Teaching Methods

Teaching students to succeed in the classroom of life

Over the years we’ve fine-tuned our approach, identifying the aspects that lead to individual success for a wide variety of students from all ages and levels of competency. Our methods are designed to help students learn at their own pace and in the way that is best for them. They are also created to present students with appropriate challenges and intentional practices that help them build their skills and understanding not just academically, but emotionally and socially as well.

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Standardized & Individualized

Many of our students wish to return to mainstream schools. It is our desire to prepare them to transition back by teaching a curriculum that is aligned with the Virginia Standards of Learning. Whether students stay with us or go on, our goal is to teach challenging, comprehensive subject matter to students of every age that is individualized for their level of learning.

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Autism Spectrum

Middle, High School and College Programs

These integrated programs are designed to meet the wide range of needs of students with neurological differences, such as autism spectrum disorders, learning disabilities, and intellectual and developmental challenges. Our faculty use a relational developmental model and experiential activities to help students navigate academic content, social skills instruction, and emotional regulation strategies.

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Resources for Parents

A Resource and Partner in Success

Charterhouse School is part of the world community of providers and supporters and friends and family of kids with autism spectrum disorder. It takes a great big village to attend to their needs and increase our collective knowledge. See the resources and service providers we rely on and refer to regularly.

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UMFS Scholarships

Supporting Students’ Next Steps

The UMFS Scholarship program helps students who have been served by any UMFS program including Charterhouse School. The scholarship pays for post-secondary education including vocational training, colleges or universities (including community college), and the Courage to Succeed program. The UMFS Scholarship program includes two scholarships:

  • The Pop Smith Scholarship – Established in 1974, this scholarship honors Reverend E. Leon “Pop” Smith, the superintendent of the Virginia Methodist Children’s Home, now UMFS, from 1949 – 1974. Pop Smith was a dedicated child advocate who cared for hundreds of children during his tenure.
  • The Richard P. Leedom Memorial Scholarship – Richard P. Leedom was one of four brothers who was raised by a single parent mother during the 1920’s and into the Great Depression. Living in a rough section of Philadelphia, his mother never lost sight of the need for her sons to stay out of trouble and pay attention to their education, which she saw as a way forward for them. This was taken to heart by her sons. Richard graduated from South Philadelphia High School and received a full scholarship to the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned a chemical engineering degree. He carried on his mother’s love for education, and emphasized it for his 3 children and 3 grandchildren who all received college degrees. When Richard passed away in 2016 at the age of 100, his sons founded the Richard P. Leedom Memorial Scholarship to help others in need aspire to further their education. It is the family’s hope that this tradition will be passed on to future generations in their pursuit of higher education.
Selection Process, Eligibility Guidelines, and the Application Process

A committee of staff and volunteers work together to oversee the UMFS Scholarship Fund. Decisions are based on a standard application and the committee’s knowledge of the student’s financial need and motivation to pursue post-secondary education. Applications are due by May 31 each year. Recipients are selected by the UMFS Scholarship Committee and notified by late June.

Email us at to receive an application.

Eligibility Guidelines

Applicants must possess at least a 2.0 cumulative grade point average and file a complete Financial Aid for School Tuition (FAST) application demonstrating financial need. Applicants must have successfully been a part of one of the following UMFS or Charterhouse School programs for at least 6 months within 10 years of the date of application:

  • Charterhouse School
  • Courage to Succeed
  • Child & Family Healing Center
  • Treatment Foster Care
  • Project LIFE
  • Adoption finalized by UMFS
  • Intensive Care Coordination / Family Support Partners