Mount Pleasant Cottage School District is a special act program enacted by a decree of the state Education Department about 45 years ago, located on the grounds of a residential treatment center in Pleasantville, Westchester County.
The residential treatment center is operated by the Jewish Childcare Association (JCCA) working closely with the district to provide services, family supports, and special ed. programs for approximately 300 children, ages 5 to 21. The student population is comprised of young children and adolescents with various cognitive, psychiatric, and emotional challenges. These children have been disenfranchised from their families and home communities. Many have suffered physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, abandonment by their families, loss of close family members to death or incarceration.
The district’s two schools, Pleasantville Cottage School and Edenwald, are distinguished primarily by the cognitive levels of their students, Pleasantville Cottage School’s at or above that of typically developing students, and Edenwald’s below it. A growing population of day students are placed here to benefit from small classes, highly structured language-rich programs, and pre-vocational and vocational training opportunities. A number of the day students started in the residential program and progressed to where they could reunite with their families or begin anew with a foster family placement, but remain in the district as the best educational placement for them.
The district provides occupational and speech-language therapy, counseling, health and nutrition education, art, technology education, and physical education. Class sizes are typically eight students to each teacher, supported by a teaching assistant and a behavioral aide.