Admissions

It’s our hope that we can become a partner in your child’s education. Our admissions process allows us to get to know your child and determine if our school is the right fit for them.

Our Admissions Process

1

Tell Us About Your Child

At our school, we welcome students ages 5-22 with a wide range of learning, emotional, physical, neurological, and developmental disabilities. At the start of the admissions process, we request that you tell us about your child so we can learn more about who they are. Once you submit this form, an admissions representative will contact you for an intake phone call which lasts approximately 15 minutes and is typically processed between 2:00-3:30pm M- F. The representative will call you in the afternoon, or the following business day, depending on the number of calls to be completed. At the end of the intake phone call, you will have the opportunity to schedule a tour of the school.

Already scheduled your tour? Please complete your preliminary student information form and upload the documents we need prior to the date of your tour.

2

Tour Our School

During the tour, you’ll see our school functioning during a normal school day. We’ll discuss your child’s current academic placement, your goals for their future, and what you’re looking for in a school. A copy of your child's IEP will be required by the date of your scheduled tour to help us better understand how they perform as a student. If your child does not have an IEP, a copy of their psychological evaluation will be required.

 

3

Document Review

After your tour, administration will complete a thorough review of your child’s psychological and academic history, as well as any other information that will help us understand where your child is educationally and behaviorally. Documents that we review include, but are not limited to:

  • Most Recent IEP
  • Psychological Reports
  • Assessment Reports
  • Behavior Treatment Plan
  • Medical Reports
  • Work Samples

Once we receive this information, we’ll schedule an observation, which is the final step in the enrollment process.

4

Observation

On observation day, your child will visit our school and be placed in a classroom for observation, which can last 1-3 hours. This depends on student age and tolerance. This time helps us gauge your child’s ability to perform in an academic environment. Please send a snack and any items necessary to help your child be successful and comfortable during observation. In order for staff to see how your child will truly function during the school day, you’re unable to accompany your child during observation. Instead, you’ll meet with an administrator to discuss your child.

5

Decision

Once you’ve completed the above steps in the admissions process, administration will make a final enrollment decision within 2 weeks. If the decision is a “yes,” we’ll forward you  a contract that is to be returned with an $1000 registration fee to secure placement. If we feel your child is not an appropriate fit, we’ll recommend alternative placement based on what we’ve learned about your child.

If your child has been accepted for enrollment, visit our Parent's Corner.

Frequently Asked Questions

We are an independent, educational institution, focusing on developing an individualized academic program where children progress through a curriculum of concepts and skills at their own pace. We believe that individuals with learning differences can be taught effectively, but only when instructional methods and curricula are tailored to each student’s unique learning needs. Consultation between parents, classroom teachers, resource teachers, private therapists, and other specialists is continuous so each child’s program can be modified to meet their specific needs.

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Mainspring Academy accepts students between the ages of 5-22. However, considering student progress, there are a few circumstances for which Mainspring Academy will meet with parents to discuss short or long-term transition plans, including:

  • If the student has mastered appropriate skills needed to move to a more challenging, least restrictive environment and 
  • If the student is reaching their later teen years and would benefit from a vocational or life-skills setting.

We welcome students ages 5-22 with a wide range of learning, emotional, physical, neurological, and developmental differences. Every student at our school receives a quality, individualized education in a safe environment. Typical diagnoses include:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Down Syndrome
  • Developmental Delays
  • Dual Diagnoses
  • Genetic and Mitochondrial Disorders
  • ADD/ADHD
  • Communication, speech, and language disorders
  • Learning Disorders
  • Anxiety Disorders/ Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

 

In a majority of classes, the student-to-teacher ratio is usually no more than 6:2. The class size depends on the developmental needs of the students. Each classroom has a lead teacher and a teacher’s assistant. Additionally, private therapists are permitted to provide push-in and pull-out interventions to address goals for intensive 1:1 instruction.

Students are placed in classrooms that will best meet their developmental, behavioral, and academic needs, based on the observation stage of their initial admissions process. Teaching and learning styles are taken into consideration, along with student age, present level of performance, and the availability of socially appropriate peers.

Specialized staff

In 2019, Mainspring Academy was rated in the top 20 percent of Florida private schools for the highest percentage of faculty with advanced degrees by Private School Review. 100 percent of teachers have degrees, primarily in special education or psychology. 100 percent of administration have advanced degrees. 75 percent of total staff have bachelor’s degrees. 50 percent of staff hold certifications as Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs). One Board-certified behavior analyst is on staff. 35 percent of staff are family members of children with intellectual or developmental differences.

