Germantown non-profit school serves special-needs students

On Walnut Lane in Germantown, the Green Tree School offers an educational and therapeutic curriculum for students faced with various disorders and disabilities

The 55-year-old nonprofit, private institution serves 250 students per academic year and provides a tuition-free education focused on helping students between the ages of 3 and 21 become active members of their communities.

Jessica Yan, the school’s public relations and development associate, said the school is tuition-free because 85 percent of the students live on or below the poverty line.

She noted that teachers there cater programs to each student’s particular needs per the state Department of Education’s Individualized Education Program (IEP).

“[During] the 12 years I have been here, the school has progressed and significantly serves the population,” the school’s executive director Dr. Herman Axelrod said. “The children are already in mainstream society because they go home. What Green Tree is trying to do is place them into mainstream education through the IEP program.”

Today, the school operates in four buildings on its current site, but zoning has been approved for its move to East Washington Lane in East Mt. Airy.


Marchelle Roberts and Tiffany N. Mercer-Robbins are students at Temple University. Philadelphia Neighborhoods, a NewsWorks content partner, is an initiative of the Temple Multimedia Urban Reporting Lab

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal