High School

The Katherine Thomas School High School Program (KTHS) is tailored for students in grades 9 through 12 with language and learning disabilities, autism, intellectual disabilities, and/or other health impairments. High school students may earn a diploma or a certificate of completion; however, all students receive instruction in a wide range of core academics and elective classes, based on their jurisdictional graduation requirements. Maryland and private pay students may also choose to follow a career and technology pathway as a graduation requirement option. All students receive transition services geared toward helping them adjust to a less restrictive environment, including college, specialized post-secondary programs, technical training, and/or employment.


KTHS students need support, resources, and individualized instruction. It is our goal to provide all students with a positive, success-oriented curriculum. The  Maryland College and Career Ready Standards and Universal Design for Learning techniques are embedded in all lessons. KTHS uses Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) to foster student growth, both academically and behaviorally.

In addition to core academic classes, students may take electives in art, music, drama, foreign language, technology, physical education, and reading. Experiential and cross-curricular instruction includes, for example, a crime scene investigation involving government, science, math, and graphic design classes as well as annual artist residencies in slam poetry, visual arts, and Capoeira Angola.

Career and technology programs of study, which can also be taken as elective classes, include child development, entrepreneurship and business management, hospitality management (culinary skills), restaurant management, and college/career research and development. A highlight of KTHS is the job internship program, in which students engage in relevant workplace experiences at job sites with professionals and mentors and participate in employment readiness, leadership, and future planning seminars.

Teaching Methods

Our student body includes those who can expect to attend college as well as students who expect to transition into post-secondary programs or employment after completing high school. Multi-disciplinary teams work together to deliver instruction that enables students to develop their potential and achieve academic success. Our integrated, multidisciplinary teams are comprised of special educators, teacher assistants, speech-language pathologists, occupational and physical therapists, social workers, and administrators. Working together, they provide programs with a blend of educational and therapeutic services that meet the holistic needs of each student. The Katherine Thomas School offers special programs for students depending on their individual needs to succeed academically and socially.

Students enjoy many opportunities for strengthening social skills, developing friendships, and building leadership skills through working at the student-run school store and participating in after-school clubs, dances, Prom, Best Buddies, and horseback riding sessions.