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Old 01-14-2012, 10:08 PM
 
13 posts, read 34,288 times
Reputation: 25

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We are likely moving to Boston this coming summer for my husband's job and are trying to narrow down towns for us to consider. We currently live in the MD suburbs of Washington DC, where the public schools are considered "the best in the country" but we have found their special ed so lacking that we currently pay for private school for our child (1st grade) with special needs. We also send our other child (3rd grade) to an alternative private school as well and would likely continue to send this child to the same kind of school in the Boston area. That school is located in Lexington, so we are focusing our search for where to live somewhere around there.

My questions are as follows:

1) Are there good special ed private schools around, other than Carroll and Landmark? These are the only two I can find through any of my searches. Our spec needs child has language-based learning disabilities, executive functioning challenges, some attention issues (not hyperactivity, though), and is in general sociable, smart, and friendly, though very, very young for his age. He needs very small classes - his current school, where he is doing very well, has a class size of 12, and he needs this to be successful. He is also very immature socially so will need a lot of help no matter where he goes.

2) It looks to me as though there aren't that many special ed schools - or at least, nothing like the HUGE number there are in the DC area, where everyone I know who has a child with spec needs does private school. I'm wondering if it's just that the Boston area schools are so good for spec ed so private schools aren't necessary? Does anyone have experience in this realm? We're not used to town-based schools as our schools are organized by (enormous) county.

3) Finally, is there a town nearby Lexington, including Lexington possibly, that people would recommend for us, taking into account our concerns about special ed? We will rent first but would like to buy within a year or so. My husband will be working downtown. I'll need access to either Alewife or Newton for my commute. Our price-range for buying would be about 800-950K. we don't need a lot of land at all (not used to much!) but will want access to a nice downtown, a house on the older side with charm in good condition, and hopefully a friendly place that will be open to some newcomers arriving who didn't grow up in Boston (everyone we know who lives in Boston grew up here!).

Thank you so much for any input! Oh also - any recmomendations for listservs for parents of children with special needs in the area would be most helpful.
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Old 01-15-2012, 08:17 AM
 
199 posts, read 913,189 times
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The Carroll School and Landmark School are well known private special needs schools that might be worthwhile looking into for your son. There's also the Cotting School in Lexington (Cotting School: Cotting School), though I'm not familiar with it.

Here's a list on MA approved special needs schools - Massachusetts Approved Private Special Education Schools - Program Quality Assurance Services. Like you, I found a big difference between what is offered in MA and what is offered in NYC. There's nothing like the number of public or private special needs program here as in NYC. I grew up in MA and never realized how it compared until I moved to NYC.

My son has had some similar issues to your son so I can relate. He was in a pre-k language-based, special needs program in NYC near Lincoln Center. When we moved back to MA, we lived temporarily in Waltham. I actually pulled my son from a pre-k special needs program in Waltham shortly after we moved back and placed him in the Clark School in Danvers (Home) partially due to the attention issues (though he's no longer there).

I think more people use the public schools for special needs here in MA. As you've found, everything is town or city-based in terms of special needs and funding. Of course, this varies from town to town on what they offer and how their special needs programs run, but I've heard that Lexington has a very good special needs program and people move to the town because of it. Being an affluent town, Lexington has more money and resources specifically for the special needs (as well as the general, public education) and it's quite possible you may find what your son needs with the public schools. Lexington is one of the top school systems in the state.

Increasingly, I've heard parents homeschooling their special needs child or partial homeschooling them but I realize that this may not be desirable or an option for you.

Lexington is welcoming to newcomers. There's a lot of academics from MIT and Harvard as well as a lot of computer/engineer types who live in the town.
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Old 01-16-2012, 02:41 AM
 
545 posts, read 1,293,135 times
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CTDS: Community Services I cannot say enought great things about Community Therapy Day School. My ex worked there and I saw first hand the great job that was done. Well worth a visit. Not sure of the special need, but they handled many. Well worth checking out as to me, this fits your requirements.
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Old 02-13-2012, 02:48 PM
 
87 posts, read 206,980 times
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Newton public schools are the best when it comes to spec. ed services. Not sure if you are familiar with IDEA bu the public schools are responsible to provide fape in least restrictive environment. Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy
Once you move the initial evals will determine what how and where the services will be delivered to your child.
Most districts do have a sort of a forum or a group for special ed and you can join and ask specific questions about your transition.
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Old 02-13-2012, 02:54 PM
 
87 posts, read 206,980 times
Reputation: 54
2) It looks to me as though there aren't that many special ed schools - or at least, nothing like the HUGE number there are in the DC area, where everyone I know who has a child with spec needs does private school. I'm wondering if it's just that the Boston area schools are so good for spec ed so private schools aren't necessary? Does anyone have experience in this realm? We're not used to town-based schools as our schools are organized by (enormous) county.




Some school districts have come together to form a collaborative private setting for the special ed. Most districts however like to keep the kids in district first and if the evaluations and child's disability prove othervise than outside placement will be considered. You can contact me privately if you want to talk some more in details.
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Old 02-29-2012, 01:13 PM
 
6 posts, read 18,464 times
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Would like to know the info for Newton, Wellesley, Wayland, Sudbury, Natick, Hopkinton, Southborough. Which town has good Special Ed program for preschool kid? Really appreciate for any opinion.
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