Our Schools

Schools for Children operates three thriving schools, a before and after school program in a public school and a specialized educational support program. To learn more about any of our five Massachusetts-based programs below, please visit their individual websites.


Dearborn Academy

Located in Newton, Dearborn Academy is one of New England’s premiere state-approved day schools for students with special needs in Grades 3–12. Students receive specialized help learning skills needed to overcome challenges that often are the result of anxiety, depression, executive functioning, language-based and/or other learning difficulties. 


Dearborn provides a comprehensive academic program that – in addition to language arts, math, science and social studies – includes Spanish, physical education, metal and wood shops, jewelry, art, music and individualized reading instruction. Its therapeutic services include weekly therapy, clinicians who are embedded in the classroom, milieu counselors, and restorative practices. Visit our website.


Lesley Ellis School

A nationally-recognized independent school (preschool-Grade 8), Lesley Ellis in Arlington is one of the leading early childhood and elementary schools in the greater Boston area serving more than 200 students from 20 different communities. The Lesley Ellis program serves eager preschoolers through confident eighth graders in a community that is defined by respect and a celebration of diversity. 


The robust academic program has the flexibility to meet individual needs of students while building essential foundational skills. A vibrant arts program exposes students to the vast canvas of creative expression, and the schoolwide Spanish program seizes on the ease of early language acquisition to instill a broad cultural and language proficiency. The award-winning anti-bias curriculum is the compass that guides the Lesley Ellis experience and a reminder that students, faculty and parents are not only part of a caring school community, but also of a larger global community that demands our understanding and mindfulness. Visit our website.


Seaport Academy

An alternative state-approved school for young men in Grades 8–12, Seaport Academy is located in Chelsea’s Admirals Hill neighborhood. The school specializes in using Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS)  to work with teens experiencing social/emotional challenges. Seaport enrolls 28 students and engages them in academic and elective subjects using techniques that are cooperative, hands-on and activity-based.  


Highly personalized teaching is combined with therapeutic supports, including individual and group counseling.  Seaport has a special focus on communication, executive functioning, social skills and relationship-building. It also takes full advantage of its unique access to the water and the surrounding urban neighborhoods, integrating them into the learning experience. Visit our  website.


Dearborn STEP Program

Dearborn STEP (Short Term Educational Placement) provides an intensive clinical, therapeutic assessment to students in Grades 5-12 for up to 45 school days. These students may have struggled to be successful due to social-emotional challenges, learning challenges, attendance challenges, and suspensions. Additionally, some students are referred to Dearborn STEP because they are in need of a hospital step-down to help them become re-acclimated to a school environment.


Dearborn STEP can turn a crisis into a healthy break – a chance to evaluate and assess the student’s specific needs and address critical learning issues and low-level behavioral challenges. The program provides therapy, individual and group counseling, family collaboration/supports, an individualized student-centered curriculum, and psychiatric consultation or treatment.


As part of Dearborn STEP’s efforts to help students get back on track, and stay on track, staff members collaborate with outside providers and districts in order to foster understanding of students’ needs. Instruction is often guided by the curriculum of the referring schools. STEP helps students achieve academic and social success, and transitions them to the best possible long-term educational placement. Visit our website.


Winn Brook Extended Learning (WBExL)

Located at the Winn Brook Elementary School in Belmont, this EEC-licensed program provides high-quality before and after school programming for children in the Winn Brook School community. Serving students in kindergarten-Grade 4, WBExL offers supervised and staff-directed activities that are designed to enhance student learning and promote their overall social and emotional development. 


Skilled faculty and staff recognize the various needs of children at different ages and stages of development and use those variations as the basis for creating an energizing curriculum. In addition to general daily activities, the program provides students with the opportunity to join a variety of after-school clubs. Visit our website.