First School Specializing in Education for Children with Autism to be Accredited by Independent Schools Association of the Central States

Share Article

Children and youth with autism can now be assured of a high quality education equivalent to top private schools. Great Circle -- Edgewood Campus School in St. Louis specializes in treatment that distinguishes between ASD and behavior problems.

The elementary and secondary school programs at Great Circle – Edgewood Campus in Webster Groves, Mo., have received full accreditation by Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS). ISACS is the leading accreditation body for private schools in the Central states.

“ISACS is a highly respected accreditation program and ensures our education program meets the highest possible standards,” says Peppy Howard-Willms, chief education officer. “It is a challenging task to meet the unique needs of the different student types along with providing individualized instruction for 200 children.” ISACS is a membership organization of more than 230 independent schools from 13 states in the Midwest.

Great Circle—Edgewood Campus School provides a combination of specialized education and treatment services and is staffed by certified special education teachers, teachers’ assistants and licensed clinical therapists. Staff members include a vocational rehabilitation specialist and reading specialist. The school features a newly renovated life skills classroom, two brand new classrooms for students with autism. Smart board technology is used in each classroom. The specialized autism program uses iPads for children with autism who are nonverbal. All schools use iPads for instruction.

Outcome goals are determined on an individual student’s basis. Great Circle uses curriculum-based measurements, formal clinical measures, IEPs and social skill monitoring to assess students’ progress. According to 2011-2012 data, programs exceeded goals. Of the 286 students included in measurement, 97% had an increase in academic functioning.

About Great Circle®
Great Circle was created through the merger of Boys & Girls Town of Missouri and Edgewood Children’s Center. Great Circle provides a full spectrum of behavioral health services for children who have serious emotional and behavioral disorders and/or developmental disabilities. Great Circle is fully accredited by The Joint Commission. Great Circle® touches the lives of approximately 11,000 children and family members annually from our campus and community-based services in Columbia, Hillsboro, Kirksville, Springfield, Steelville, St. James and St. Louis. For more information visit

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Marie McGeehan
Great Circle
+1 314-256-4902
Email >
since: 10/2012
Follow >
Visit website