History and Core Values

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

– Nelson Mandela


All Students Experience Success.


Our mission is to provide a highly specialized educational and therapeutic program for students identified with emotional disabilities, as well as those with social, emotional and learning challenges, preparing them to be lifelong learners.


For over 40 years, The Foundation Schools’s mix of academic support and therapeutic services has given thousands of students in grades 1-12 in the Washington metropolitan area another chance to reach their full potential. The Foundation Schools was founded in 1975 by Dr. John Meeks who believed that, “the work of children and adolescents was school.” The schools were based in the area’s leading inpatient psychiatric hospitals until 1993 when The Foundation Schools became separate day schools. Today, The Foundation Schools serve more than 350 students of the Washington metropolitan area in grades 1-12 at two locations: The Foundation School of Montgomery County in Gaithersburg, MD and The Foundation School in Largo, MD. The Foundation Schools is approved by the State of Maryland and the District of Columbia. Every student has their own story to tell and journey to travel and our incredible staff provides them with the tools and guidance to do so. From transitioning back to the public schools graduating high school, to college and career exploration, the students of The Foundation Schools demonstrate they can discover success in their futures and inspire us all.

Core Values

The Foundation School’s Core Values:

Provide a strong foundation for our programs, inform our decisions and guide our staff and students daily. Our core values are: Teamwork, Work Ethic, Integrity, Respect and Leadership (TWIRL).

  • Teamwork- We cooperate, help others, are supportive, ask for help and accept feedback.
  • Work Ethic- We are consistent, dependable, accountable, responsible and dedicated.
  • Integrity- We are trustworthy, honest, courageous and strong.
  • Respect- We display courtesy, kindness, appreciation, fairness and openness.
  • Leadership- We work with positivity, passion, excellence, flexibility and creativity.