Extended school year

We believe consistency is a major key to learning. That’s why our school program runs from August to June. Our summers are shorter than other schools, but we spread three additional week-long breaks throughout the school year in Fall, Winter, and Spring. During those breaks, parents have the option of keeping students in school by enrolling them in Intersession and Summer Camps, where they have extra opportunities for fun, creativity, and adventure in a structured learning environment.

Collaborative environment

Our children’s futures are a team effort. We believe that teamwork promotes consistency and maximizes student success. Mainspring Academy welcomes third-party credentialed applied behavior analysts, and occupational, physical, speech, and feeding therapists. Staff, parents, and providers work together to develop our student’s goals throughout the school year and during our annual Individualized Learning Plan review meetings. We also believe in supporting our students’ successes, even when they’re ready for a new environment, so we have partnered with several impactful special education schools in the area. While those schools refer students to our specialized program so that we can help them work on foundational skills, we also meet with families to come up with a transition plan when we feel our currently-enrolled students have developed the skills to move on to the least restrictive environment. An average of 10% of students at Mainspring Academy are transitioned into least restrictive environments for best success every year

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Parents have many opportunities to be involved. Each year, all Mainspring Academy families are required to complete 10 parent participation hours. Our administrative team and Parent Action Committee recruit community, corporate, and parent volunteers to assist them in carrying out major fundraising events and campaigns. We organize many school activities and always appreciate new volunteers.

We believe that communication is an integral part of a successful school experience. In addition to parent collaboration and ILP meetings, we encourage parents to communicate with teachers via phone or email. Parents are also always welcome to request a meeting with their child’s team members. We truly believe that parent involvement is fundamental to student success.

 

Mainspring does not accept insurance to cover tuition fees. However, most of our students benefit from the Step Up For Students Family Empowerment Scholarship for Unique Abilities (FES-UA) to cover a portion of their tuition. 

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Most of our students benefit from the Step Up For Students Family Empowerment Scholarship for Unique Abilities (FES-UA) to cover a portion of their tuition. 

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We offer a limited number of internal Tuition Hardship Scholarships to qualifying families, based on financial need. We prioritize eligible currently-enrolled families for Tuition Hardship Scholarships, who must submit a new application with proof-of-income documents each year. Applications for new families are based on the remaining availability of Tuition Hardship funds.

Most of our students benefit from the Step Up For Students Family Empowerment Scholarship for Unique Abilities (FES-UA) to cover a portion of their tuition. FES-UA has different criteria for the amount of scholarship funding each child may receive. Funding amounts can be based on IEP matrix reviews, diagnostic evaluations, income, age, and county. Most Mainspring families pay different ranges of out-of-pocket expenses for tuition, depending on the remaining amount after their scholarship is applied.

Please note that an FES eligibility letter stating your child will receive 100% scholarship indicates that you qualify for the max amount of funding for your child’s matrix. It does not necessarily indicate it will cover 100% of Mainspring Academy tuition.

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Mainspring Academy does not provide clinical therapy services. However, we welcome providers that parents arrange for their child with their private insurance. Providers are not required, but they are welcome as long as they are able to submit a Level II Background Check and sign a Provider Code of Conduct. Below is a list of agencies that have served students at our school.

Our campus has three private testing rooms that can be utilized for 1:1 assessments and therapy sessions. We have other spaces available for 1:1 work, too.

Please complete the student tour form to receive an intake phone call. 

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Yes! Mainspring Academy has rolling admissions based on availability of open spots. We suggest that you set up a tour, then set up a subsequent student observation as soon as possible. Even if we do not have open spots, your child, if accepted as an appropriate fit for our school, will be placed in our waitlist and we will contact you as soon as a spot is available. As soon as you sign an enrollment contract and pay the enrollment fee, your child’s spot is secured. 

Once you’ve completed a tour and student observation, administration will review observation notes and complete a document review. You should receive an enrollment decision within two weeks. If the decision is a “yes,” we’ll forward you a contract that is to be returned with an $1000 registration fee to secure placement. If we feel your child is not an appropriate fit, we’ll recommend alternative placements based on what we’ve learned about your child.

 

New parents, please visit our Parents Corner. All forms, requests, due dates, resources, and most of the information you may need for the school year can be found here.

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Notice of Nondiscriminatory Policy as to Students

Mainspring Academy admits students of any race, color, national, and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national, and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic or other school administered programs.