Bradley Hospital has been providing educational services to children since its founding in 1931. For years, education was a component of a residential type of program at the hospital. In the late 1960s, an increased focus was placed on ensuring that students kept pace with their grade level peers.
The current Bradley School model began to evolve in the early 1990s. The focus shifted from one where treatment was often the primary concern to one where interventions served the purpose of supporting education. This led to a growth in the Bradley School and its community programs.
In 1994, a Bradley school opened in Middletown, RI, and later moved to Portsmouth. This addressed the issue of students traveling far from their communities to attend specialized programming. From this program, community-based classrooms were first implemented, as the first partnership classrooms opened in Middletown. These embedded classrooms allowed students to receive special education services in a more inclusive environment, with access to the mainstream programs in the schools.
The Bradley School—South County opened in 2003 in South Kingstown and the Bradley School—Westerly opened in 2009. These locations serve students from southern Rhode Island and nearby Connecticut.
In 2013, Bradley Schools and the former Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities school on the Bradley campus consolidated. The former Valley schools consolidated in 2014, following Bradley's merger with Gateway children's services.
In 2015, The Bradley School—New London Regional opened, to provide services to Connecticut students, eliminating the need to travel to Rhode Island locations. The Bradley School—North, in Cumberland, RI, is our latest school, opening in fall 2016. This site provides services to students in an elementary school setting.
Today, Bradley Schools serve over 400 students from Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut.
For the 2015-2016 school year, Bradley will have 12 partnership classrooms in six Rhode Island school districts as well as the Bradley School—New London Regional program in Montville, Connecticut.
History is partially derived from Bradley Hospital’s “Legacy of Hope," 2006