine and gross motor development, recreation and leisure, use of assistive technology, sensory efficiency, self-determination, as well as prevocational and work ready skills. We educate the whole child through a combination of developmental and functional strategies. All students are prepared for lives as respected adults.
Located in Bronx, New York, the Lavelle School for the Blind is a multi-cultural educational institution committed to teaching and training students with visual impairments and additional disabilities. Founded in 1904, Lavelle School for the Blind was originally a Catholic institution, based on the Catholic tradition and the compassion and dedication of the Dominican Sisters of Blauvelt. In 1942, Lavelle became one of several state-funded schools for the blind and deaf, supported by the New York State Education Department.
As a private, state approved and supported institution, Lavelle School for the Blind educates approximately 150 enrolled students annually from all five New York City boroughs as well as surrounding school districts outside of New York City. Students may enroll as early as age 3 and can continue until age 21.
The School offers three unique educational programs based on the needs of the students. The Preschool and Early Childhood Program is for students with disabilities ages 3-6, with or without visual impairments. The Life Skills Program is for students with visual impairments and moderate to severe cognitive disabilities ages 6-21. The REACH Program is for students with visual impairments and mild to moderate cognitive disabilities ages 6-21. (For more information about these programs, please look under the Programs and Services section of the website.)
All Lavelle students have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) that is designed to meet his/her specific needs and abilities. In all of our programs, students benefit from the experience and expertise of staff who focus on helping students develop and grow to the best of their ability. All classroom teachers hold a certification in special education, teacher of the visually impaired, and/or early childhood, depending on the educational program. These certified teachers along with qualified therapists collaborate on planning and implementing effective, individualized education programs. Talented and dedicated teacher aides and teacher assistants work closely with the classroom teachers to make sure students’ needs are met and to embed student goals into the curriculum and throughout the school day.