iHOPE (School)

The International Academy of Hope (iHOPE) serves children, adolescents, and young adults from ages 5 years to 21 years old, who have sustained acquired brain injuries or other brain-based disorders and who cannot be served in their local school systems.


Admission Process

The International Academy of Hope has a four-step Admissions Process:

1. Initial intake

  1. Contact by local school personnel or student’s parents/caregivers about potential placement
  2. Interview of parent/caregiver with a Member of iHOPE Admissions Team
  3. A tour of the school and facility could be included during this step or scheduled at this point

2. Assembly of student’s medical and educational records

  1. School district should provide documents, including but not limited to:
    1. Current Individualized Education Plan (IEP) with likely IDEA classifications of TBI, OHI, or Multiple Disabilities
    2. Current evaluations and progress reports (i.e., learning, psychological, social, psychiatric, medical, related services such as PT, OT, speech/language, vision therapies)
  2. Any additional medical or educational reports should be provided during this step (i.e. previous IEP, reports, etc.)

3. iHOPE Admissions Team reviews the records and evaluates student’s potential to benefit from program

4. After the review of the records, iHOPE Admissions Team may conduct in-person evaluation of the student

Certain tests may be conducted during the student evaluation process based on the determination of the iHOPE Admissions Team

Upon the completion of the four-step process, the iHOPE Admissions Team makes a formal recommendation about whether the potential student would be a good fit for the program. The iHOPE Admissions Team may request additional information if needed.

The iHOPE Admissions Team comprises the professional faculty and staff of iHOPE and may also include outside professionals if deemed appropriate.

iHOPE does not discriminate on the basis of disability, age, color, creed, race, gender, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin or religious affiliation. iHope has a zero tolerance policy for any discrimination. Any incident of discrimination should be reported immediately to the Associate Program Director and will be addressed immediately.

Parent Testimonial:

“Thanks to the effort, hard work, and support that iHOPE gives to our children, they feel happy and capable of achieving goals,”

Yvelisse, Maria’s mother.


The iHOPE academic curriculum is designed to promote student growth and independence. The curriculum focuses on helping students find effective ways to communicate and function in the iHOPE community while making connections to enhance their everyday life experiences in their homes and larger community. The school specializes in working with and educating children who communicate without words and have multiple disabilities. Academic instruction is provided by using a multi-sensory approach and is integrated with therapeutic services to allow for children to have more “hands-on” experiences.

Students engage in learning activities, which integrate all content areas, and instruction is individualized to meet the specific needs of each student. Students use their strengths to engage in activities designed to increase their communication, social, and life skills. Art, music, and technology play an integral role in helping the students to express themselves.

Mission Statement

The iHOPE school community strives to provide comprehensive services for our students, who present with a variety of diagnoses including Traumatic Brain Injury, Acquired Brain Injury, and other brain-based disorders. Our students participate in academic instruction with appropriate modification and adaptation, as well as therapeutic services, based upon a collaborative, researched-based model that integrates current technology. iHOPE is committed to learners with complex needs and to their social, emotional, adaptive and educational advancement. Accessibility and integration into the larger community are at the core of our belief system.


Educational services are delivered within a warm, nurturing school environment by educators, researchers, and trainers with an unparalleled concentration of expertise in brain injury. The school operates on a year-round, full-day basis. iHOPE embraces and models the hallmarks of exceptional educational services.

Refer a Student to iHOPE

If you know a student you want to refer to iHOPE, please take a moment to complete and submit our referral form, a member of our intake team will then follow up with you.

Want more information?

Mayra Diaz, Associate Program Director

ihope [at] yai.org

The Core Values of iHOPE

  • Leadership: We are committed to creating systemic change in the way students with brain injury and other brain-based disorders are educated.
  • Family-focused: We always place the interests of the person with a brain injury and their families at the center of our decisions.
  • Excellence: We aspire to the highest standard of excellence by implementing best practices and drawing on evidence-based research in the delivery of technically competent care.
  • Professional Development: We foster an environment of rigor and respect in order to attract and retain the very best licensed and credentialed practitioners with expertise in pediatric brain injury.
  • Dissemination: We support active dissemination of applied research, translating advances into effective hands-on instructional methodologies and approaches.
  • Compassion: We focus on meaningful outcomes for our students, attained within a context of kindness, optimism, and celebration of growth and skill mastery.


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