Pygmalion School is a private special education day school.

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

History of the School

The school was founded as an essential supplemental support to People Places’ treatment foster care program in Staunton. When the Handicapped Children Act of 1975 was signed into federal law, many local public school systems continued to refuse these children citing behaviors severe enough to warrant placement outside a public school setting. To fill this need, the Pygmalion school was created.
Today, public school systems in the surrounding areas refer students to Pygmalion although these students generally do not reside in therapeutic foster homes. Pygmalion continues to provide an alternative educational placement for students who cannot function successfully in a public school setting, but deserve to receive an education in a caring environment.

Philosophy of the School

Our staff at the Pygmalion School believes that all children should be given the opportunity to develop to the fullest measure of their abilities. The school operates on the principle that many behaviors are learned and strongly influenced by environmental factors, which can be modified. This belief places responsibility foremost on those asked to serve the students; instructors at Pygmalion advocate for children to identify and express their feelings, manage anger, build social skills, and increase self-esteem.

Educational Objectives and Goals

The goal of the Pygmalion School program is to teach the academic, behavioral, and social skills needed by each student so as to enable him/her to move to a less restrictive public school educational or vocational program with the best likelihood of success. To achieve this goal the following factors are emphasized in the program:
  1. Coordination efforts with parents, the public schools and, when applicable, other agencies involved with the child.
  2. Creating Individualized Education Programs (IEP’s) to tailor each student’s course of study to the levels of achievement at which he/she is capable of succeeding.
  3. Designing and implementing individualized behavior programming based upon the principles and procedures of behavior analysis research.
Educational programs and services shall be designed to meet the varying needs of all students and do not discriminate against any individual for reasons of race, religion, color, sex, or national origin.

About the Director

Carol Bright – Director of Education, Pygmalion School

Carol joined the team at People Places’ Pygmalion School in 1978.  She has served as a special education teacher, case manager for children and their foster parents, supervisor, educational consultant, parenting skills trainer, and group leader for independent living skills for teens. Carol graduated with a B.S. from Madison College and a master’s in Education from James Madison University. In 2014, she received the J. Lewis Gibbs Distinguished Service Award, given by the Mental Health of Augusta Chapter, in recognition of her service in the field of mental health for children and their families.

Connect With The Pygmalion School

1104 N. Augusta St. Staunton, VA 24401

Phone: (540) 886-2777 | Email: