SCHOOLS FOR CHILDREN ANNOUNCES THE RELOCATION OF DEARBORN ACADEMY AND LESLEY ELLIS SCHOOL
Winchester, MA – May 11, 2016 – Schools for Children, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating and managing great schools and educational services, announced today that it will relocate two of the schools it manages: Dearborn Academy, a special education therapeutic day school, and Lesley Ellis School, an independent school serving children in preschool through Grade 8.
Schools for Children plans to move Dearborn Academy from its Arlington facility to a new location at 575 Washington Street in Newton, the former home of CATS Academy. The Lesley Ellis School will move from a leased space in Arlington’s Gibbs Building to 34 Winter Street in Arlington—a building owned by Schools for Children and currently used by Dearborn Academy. Both schools trace their lineage to Lesley University and have been serving children for over 65 years.
“Schools for Children has long been interested in providing facilities for all our programs that can support their missions, make room for growth, and serve their communities well,” said Schools for Children Executive Director Ted Wilson. “We also believe that school buildings can inspire the richer learning and teaching of our students.”
“When we learned last summer that the town of Arlington might not be renewing the lease on the building that had been the home of the Lesley Ellis School for the past 28 years, we accelerated our timeline for new facilities. Our board and our leadership carefully studied the options and considered dozens of locations before we made our decision. We negotiated and recently signed a lease for new space in Newton to serve as the new home of Dearborn Academy.
We’re excited about the expanded programming and services we’ll be able to provide our special education students in Newton. Dearborn’s move from Arlington is not easy after 30 years, but the opportunities this new location presents are exceptional. Look for Dearborn to set a new, higher standard in special education in the coming years.”
Dearborn Academy’s Future in Newton
The new facility at 575 Washington Street in Newton has almost 50 percent more program space than Dearborn’s current home, has well-lighted classrooms, large halls and common areas, a full-size modern gym, centralized heat and cooling systems, plenty of off-street parking and ample room to expand upon the range of specialized services required by Dearborn’s students. The building’s proximity to major transportation routes and primary referral sources and the fact that it is almost a turnkey situation given the major improvements completed in the past three years, make this a huge opportunity for the future of Dearborn Academy.
Former Board chair Sally Currier toured the facility recently and was impressed, saying, “Securing it would be a significant step forward for the school.”
When asked about the move to Newton, Dearborn Director Dr. Howard Rossman observed that, "I have seen incredible positive change over the many years I have been at Dearborn Academy. Our staff has always prioritized the needs of our students, their families and guardians, and our programming, staffing, and expertise have all been molded to meet these needs. The relocation of Dearborn Academy is another change for the school but is one that presents opportunities for the future. I'm confident that the sense of mission and passion among our dedicated staff and the management team at Schools for Children will guide this transition and secure the future of Dearborn Academy.”
The new facility is the second major news to be announced recently about Dearborn Academy’s future. Dr. Rossman announced his retirement earlier this month
“Throughout the past three decades Howard has dedicated himself to the Dearborn program and its students,” said Ted Wilson. “He has built a widely-respected and stable leadership team at Dearborn that will welcome and support the school’s next director and will work together to see the Dearborn program thrive into the future.”
Lesley Ellis to Remain in Arlington
The Lesley Ellis School has made its home in Arlington since 1989. Wilson added that this move “will allow Lesley Ellis to move from the multi-tenant environment in the Gibbs to a beautiful, historic building right here in Arlington that we already own. It is a former Arlington elementary school that has been cared for by Dearborn Academy in partnership with Schools for Children. It will now become a home for the exclusive use of Lesley Ellis School.”
“Lesley Ellis is growing,” says Lesley Ellis Head of School Deanne Benson. “The demand for our intimate, project-based approach in a robust academic environment is greater than ever. Families know and love us for our sophisticated science program, innovative arts curriculum, and award-winning anti-bias program.”
This year, the school will graduate its first 8th grade class. “As interest in Lesley Ellis has steadily grown over the years so, too, has the need for more space and a location that Lesley Ellis can call home for decades to come,” says Director of Admission Tricia Moran. “We’re very excited about this move and the fact that we will continue to be a locally accessible independent school.”
About Dearborn Academy
Dearborn Academy is one of New England’s leading state-approved special education day schools, serving children with emotional, social and learning challenges in separate elementary/middle and high school programs. Learn more at www.dearbornacademy.org
About Lesley Ellis School
The Lesley Ellis School is an independent school – serving early childhood, elementary and middle school students through grade eight in Arlington, Massachusetts. Learn more at www.lesleyellis.org
About Schools for Children
Schools for Children, Inc. is a Massachusetts nonprofit organization creating and managing great schools and educational services, currently operating several schools, a before- and after-school program and a Short Term Educational Placement service. Schools for Children also develops new education services and innovations and consults with other schools, districts and human service providers to enhance the quality and performance of their programs.
PR Counsel for Schools for Children