Frequently Asked Questions
What is New Story?
New Story is comprised of schools and supports that help children with the most serious and/or complex educational and behavioral challenges. By providing environments and services that encourage growth, learning and goal achievement, New Story gives children and their families the opportunity to create their own new stories of growth and success, and to live fulfilling and meaningful lives.
How did New Story get started?
More than twelve years ago, Paul Volosov, Ph.D., founded New Story schools (formerly Milestones Achievement Centers of America – MAC) and New Story services (formerly Milestones Community Healthcare) to help children with serious and/or complex challenges live good lives. Throughout his career as a psychologist and entrepreneur, Paul identified gaps in the system – the need for educational, behavioral and emotional services for children and families who are faced with the most serious and complex issues – those who cannot be supported effectively by other providers.
Since the company’s inception in 1997, Paul and his team of highly-skilled educators and therapists have worked with children and their families to provide personalized education and support to help them overcome challenges and achieve success. Each staff member and student has the opportunity to create individual new stories – collectively, creating a much larger “New Story.”
Paul continues to expand New Story’s offerings and locations to meet the needs of children and their families.
What do New Story schools offer?
New Story schools are private schools, licensed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, for children ages 5 to 21 years who have serious and/or complex educational and behavioral challenges and who cannot be optimally educated in their home school. New Story features emotional support and autistic support educational placements.
Each child’s team at New Story works closely with the local school system, family members and other professionals in the child’s life to create an individualized program to meet their needs. Our highly-skilled educators and therapists monitor the individualized program and make the necessary adjustments along the way to ensure optimal growth and success of each child. Our goal is to teach children the necessary social, behavioral and educational skills they need to be successful in life – and return them to their home school as quickly as possible.
Other features of New Story schools include:
- Caring Team Members: Our educators and therapists have extensive experience in helping children manage their behaviors, including behaviors that are the most serious and/or complex. Behavior management is often a necessary first step before the education process can begin. Our schools feature small classes of no more than eight students, which are conducive to a personal learning environment and provide students with the necessary support to achieve success.
- Family-Like Environment: We make it a priority to ensure students feel as if they belong and are part of the New Story family. We do this by creating a caring, family-like environment where students are free to express themselves in their own way, in the least restrictive environment. We offer traditional school-like activities where students can participate, including school dances, holiday socials, plays and performances, among other activities.
New Story schools are more than places where children go for the day to learn – they serve as an extension of your family. We go the extra mile and do what is necessary to make sure the student’s needs are met and that they are achieving success in their own way. New Story schools provide each child with the opportunity to create their own “new story.”
Do New Story schools follow a specific curriculum?
New Story educators and professionals work with parents, guardians and school districts to create a personalized learning plan for each student. We do not have a standard curriculum – and this is intentional. We believe that each child is unique and requires a personalized curriculum designed to meet personal needs.
Can a child return to his/her home school after spending time at New Story?
Absolutely. The planning process for returning every child to their home school begins at the time of enrollment and continues throughout a child’s time at a New Story school. We are committed to working individually with each child until their educational and behavioral goals are met and the child has the skills and motivation needed to return to their home school.
What supports are provided by New Story schools and New Story services?
New Story schools offer a variety of educational services and supports, including Behavioral Support Services (BSS), speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, crisis intervention, counseling and nursing services – all are provided under one roof. In addition, New Story provides behavioral support, including Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA Consulting), which is offered in the school, outside of school hours or within the home setting. There are several other supports offered through New Story services including:
- Behavioral Health Rehabilitation Services (BHRS)
- Extra Miles for Families (EMF)
- Family-Based Services
- Intensive Case Management (ICM) / Resource Coordination
- Social Skills Intervention Group
- Therapeutic Camping (TAP and STAP)
Where are New Story schools and New Story services located?
Currently, there are ten New Story schools throughout Pennsylvania, including: Allentown, Berwick, Dubois, Harrisburg, Indiana, Monroeville, Throop (Lackawanna County), Wyoming, Wyomissing (a suburb of Reading) and York. Future schools are in development in the following regions: Lancaster and Wyomissing.
New Story services locations can also be found throughout Pennsylvania, including in Allentown, Berwick, Dubois, Harrisburg, Indiana, Lancaster, Minersville, Monroeville, Throop (Lackawanna County), Wyoming, Wyomissing and York.
How are children enrolled in New Story schools?
New Story has developed strong relationships with local school districts and works closely with them to find the best educational and behavioral programs for each student.
A child may be referred to New Story by a parent/guardian, school personnel or by a behavioral health professional. Each child is then evaluated for possible enrollment, at no cost to the parent/guardian, provided that a complete record of the child’s educational and behavioral challenges is forwarded to New Story along with the appropriate professional evaluations. If additional professional evaluations are needed to complete the child’s record, New Story will work with the parents/guardians to secure these evaluations through the child’s home school, through New Story or through another professional source.
When can a child be enrolled at New Story schools?
A referral for placement can be made anytime after the IEP (Individualized Education Program) team has determined that an out of district placement is necessary. Students do not have to begin at the start of a calendar period or quarter, but can be enrolled anytime at New Story.
How much does it cost to enroll a child at New Story schools?
Together, the IEP team determines the educational placement of a student. We will work collaboratively with your home school district upon deciding that a New Story school will meet your child’s academic needs. Funding for your child’s educational placement will then be arranged through your home school district. If deemed medically necessary, children attending New Story schools may also receive behavioral health services funded through the Medical Assistance Program and/or private insurance.
New Story works closely with local school districts to determine the best solution for each child. For more information about public funding of behavioral health services visit: http://www.dpw.state.pa.us/omap/.
For information about additional autism grants, please visit the following website: http://www.dpw.state.pa.us/ServicesPrograms/Autism/003678786.htm.
How many students are in each class?
Each New Story school has no more than ten classes, with a maximum of eight children per class. Smaller classes allow us to build individualized supports around one child at a time.
Is transportation provided by New Story schools?
Transportation to and from New Story schools is provided by the students’ home school district.