Our History

  • When Dr. Milton Brutten founded the “Main Line Remedial Education Center” in December 1959, he likely did not envision that the small school in a private home would evolve to be a recognized leader in specialized educational services. In 1963, The Vanguard School, an educational program of Valley Forge Educational Services (VFES), became the first school in the State to be approved under Enactment of Act 318, which provided partial tuition assistance for children whose educational needs could not be served in their local public schools.

    2008: Summer L.I.F.E. and Extended School Year at The Vanguard School begins operating under the auspices of Summer Matters.

    2009: The Luma Center for Development and Learning opens to serve a range of children experiencing challenges in motor, self-regulation, speech, play and/or academic skills. That same year the Vanguard Transition Center (VTC) opens to prepare adults 18-21 years of age for post-secondary education, employment and independent living.

    2012: Summer Matters launches a new program, Summer Voyagers. This five-week summer program combines multi-sensory, small-group academic education in reading and math with instruction in executive-function skills. 

    2013: The Vanguard School forms a multidisciplinary team to develop a new comprehensive, speech-intensive, education-based classroom specifically for children 4-6 years old with Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS). 

    2014: We introduce our newest program StarPoint™ with the goal to provide a positive classroom experience for children ages 4–6, who need an alternative solution to support foundational-skills development to jump start his or her education. 

    2015: We expand our therapeutic Pre-K/K and K/1 program to include StarPoint and StarPoint 2 to continue to support children in need of extra instruction and therapy. 

    2016: Summer Matters launches the Vocational Immersion Program (VIP) for adults 18–24 years of age. VIP equips participants with key social and employment-readiness skills through an intensive program.

    2017: We introduce Customized Workforce Solutions (CWS), our adult employment services program providing adults with disabilities the customized opportunities and individualized supports necesssary to find and maintain employment. The Vanguard School begins two Intensive Therapeutic Classrooms for students who need additional support due to the frequency and intensity of their behavioral difficulties. Each classroom has an interdisciplinary team comprised of a board certified behavior analyst, clinical social worker, certified special education and classroom aide.

VFES Today

  • Today, the VFES mission is to prepare children and adults with special needs to realize their potential as contributing members of the community. Since the inception of our organization, our innovative programs and therapeutic services have met the needs and challenges of more than 10,000 students, participants and families.

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    VFES today