In 1971, Positive Education Program was created in consultation with area school districts to help them serve their most challenging students. Initially, PEP functioned as a consulting organization, but quickly it became apparent that districts needed specialized centers dedicated to meeting the educational needs of their most troubled and troubling students. In 1975, PEP opened its first Day Treatment Center providing a blended educational and mental health program. Since then the agency has grown in size and scope. Today, PEP operates seven Day Treatment Centers, Early Childhood Plus, Connections and PEP Assist.

PEP has grown in size and reputation. Locally and nationally, PEP has been recognized for its excellent programming. In 1996, the U.S. Department of Education identified PEP’s Day Treatment Centers as one of six model special education programs in the country. In 2000, the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice recognized PEP for being an example of a model program providing intensive interventions to troubled students. In 2003, Positive Education Program won the Woodruff Prize, a local honor bestowed upon an agency demonstrating excellence in mental health care. In 2007, PEP Day Treatment services were highlighted by the American Institutes for Research as one of three effective alternative education programs in the United States.

Learn more about PEP’s history.