"I am thankful for the staff and all their hard work. I am thankful to have such good friends. Math is my favorite class because I enjoy learning how to count money and make exact change."

Leslie B., Student since 2006


The Trousdale School, Incorporated, was established in 2005 by Thomas D. Johnson, Judith L. Johnson, and Christin J. Rose.  Tom and Judy Johnson’s third child, Sarah, was born with Down syndrome in the mid 1970s, and after fighting battle after battle in primary and secondary schools to continue her learning experience, she completed her high school certificate.  The family searched for the best “next fit,” and they were discouraged with the lack of options.  Trousdale School was developed to provide affordable continued educational for Sarah and for other adults with intellectual disabilities, building on the secondary school framework and encouraging them to achieve greater independence, productivity, and improved quality of life.

History 9The school opened first with three students and one teacher in the corporate offices of Mr. Johnson’s primary business as a nursing home management company in Cleveland, TN.  In 2008 the school began leasing property from Asbury United Methodist Church, and in spring 2012, Trousdale School purchased the property as a part of its strategic plan to ultimately provide educational and residential services. In 2015, Trousdale School became fully accredited through the National Commission for the Accreditation of Special Education Services (NCASES, a subsidiary of the National Association for Private Special Education Centers (NAPSEC). Click here to read the story of our accreditation. The road to licensure required perseverance and determination, as the designation for a school of this kind did not previously exist in the state of Tennessee. In 2017, after years of effort in conjunction with the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD) to create legislation, Trousdale School became the first organization in Tennessee to be licensed as an Adult Habilitation Day Facility.  Click here to read the story of our licensure.

Today, Trousdale School serves approximately 30 students from the Cleveland and Chattanooga areas between the ages of 22-60 with 10-12 staff (including two certified teachers) within a day program.