Little Keswick School’s philosophy of education encompasses both academic and social/emotional growth for each student. Recognizing that every child has his own individual capabilities, his environment is structured in order that he is able to achieve his potential growth through the development of a positive self-concept. Emphasis is placed on self-respect and respect for others.
A positive attitude toward learning is developed and social skills training is emphasized. Family involvement is essential to assure that students will carry over positive behavior to the home and community. Little Keswick School is committed to structuring, nurturing, and encouraging the development of responsible, honorable behavior.
Since its founding in 1963 by Robert and Elizabeth Wilson, Little Keswick School has provided a quality education for boys aged nine to seventeen who have special needs. Located on twenty-five pastoral acres adjacent to the scenic Southwest Mountains and just seven miles from Charlottesville and the University of Virginia, the school features quality academic and social/emotional programs within a relaxed atmosphere, providing the warmth, structure, and security a child needs in order to mature.
When the Wilson's opened their first summer camp in 1963, they did not have a long-range plan for operating a special education school. That first summer, five boys received help with study skills and habits and participated in horseback riding, canoeing, and camping in the Blue Ridge Mountains. After three years of offering a summer camp, a group of parents asked Bob and Libby if they would offer a winter program. Over fifty years later, Little Keswick School is a nationally recognized year-round therapeutic boarding school for thirty-four boys with social, emotional, learning, and behavioral issues.
The first students literally boarded in the Wilson’s home, however, as the number of students grew, farm cottages were renovated into dormitories and classrooms. Meals were served family-style in the “Main House” kitchen/dining area until the Keswick Depot was added to the school’s campus in 1995. Many additional upgrades and additions have taken place including a gymnasium, outdoor black top and soccer field. A new Academic Center and the Madison and Jefferson Dorms opened in 2008. In 2012, the Monroe Residence Center was completely renovated adding our school library.
In 2013, LKS celebrated its 50th Anniversary since Bob and Libby opened their doors. The school is honored to have been a part of so many students' lives and seen their successes over the 50 years.
"As we look ahead, we now can do so with optimism and hope and confidence that (our son) will find his way and continue on the positive path that you've shown him. The work you do at LKS is so important and we've seen firsthand how it can truly change a boy's life."
— Parent from California