Welcome to The First Hope

Anchoring at The First Hope of The First Academy

A Christian alternative to special needs education.

The First Hope, a program for special needs children, is a unique approach to teach children with disabilities. Classes are at a 2:1 student:teacher ratio for all our Inclusion and Transitions+ Programs, except Transitions+ Intermediate and Secondary which is 4:1 student:teacher ratio — with a goal of independence. Our vision is to create an environment of learning and development for special needs children in a Christ-centered program.

These exclusive programs are structured around both Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) goals and educational inclusion opportunities. With a mostly 2:1 student to teacher ratio, the objective is to fully integrate each student into regular classes as each child is uniquely able.


This program is available to children age 3 to grade 12 who are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, PDD, Asperger’s Syndrome, Down Syndrome, Language Delays, Fragile-X Syndrome, Sensory Processing Disorder, Developmental Delay, Severe Learning Disability and other Developmental Disabilities.

Our unique program includes four program options:

  1. Transitions+ Primary, Intermediate, and Secondary: students work on reading, math and life skills
  2. Inclusion: 2 days of the week students are integrated with The Classical School students and then 3 days of the week work 2:1 addressing behavioral, social, motor deficits, sensory needs and educational goals uniquely created for each individual child. .
  3. Early Learning Program: a language based program that addresses behavioral and social skills for children aged 3-4 years old.
  4. Homeschool Program: supporting students at home with additional supports as needed.

The First Hope Contacts

Tonya Roskaft
Tonya Roskaft
(407) 206-8801
Program Support Coordinator
Kelly Rapp
Program Coordinator
(407) 206-8801
Dawn Romero - The First Hope Receptionist
Dawn Romero
Program Assistant
(407) 206-8801
TEEP Administrator
Joe Fana,
TEEP Administrator
(407) 206-8762

The First Hope Calendar

Download the The First Hope Annual Calendar (for print).

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  • Facts at a Glance

    • 21,102

      Volunteer hours given by the Upper School Students last year.
    • 1,460

      Alumni since 1986.
  • The First Academy is Accredited by:

    • Florida Council of Independent Schools
    • Florida Kindergarten Council
    • Southern Association of Independent Schools
    • AdvancEd Southern Association of Colleges & Schools
    • Council on Educational Standards & Accountability
    • Association of Christian Schools International