The Joshua School was started by six educators who were working in a classroom for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Developmental Disabilities in the public schools. It had become very clear that a small school with controlled environment, budget, and personnel would have a more significant impact than what was possible in a larger system. In the Spring of 2002, a beloved student, Joshua, passed away. His death was the catalyst for moving forward in the creation of The Joshua Schooll. It was a poignant reminder that every day matters and that every day must be lived to its fullest. The staff began developing curriculum, business plans, and a model for an independent school. Planning took place after school and on weekends for over two years.
Then, after nine years in the public school classroom, all six educators left their jobs, cashed in their retirements or savings, and rented a few small rooms in the Olinger Mansion in Denver, Colorado. In the Fall of 2005, after much effort, The Joshua School was licensed by the Colorado Department of Human Services and approved by the Colorado Department of Education as an "eligible facility," allowing public schools and agencies to utilize services provided by TJS. The first student arrived in October 2005. Shortly thereafter, in 2006, The Joshua School won 5280's Unsung Heroes Award and received national recognition from U.S. Representative Diana DeGette for its contribution to the community and to education in Colorado.
To create an organization that was financially solid, teachers agreed to receive only a percentage of their salaries until the school was full enough to sustain itself. Starting with three teachers receiving 15% of their salaries and gradually increasing to nine teachers, it took two complete school years to reach a place of financial stability. In the summer of 2007, staff received their first full paychecks and The Joshua School was on its way.
The Joshua School now employs over 100 staff members in it's Denver Campus, Boulder Campus and Joshua Early Childhood Center, and in it's parent organization, Joshua Inc. Staff include: teachers, behavioral therapists, early intervention specialists, instructional assistants, speech therapists, occupational therapists, a nurse, and many other professionals. Our headquarters and The Denver Campus are housed in the historic Brown Mansion located in Englewood, CO with over 1.5 acres of land and ample space including: six classrooms, a therapy gym, resource libraries, play rooms, a children's library, daily living skills areas, vocational training rooms, and much more.