Closing effective December 15, 2023

Statement from our Board of Directors: After 47 years of serving students in our community, it is with great sadness that we announce the closing of Pygmalion School, effective December 15, 2023.  Although this is a very difficult decision, after careful consideration of multiple factors, People Places’ Board of Directors feels that it is in the best interest of our students and the agency to end this program.  The combination of COVID, staffing challenges, facility changes, and a lower than expected census have created insurmountable barriers to continuing to operate Pygmalion School.   We are grateful to the Pygmalion staff for their dedication to our students and to our school.  We will be working closely with staff, referral sources, and families to ensure a successful transition.  Thank you in advance for your understanding and support as we move through this process.

COVID-19 Updates: Infectious Disease Policy

Pygmalion School is a private
special education day school.

Pygmalion is authorized by the Virginia Board of Education to serve children (from the surrounding public schools) identified as having a developmental delay, autism spectrum disorder, an emotional disability, a specific learning disability, an intellectual disability, or other health impairments.

History of the School

Pygmalion School was founded in 1976, as an essential support to People Places treatment foster care program in Staunton, VA. When the Handicapped Children Act of 1975 was signed into federal law, many public school divisions refused children with significant learning needs, citing behaviors that were severe or that interfered with their learning in a public school setting, and thus warranted an outside placement. To fill this need, Pygmalion School was created.
Today, public school systems in the surrounding area refer students to Pygmalion School, although these students generally do not reside in therapeutic foster homes. Pygmalion School continues to provide an alternative educational placement for students who need more intensive and personalized instruction. Our goal is for students to come to Pygmalion to learn the skills necessary to integrate back into a lesser restrictive, public school setting, and to collaborate with the public schools to ease the transition back to that environment.

Philosophy of the School

Pygmalion School believes that all students can learn and will be continually given opportunities to learn and develop new skills. The school operates under the trauma-informed, behavior analytic approach in all instructional delivery and behavior intervention strategies. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is an evidence-based teaching methodology, used to teach socially significant behaviors, such as communication, social interaction, social/emotional learning, self-management, self-regulation, core academics, life skills, community skills, and leisure skills. Pygmalion provides a high staff to student ratio to provide the level of support needed to achieve the above goals. Staff are trained to respond to students in a supportive, trauma-informed environment to provide safety and structure to encourage learning.
Pygmalion School believes in the use of Evidence-Based Practices (EBP’s) and the use of data collection to make data-based decision making in regard to student progress. The overall goal of Pygmalion School is to assist students in reducing the barriers they face to accessing a lesser restrictive learning environment and to increase their overall quality of life as a result of the instruction they receive at Pygmalion.

Educational Objectives and Goals

The goal of Pygmalion School is to use Evidence-Based Practices (EBP’s) and the science of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to teach socially significant behaviors that will allow our students to access a higher quality of life and services in their community and to access a lesser restrictive educational environment, in the form of a transition back to their home public school settings. We focus on the use of ABA to teach adaptive skills that will reduce problem behaviors, as well as academic achievement. These skills include communication, social interaction, social-emotional learning, self-management, core academics, life skills, community skills, and leisure skills. To achieve this goal, the following factors are emphasized in our program:
  1. Collaboration with families, local school divisions, and related service providers to ensure we are all working toward a common goal for the student.
  2. Focusing on the use of ABA and EBP’s to ensure our students are being provided with a quality education.
  3. The use of systematic data collection to make decisions about student progress and programming.
  4. Designing and implementing individualized student programming in the form of Individualized Education Programs (IEP’s), Functional Assessments to determine the function of the behavior(s) of concern, and Behavior Support Plans (BSPs) to teach functional replacement skills and behaviors.
Education program and services will be designed to meet the individual needs of our students and will not discriminate against any individual for reasons of race, religion, color, ethnicity, language spoken, gender identity, sexual orientation, citizenship status, national origin, immigration status, refugee status, political affiliation, socioeconomic status, neurodiversity or exceptionalities.

School Information & Resources

School calendar updates are subject to change due to COVID-19, and families will be updated accordingly.


Pygmalion Technology Privacy Statement

At Pygmalion we recognize the importance of protecting the privacy and security of every student’s personal information. We provide this Privacy Statement to help you understand what we may do with any personal information that we obtain.
Pygmalion will collect and securely store students’ names, IDs, and email addresses to provide access to electronic educational resources and as a means of individually identifying educational progress. Pygmalion will never sell or trade personally-identifiable information you provide to us through this website to any other school, organization, or business unless we first obtain your consent to share the information, or we are sharing such information in response to a subpoena, court order, or other legal process.
Pygmalion school has the ability to remotely access a student’s account to view the associated content. Pygmalion reserves the right to search a student’s content when necessary to determine whether the student has violated the law or Pygmalion rules. Any and all network use may be monitored by Pygmalion technology department staff.
Pygmalion technology staff utilize software applications to troubleshoot issues:
  • G Suite permits the Pygmalion Technology Department to remotely access a student’s account and associated content and to carry out the appropriate steps to repair and/or restore data. 
  • Google Remote Desktop permits the Pygmalion Technology Department to remotely access student computers to troubleshoot issues and install/maintain software.
  • Cisco Meraki is used to manage mobile devices, such as iPads, allowing the technology department to control installed Apps, settings, and track the device’s location.
Pygmalion laptops and tablets come equipped with a built-in microphone and camera that are used by students and teachers for a variety of educational activities. These devices cannot be deactivated or removed from the computer. Pygmalion restricts the use of web cameras and microphones to educational and/or troubleshooting purposes only. Pygmalion does not use these devices to view, or listen, to students under any circumstances.
Pygmalion utilizes several computer software applications and web-based services, operated not by this school, but by third parties. In order for our students to use these programs and services, certain personally identifying information, generally consisting of the student’s name and school email address, must be provided to the website operator.  Under a federal law entitled Children’s Onlin​​e Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA), these websites must provide parental notification and obtain parental consent before collecting personal information.  Find more information on COPPA here.
Each website is bound by COPPA to maintain the confidentiality of the information collected. They are also required to post a privacy policy describing their practices. A full list of the ​websites in use, as well as links to their respective privacy policies​,​ may be found in our List of Classroom Technology Used and Information Collected.
COPPA permits ​a school​ to consent to the collection of this information on behalf of all of its students, thereby eliminating the need for individual parental consent given directly to each individual website.
The COPPA Parental Consent Form was included in ​your Pygmalion Student Handbook​. This form, when completed on file with the school, will constitute consent for ​a ​student ​to make use of the ​website​s listed below, as well as for Pygmalion to provide ​the student’s ​personally identifying information​​ to the ​websites​ operators.
Website Information Collected
Central Reach Teacher login, Student contact information
GSuite/Google Classroom Student login, Name, Classwork
Microsoft Azure Student login, Name
Equals Math Teacher login
McGraw Hill-ConnectED Teacher and student login
SeeSaw Teacher, student and parent logins
Assessment of Functional Living Skills Teacher login, Student data
Class Dojo
Student names, information provided by students and parents
Teach Your Monster To Read
Student first names
Prodigy Student first names
Epic Student names
Tynker Student names
Khan Academy Student first names
Reflex Math Student logins, names, grade level, and IDs
Pixton Comic Student names
Learning A-Z Student names
Boom Learning Student names

About the Administration

Shea Manship, MEd, BCBA, LBA – Assistant Director

Shea graduated from James Madison University with a Bachelor’s degree in Inclusive Early Childhood Education. She also received a Masters of Arts in Teaching in 2019 and a Masters of Education in 2020, both from James Madison University. Shea is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), Licensed Behavior Analyst (LBA), and licensed Early Childhood Special Education Teacher. She worked in Augusta County Public Schools as a Behavior Analyst prior to starting at Pygmalion School. In this role, she worked with staff members to create and implement plans to improve behavior management, as well as provided staff training and coaching around various instructional strategies.
In addition to working at Pygmalion School, Shea coaches gymnastics at Turner Ashby, Harrisonburg, and Spotswood high schools. In her free time, she enjoys running and baking.

Connect With The Pygmalion School

Healy Hall, 22 Cardinal Drive, Staunton, VA 24401

Phone: (540) 886-2777 | Email: