September 2023 Newsletter

September 4, 2023

AUGUST 2023 – After completing and furnishing our buildout, hiring 8 new employees, and adding 2 additional classrooms of students, Mainspring Academy hit the ground running in the first month of school. Students are already learning so much!

Parents, please note administration will rearrange the calendar sometime in October and announce makeup days due to the closures during the preparations for Hurricane Idalia. February Intersession will likely be affected.

JULY 2023 – Mainspring Academy is delighted to announce that the JT Townsend Foundation has extended an invitation to our families who may be interested in receiving individual grants for adaptive equipment. The JT Townsend Foundation mission is to provide hope to the community of people living with disabilities by offering financial assistance for adaptive equipment and services that will improve their quality of life. Grant recipients have received adaptive mobility aids, feeding devices, asistive technology, bikes, carseats, medical equipment, and more. Read JT Townsend’s Inspiring Story Here>

If you would like to apply for a grant for your child, please have your doctor complete a letter of medical necessity describing your child’s need for the proposed equipment. You can then submit the letter and application on their website. If you need assistance with this process, please reach out to Mainspring Administration at [email protected]. We are happy to help! Apply Now>


  • Friday, September 1st– Out-of-pocket tuition due
  • Friday, September 1st– SPIRIT MONTH: DIVERSITY DAY – Students and staff are encouraged to dress representing their cultures.
  • Friday, September 1st– Multiple Items Due Via Quickschools:
    • Signed Parent Handbook Acknowledgments
    • Special Olympics Waivers and Permission Slips
    • Fall Intersession Contract and Deposit Fees
  • Tuesday, September 5th – Open Parent Action Committee (PAC) Meeting 9:15am at Mainspring Academy
  • Friday, September 8th – New Physician Signature Forms Due for all students taking prescription, PRN, OTC, and rescue medications on campus
  • Friday, September 8th – SPIRIT MONTH: FLASHBACK FRIDAY – Students and staff are encouraged to dress representing their favorite decades!
  • Friday, September 15th – Extended Care Fees Due
  • Friday, September 15th – Out-of-pocket Tuition Due
  • Friday, September 15th – Fall Intersession Full Fees Due
  • Friday, September 15th – SPIRIT MONTH: SUPERHERO DAY – Students will be visiting with local everyday superheroes!
  • Friday, September 22nd – SPIRIT MONTH: TEAM PLAYER DAY – Students and staff are encouraged to dress representing their favorite sports teams.
  • Friday, September 29th– SPIRIT MONTH: SHOW YOUR MAINSPRING COLORS – Students and staff are encouraged to dress in their Mainspring merch or wearing our school colors (blue and green). Staff will be finished with their Spirit Doors.
  • Friday, September 29thFood Truck Friday (Please anticipate extra costs for the meal, plus tax).

Questions or missing any forms? Check Quickschools! Many questions and requests can also be submitted in the Parent Corner of our website! More Information (Quickschools)> More Information (Parent Corner)>


Jaelyn – September 4th

Sam – September 10th

Olivia – September 13th

Nathan Muzichuk – September 14th

Ilan – September 17th

Molly – September 22nd

Krishna – September 23rd


Dozens of Mainspring parents worked together to provide refreshments for planning and help prepare the school for the first day of learning!

Mainspring Academy received generous donations from the Lloyd A. Fry Foundation and US Assure which will make significant differences for our recent expansion, supporting the continuance of our goal to provide the quality resources that will help students with intellectual and developmental differences thrive beyond their school experience!

On behalf of the Mainspring Academy community of parents, staff, and supporters, thank you for the compassion and commitment you have shown for our students and school. It is the kindness of our donors and volunteers that has helped us to expand in size and quality, furthering our mission to provide quality, individualized education in a safe learning environment for students with intellectual and developmental differences who are often missed.
Thank you for the differences you make.

