Welcome to The First Hope

Anchoring at The First Hope of The First AcademyA 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+ Secondary which is 4:1 student:teacher ratio — with an objective to achieve all they were meant to achieve. 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 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:

The First Hope Contacts

Sarah Donovan
Director of The Extended Educational Programs
(407) 206-8704

Patty Myers
The First Hope Principal
(407) 206-8801

Kelly Rapp
Kelly Rapp
Program Assistant
(407) 206-8801

The First Hope Calendar

View 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