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Talisman Semesters

Talisman Semesters is an all-male private special needs school for students in grades 7 through 12.

Institution Type: Private Setting: Rural


Talisman Semesters's Full Profile



Talisman Semesters says

Talisman Semesters is a residential academic and experiential program for middle to high school boys, focusing on academic re-engagement, social skill development and independence. There are two groups divided between middle school and high school students, each with 8 boys. The middle school group serves 7th and 8th graders; the high school group serves 9th – 12th graders, through age 17. The academic and program staff develop individual plans for each student, to focus on the areas of greatest need for the semester.

Through small experiential classes, expeditions, targeted social skill coaching, and strengthening academic tools, our students increase confidence, motivation, independence, and a positive self-awareness. Learning opportunities are intentionally multi-sensory, and designed to engage visual, aural, and kinesthetic learners. On and off campus students practice independent living skills and engage in focused social skills groups. Talisman strives, above all, to provide a positive and fun environment in which our students feel accepted and successful.


Talisman Semesters is an exciting alternative to the traditional academic setting! We acknowledge the unique obstacles challenging students with the autism spectrum diagnosis and strive to create a learning environment that understands and supports those needs. We also teach our students how to advocate for their academic needs and function successfully in a typical classroom.

Talisman has two settings where academic lessons are conducted: campus and trips. The campus setting is more traditional, with students spending some time at desks practicing following typical classroom rules while utilizing a multi-sensory approach and hands-on activities. Campus academics allow teachers and staff the chance to focus on individual needs, practice classroom skills, cover required curriculum, and develop lesson plans for academic excursions. Both on trips and on campus students will follow standard courses of study for Math, Science, Social Studies, and English. Classes will not just stay inside, but also utilize our entire campus for hands-on lessons and projects, learning how to approach and solve academic problems and to work in small groups.

Our purpose is to provide experiential learning opportunities that bring the subject matter to life, and help our students better engage and learn. To this end, we extend the learning process and curriculum beyond the classroom through after-school programming, weekend excursions, and extended learning trips. Program staff and teachers work together to incorporate lesson plans that involve student interests and real-life connections to academic curricula.

Mission Statement

Talisman Programs provide young people with learning differences exceptional opportunities to increase self-confidence, independence, motivation, and social competence in a safe and nurturing environment.

Admission Information

Student Profile • Boys age 12-17 (grades 7-12) Autism level 1, Asperger’s Syndrome • Social communication disorders • Learning challenges • Social or school anxiety and frustration • Disengaged from academics • Difficulty reading and responding to social cues • Sensory integration issues • Executive functioning issues • Processing difficulties • Verbal IQ minimum 85



Private schools, including parochial and boarding, are funded through tuition and fees. The cost varies from school to school, but most families pay tuition to attend them. Many private schools offer financial aid or discounts, so it's worthwhile to ask about these options.


  (828) 697-6313



Academic Calendar: Semester

Students and Faculty

Students and Faculty

Enrollment Data

Total Enrollment 20
Enrollment By Grade
Grade Number of Students
7 4
8 3
9 3
10 4
11 3
12 3

Talisman Semesters's enrollment profile may offer insights into student retention rates, local population changes, real estate costs, and the accessibility of alternative educational options. to find out more about the specific factors influencing Talisman Semesters's enrollment numbers.

Student Teacher Ratio 8 : 1
Gender 80% Male / 20% Female
Student Diversity
Percentage of Student Body
White 95%
Hispanic/Latino 5%
Asian 4%
Academic Director   Dave Rollins
Program Director   John Bates
Operations Director   Linda Tatsapaugh


Talisman combines consistent social and independent skill development with an engaging program that our students really enjoy. Our core extra-curricular class is social skills class, in which we dissect, discuss, and practice many skills with which our students commonly struggle. For independent living, we learn gardening, cooking, budgeting, self-care, navigation around town, and other crucial skills. We enjoy a wide variety of cultural activities in our region, and participate in a number of outdoor sports, including hiking, paddling, rock climbing, and snowboarding. Students also have downtime in which to read, write, play games and relax. The highlights of each semester are our week-long expeditions to significant places in the southeast, where we combine educational and recreational activities. We have gone to Washington, D.C., the Outer Banks, Atlanta, and other exciting destinations.

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