Yvonne and Dave Streit were unable to find a school or facility capable of teaching their severely handicapped daughter. So, in the summer of 1967, they started The Briarwood School in Houston, Texas.

Using her degrees in psychology and education as a basis, Mrs. Streit spent several years traveling the country from Purdue to UCLA looking for effective programs for educating children with special needs. She took the best ideas, recruited a special education teacher, an art teacher, and a physical therapist, gathered six students into her backyard, and started teaching. By fall, the enrollment had tripled, and the school moved to Memorial Drive Baptist Church.

More than 11,000 students have attended Briarwood

Soon parents were bringing children who were not handicapped and had average or superior intelligence to Mrs. Streit. These parents were concerned with their children’s struggles to learn in “traditional” class settings and frustrated with private and public schools that were not able to address their children’s learning needs. Their children were bright and capable, yet failing in school. Thus, the unique concept of having both populations in one school began.

Founder, Yvonne Streit & Former Head of School, Carole Wills