In January 1972, the Mental Retardation Institute, a division of New York Medical College, established a day school program for multiply handicapped children in Westchester County. Over the next few years, the School established a reputation of excellence and became a recognized and valued resource in Westchester County and the surrounding communities.

Ten years later in February, 1982, the County assumed control and responsibility for all programs conducted by the Mental Retardation Institute, with the exception of the Day School, as County officials stated that the County could not, legally, operate a school.

At that time there was discussion concerning closing the school. Both staff and the parents of the children in attendance joined together in support of the program. The College agreed to continue as the Parent Organization with the understanding that this program would be established as a separate entity. One year late, February, 1983, this was accomplished when a Provisional Charter was granted by the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York. The Day School became “The Westchester School for Special Children”. An Absolute Charter was granted to the school in March 1986.


Our school views all children, regardless of functioning level or handicapping condition, as children with potential for growth and development. Historically, educational programming, particularly for the severely handicapped was primarily concerned for easing the burden of those who cared for these children. Changes in legal standards and socio-philosophical perspectives made this an excessively limited and limiting approach. Our rational for program and selection of educational objectives is based upon the developmental needs of the individual child.