Marjorie McMorris started The Helix School after recognizing an unmet need for an interdisciplinary education for children with autism and other spectrum-related disorders in the Bay Area.
The Helix School’s innovative approach to educating children with special needs sets it apart. The Helix School is always asking themselves, “Where do we want to see this child when they are 21-years-old?” Through a deep partnership with the parents, the staff at Helix works to meet the child where they are, build a relationship with them and learn what makes that student most engaged. From there, they set in motion an individualized plan to help that student grow into an adult who can access their community, work and lead a fulfilling life.
Marjorie McMorris introduced Jon Venverloh and his family to The Helix School shortly after its opening in 2014. Moved by the school’s passion for filling the unmet needs of children with autism in the community and inspired by the intention behind the curriculum, the family decided to donate to the school’s non-profit, The Helix School Foundation, through the Venverloh Family Foundation.
“Apart from The Helix School, there are few, if any, schools that are delivering such a rigorous program for children facing the challenges of autism. Not only are they educators, but the Helix team is also a research and development team creating and innovating new approaches to education.” – Jon VenverlohExcerpts from an email from a parent of a Helix student: “Thank you from the depths of my heart and soul for the vision and the immense work that I can only imagine went into creating Helix… Lauren’s* entire world has changed and improved at Helix. Her self-esteem has been rebuilt. Every person who I have interacted with at Helix is wildly talented, compassionate, honest, and truly cares about Lauren and we trust them implicitly… After fighting for Lauren for so many years, Helix feels like our whole family has been put in the arms of angels to rest and enjoy this journey safely and with joy.” *Lauren is not the actual name of the student.
“When I started Helix, my vision was to create a relationship-based and multi-disciplinary program. Basically, merging academics with therapy. For me, they go hand in hand. For our students to learn, the whole child had to be the focus. This meant our teachers and therapists have to work together to develop a tailored solution for each student. That takes time and patience, and our students and their families can depend on us to deliver.” – Marjorie McMorris