Hello, It’s me again, Benny the Manatee! It’s been the most fun first month of school and my brain has been filled with new things! Ms. Dina even let me get a sneak peak into some of the staff trainings and I learned SO much! Did you know some stress can be TOXIC and actually change the way our brains grow, change, and work? All of us can get stressed from time to time, and that’s perfectly normal! Some children go through a constant type of stress that teaches their brains to be wired for danger.

Very early in childhood, kids learn security. When they are hungry, sad, afraid, or need anything at all, someone usually comes to them and meets their needs right away. Their brains are wired to trust because the world has been a safe place for them!

Some children go through traumas like abuse, neglect, sudden changes of caregivers, and early hospitalization. When they are afraid, hungry, sad, or need anything, someone does not always come to them and meets their needs right away. For them, the world was not the safest place. Trauma can start at home, school, during hospitalizations, or anywhere. This type of stress is called “toxic” because it can actually cause the “fight/flight” part of their brains (the amygdala) grow bigger and faster than the regulating part of their brains (the prefrontal cortex). The prefrontal cortex is in charge of things like focus, impulse control, emotional regulation, environmental awareness and more. So, while it may look like these kids are overreacting, manipulating, or misbehaving “for no reason,” the reality is that there is a huge reason … their brains are wired for danger. Check out Dr. Edward Tronick’s “Still Face Experiment”> & Still Face with Dads> !

Even though trauma can change our brain at any age, the earlier in childhood, the bigger the effect. We learn all about Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) too and how the more traumatic experiences children have, the higher they are at-risk for dangerous mental health; chronic/terminal disease; victimization; perpetration; or low-opportunity outcomes in adulthood.

The good news is that building secure attachments with adults like relatives, caregivers, teachers, coaches, or mentors can actually improve these outcomes.

Plenty of studies have shown that children can not learn or thrive where they do not feel safe. This is why making school a safe place is so important to the staff at Mainspring!

Staff learns about building and rebuilding rapport; providing comfort and compassion; building consistency and routine; meeting physiological and sensory needs; empowering with choices and praise; and responding to crises with trauma-informed strategies. Ukeru; TEACCH; Trust-based Relational Interventions (TBRI); Happy, Relaxed, and Engaged (HRE) with the “My Way” Approach; are just some of the different concepts that staff learns and applies to make sure the kids feel safe inside and out!

Being trauma-informed is so important to Mainspring to make sure students feel the security they need to be able to learn!


A few friendly reminders:
(1) All volunteers NOT listed as a student’s parent, guardian, or sibling must complete a Volunteer Application to be kept on file. More Information>.
(2) If seeking parent participation credit, all volunteer hours must be reported via Parent Participation Credit Request Form. More Information>.

There will be a Parent Action Committee (PAC) Meeting Tuesday, September 5th at 9:15am in the Mainspring Academy Cafeteria to discuss Superhero Day and the Fall Festival! Parents interested in joining our volunteer event/holiday planning team can access meeting dates, topics, notes, signups, team updates, and action-day group messaging! Join our Parent Action Committee (PAC) (via Mobile or Desktop App)>

Our two Special Olympics events for the year have been scheduled! Volunteers will be needed from 11am-2pm at the duPont YMCA 7373 Old King’s Rd S, Jacksonville FL 32217 on January for Flag Football/Basketball and April for Track/Soccer. Details on dates and times in the following link. Get on the list>

Our annual Sensory Superhero Day will take place Friday, September 25th beginning at 10:00am. (Volunteers will be setting up between 9:00-10:00am). Mainspring students and staff are encouraged to dress representing their favorite superheroes as we engage with the real-life super heroes all around us!
Get on the list>

Our Fall Festival will take place Friday, October 27th. Please check back here later in the month to get put on the list to volunteer!

Curious about Mainspring Academy’s needs and how to support us through donations, pledges, or sponsorships? Check out our Ways to Give Page. More Information>


Exciting News! Check back towards the end of August! Link to Mainspring Store Coming Soon!


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