Residential Program


Harris Hall residential wing provides students a safe, nurturing and homey environment with a 5-day or 7-day school-year option.

Our state-of-the-art facility offers comfortable home-away-from-home space for students’ bedrooms, belongings and personal care. Spacious and cheerful, the residence looks out to HMS’s courtyard garden and the University City streetscape.

The Health Services Department ensures 24-hour continuity of care between school and residence, with skilled and loving personal care provided by Personal Care Assistants (PCAs) who become students’ surrogate family. In addition to evening rounds, visual and sound systems allow us to monitor children’s well-being throughout the night. Our residential program is certified by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, Division of Children, Youth and Families.

“The children at HMS are at home at this school. Instead of one child having a wheelchair, all of the children have wheelchairs. The staff adapt activities, learning experiences and activities of daily living to the child’s particular needs so that they are able to interact in a variety of situations instead of sitting on the sidelines. Each year, the school makes more and more changes and improvements to benefit the students. Our son is accepted in this environment and has built a social network that would not have been possible at his home school.”

– Parent

After school, students engage in a variety of recreation activities at school and in the community and they enjoy ample time to relax and socialize with friends and staff. To learn more about after school activities click here.

Although the residence is informal, distinguishing between school and “home life,” goals from the day program do carry over into evening activities. Students practice skills in a laid-back environment. In an evening communication group students call parents, send email, chat with one another and video conference with families on the computer. Wide hallways are perfect for practicing power-wheelchair maneuvers.

The residential program also offers a transition experience from adolescence to young adulthood, preparing students with skills and readiness, confidence building and assertiveness, emotional support and social facility. We encourage this option as a way to prepare for life after 21.