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Mission Statement

Lavelle School for the Blind is a multi-cultural educational institution established 100 years ago based on the Catholic tradition and the compassion and dedication of the Dominican sisters of Blauvelt. The organization integrates students who are blind and have multiple disabilities, staff and parents in a challenging yet nurturing environment. The programs at Lavelle seek to educate the whole child through a combination of developmental and functional strategies. As the student progresses, the curriculum accommodates individual changing needs and educational growth. All students are prepared for lives as respected adults. Lavelle School develops all students to their fullest potential, and provides support and resources to the students and their parents.

Our Programs

In 1999, the Lavelle School's charter was revised to reflect more accurately its current purpose. Our mission is to educate students who are blind or visually impaired, as well as students with other disabilities. Each student's unique skills and attributes are reflected in the school's daily activities. Through an emphasis on functional academics, independence in all life skills, and development of a positive self-image students are prepared to participate in all aspects of community life. Additionally, support and training for families is integral to the Lavelle School program.

All students attend Lavelle School for the Blind on a daily basis, returning to their homes and neighborhoods at the end of each school day.

Our Preschool Program

In 2002, our preschool program for children with vision impairments was expanded to include those with and without disabilities.

Students in these integrated classrooms are prepared to enter kindergarten at age 5. Preschool students with multiple disabilities are enrolled in smaller classrooms to receive more intensive services. Many of these students with multiple disabilities can continue in the Life Skills Unit at Lavelle.

All preschool students participate in a full day preschool education program with a primary focus on reading readiness skills (for print or Braille), communication skills (including use of augmentative communication devices and computers), cultivating creativity and imagination, as well as making friends through play. Students may receive speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, orientation and mobility training, and/or counseling, as per their IEPs.

Each classroom is equipped with a computer for teaching beginning literacy skills, as well as recreational usage. Parents of preschool children are encouraged to visit and to participate in meetings to learn about the their child's transition to school age programs.

Please contact our school for further information on programs, eligibility, and application procedures.

Life Skills

Our Life Skills Unit has small classrooms with 6 students, 1 teacher, and 2 paraprofessionals. This staff assures that each child receives the maximum support needed to grow and achieve his or her full potential.

In the Life Skills Unit, students have diverse special education, habilitation, and treatment needs. The primary emphasis is on developing a personal communication system using a combination of gestures, symbols, speech, Braille, and augmentative communication devices.

Also, students are given instruction and support to achieve as much independence as possible in all activities of daily living. These include, but are not limited, to eating, toileting, dressing, and self-care.

Parents and families are actively involved so as to transfer these skills to home life in the evenings and on weekends. Some students are beginning to master pre-reading skills and pre-Braille skills.

All students are eligible for the full range of therapy services as mandated on their IEPs. Much of our staff is bilingual in Spanish and English.

Please contact our school for further information on programs, eligibility criteria, and application procedures.


In the REACH program, students are actively preparing for adult roles and responsibilities. Every student has a transition plan that is integrated into all activities throughout the school day, including the core curriculum and the expanded curriculum.

All students learn to use the computer with the necessary adaptive equipment to access written information. Functional academic skills are stressed as well as volunteer and paid work experiences. Also, all students in this unit receive orientation and mobility services.

Other community agencies providing vocational rehabilitation are involved in transition planning for each student's future. Students and families develop a network of contacts to access adult services when needed. The school facilities are well equipped with a training kitchen and training laundry for student instruction in adaptive equipment.

Please contact our school for further information on programs, eligibility criteria, and application procedures.


Lavelle School for the Blind
3830 Paulding Ave. Bronx, NY 10469
Phone: (718) 882-1212

Accredited by Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools

Lavelle School for the Blind is a member of the 4201 Association; a group of 11 schools throughout New York State that advocates for the quality education for all children who are blind, deaf and physically disabled.