Holmstead students between the ages of 13 and 18 possess high intellectual potential but have been unable to achieve successfully in traditional school settings. Each student is classified as a result of a diagnostic profile prepared by the sending district Child Study Team. The referral information used for purposes of application to Holmstead includes a social history, a psychological report, a learning evaluation and a psychiatric report with a medical summary. Although usually initiated through the sending district, referrals may be made by parental request.
The local Board of Education remains responsible for the student in his placement at Holmstead School. The sending district pays for tuition and transportation. Child Study Teams participate in program planning through the implementation and ongoing process of the Individual Education Plan.
Holmstead School provides an educational and therapeutic milieu, which emphasizes innovative and flexible education for bright adolescents who need to be challenged in order to change their motivation and performance. Students at Holmstead who are finding both academic success and behavioral growth are encouraged to remain in the program through their senior year. At that time, diplomas are issued by the sending district and certificates of completion are issued by Holmstead.
Successfully functioning students wishing to return to their local public school are helped to judge whether this would reinstate conditions previously leading to failure.