New school opens for students living with autism, developmental disabilities

New center teaches academic, social, behavioral skills

ROANOKE, Va. – A local school for students living with autism is expanding to better meet the needs of students.

Centra Health opened its second Rivermont School in Roanoke. On Monday, students attended their first day of classes.

The new school is at the old Piggly Wiggly grocery store along Riverland Road. It's designed for kids on the autism spectrum and with other developmental disabilities.

The school has a sensory room, small classroom sizes and uses evidence-based approaches to learning.

"It's social. It's behavioral. It's academic. It's all-encompasing," said Brian Summo, the school's new principal. "It takes a lot of people to do that so that's why we have such a good staff-to-student ratio."

Rivermont also helps students with job skill training and life skills, like making their bed or doing laundry.

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