FAQs - Children's Services

What are the ages that Melmark accepts for its different programs?

Melmark accepts students 5 to 21 years old for the school, and adults 21 and over for adult programs.

Can I arrange to tour the school?

Due to the unique needs of the children we serve, tours of the school are only offered for active referrals. Others interested in learning more about the Children’s Services are welcome to attend an information session which is held the second Monday of the month from 10:00 A.M. to 11:30 A.M. The presentation includes an overview of our services, a video tour of Melmark’s program resources and a question and answer period. To sign up for a scheduled information session, please contact the Admissions Department. 

Once my family member is accepted for placement, how long will it be before he/she will be admitted? 

Melmark tries to make each admission a smooth transition for the child or adult as well as the family. Depending upon receipt of all necessary documents, funding commitment, and available program openings, the period from acceptance to admission is relatively short.

What teaching methods do you utilize?

The Melmark School incorporates the use of applied behavior analysis (ABA) into a 24-hour learning model. In addition, students receive comprehensive services that include integrated physical, occupational, and speech therapies, and 24-hour medical services.

Is your program year round?

Yes. Melmark maintains year-round programs for children.

Is there a summer program?

Current Melmark students participate in a 6-week extended school year program (ESY) throughout the summer.

Do you provide transportation to and from your day programs?

Children enrolled in the school program obtain transportation from their school districts, or in some cases, are transported by their families.

What is the staff-to-child ratio?

Melmark maintains a high staff-to-child program ratio ranging from 1:1 to 1:3 (staff-to-child served). All staffing and support ratios are individualized to the specific needs of a child. Staffing levels vary across campus depending upon the needs of the children served.

Who funds placement?

Among funding sources for children are school districts, behavioral health managed care organizations and other limited public funding sources. Please contact the Director of Admissions and Family Services for specifics regarding your funding options. 

Do you have immediate openings?

Children and adults are admitted throughout the year. The admissions department maintains a waiting list and fills openings depending upon the availability of space within each program and appropriate residential options, if necessary. 

If my child is school age and I do not have a referral from the school system, can I still begin the admission process?

Yes. Melmark welcomes all inquiries. If necessary, Melmark admissions staff will help explain the referral process. Contact the Director of Admissions and Family Services to discuss this process and/or to schedule your visit.

Can my child/family member be considered for admission if I live outside Pennsylvania?

Yes. Melmark accepts referrals from throughout the U.S. as well as internationally.