Special Education Summer Programs

Watson Institute special education experts believe you can build on the momentum achieved during the school year through the traditional summer vacation time. We know the value of structured special education and routine to our students with special needs and believe the summertime is no different to help them remain engaged.


Update on 2020 Summer Programs

The health and safety of our students, their families and our staff are our highest priority.

The Watson Institute will be operating all of our ESY programs remotely with our staff that have been teaching remotely since the middle of March, 2020.

Summer Camps (STAT, WISP, and SCALE) will not be offered this year.


Extended School Year (ESY) Special Education Program

Extended School Year is designed for children with special needs who are eligible and qualify for ESY services. This program is offered at three of our special education schools.

Education Centers (Sewickley & South): Special education programming during ESY is consistent with our students with special needs’ IEP, consisting of adapted educational and therapeutic services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, neurological impairments, developmental delays, and other related special needs.

Education Center ESY runs from July 6th through July 24, 2020 Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Contact Us: For more information, please contact Meagan Trimbur at 412-749-2805 or [email protected]

Friendship Academy: Special education programming during ESY is designed for children with emotional and behavioral challenges who qualify for ESY services and who would benefit from educational and therapeutic programming. Special education programming is in accordance with students with special needs’ IEPs and is structured to facilitate progress towards individualized academic and behavioral goals throughout the summer within a structured learning environment.

Friendship Academy ESY runs from June 24th through July 23, 2020 Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Contact Us: For more information, please contact Samantha Generalovich at 412-365-3800 or [email protected]

Watson Institute Social Center for Academic Achievement (WISCA – Sharpsburg and South): Special education programming during ESY is designed for children with autism spectrum disorder who qualify for ESY services and who would benefit from educational and therapeutic programming.

WISCA ESY runs from July 6th through July 24, 2020 Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Contact Us: For more information, please contact Meagan Trimbur at 412-749-2805 or [email protected]


Special Education Summer Camps for Children with Special Needs

Camp STAT, SCALE, and WISP will not be offered this year.

Camp STAT (Summer Therapeutic Activities for Teens)

A special education summer camp designed for adolescents with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder for whom socialization is difficult.

Camp SCALE (Social & Community Activities for Life Experiences)

Camp SCALE offers a hands-on approach to developing vocational, social and functional community skills while promoting awareness and independence in the community. Students will have the opportunity to volunteer daily at a variety of partnering community businesses to practice basic job readiness and pre-vocational skills in real-life environments. Examples include but are not limited to local greenhouses, supermarkets, senior citizen centers, and Meals on Wheels associations.

Camp WISP (Watson Inclusive Summer Program)

An inclusive summer camp designed for children with autism spectrum disorder and related special needs to support the development of social skills through interactions with their typically developing peers.