Dearborn Academy
Rebecca Altepeter
781-641-5992, ext. 3018


Schools for Children
Paul Stein
781-641-2424, ext. 1001



Rediscovering a Love of learning


Download the fast facts Dearborn Academy Information Card:


We re-engage students in learning and prepare them for college and career:

  • Some students get extra help through meeting one-on-one or in small groups with special educators, speech and language pathologists or our occupational therapist in the elementary/middle school or high school Learning Centers.

  • Students who require a multi-sensory, systematic reading program will be taught skills through the Wilson Reading System or the Wisnia Kapp Reading Program.

  • Dearborn students take Spanish, and unlike other graduates from special education private schools do not need a foreign language waiver for college admission.

  • All of our students take the MCAS with accommodations.


Students who do not find success at Dearborn include those who:


  • Act out aggressively in their home or school communities on a regular basis in spite of interventions.

  • Have moderate to significant challenges resulting from Autism Spectrum Disorder.

  • Have an intellectual impairment.

  • Use drugs or alcohol on a regular basis and are not willing to get help.

Our Elementary/Middle School Program serves students in grades 3-8. Their classrooms have between five and nine students with a special educator and assistant teacher.


Our High School Program offers classrooms of between eight and 12 students with a special educator and assistant teacher:


  • Students in grades 11-12 meet individually each week with a College and Career Services Counselor in addition to attending weekly classes aimed at building life and transitional skills.


Unique Additional Program Features

These include our well-known arts and vocational programs. All Dearborn students have the opportunity to enhance their academic, social and vocational skills through music, gym, computer and art classes. All students take wood shop, and high school students have additional instruction in culinary arts, metalwork and jewelry.


Family involvement is at the heart of our success:

Families are key partners in our work, and are contacted regularly as we share information about student progress and enlist their support in working to help their children learn new skills to be successful students. Dearborn Academy offers monthly family support groups as well as family therapy on a short-term basis when addressing issues within the family system that affect the student’s success in school.


We use empirically-based and innovative therapies:


  • Students at Dearborn have weekly individual therapy to learn coping skills and strategies to overcome life’s challenges. Each student meets individually with a masters level clinician or graduate intern at least once a week.

  • When not in sessions, our clinicians spend time in the milieu and classrooms teaching students how to apply the skills and strategies learned in counseling in their learning and social environments.

  • A team of milieu counselors reinforce teaching of coping skills both in and out of the classroom setting as needed.

  • Dearborn contracts with the Cambridge Health Alliance to have a psychiatrist come to campus once a week. Our psychiatrist consults with interested families, the school team and prescribes medication when appropriate.


We have made new community partnerships in Newton. Through our partnership with Community Rowing, Inc. our students have the opportunity to participate in on-water rowing activities and compete in the annual YETI, a dryland youth rowing competition.


We have teamed up with the Newton YMCA, located one minute’s drive from campus. Interested students in grades 3-8 are accompanied to the Y by a Dearborn staff member who assists them in afterschool programming once a week, paid for by their families.


We have fun!

Dearborn students enjoy experiences that those in public school do, such as high school prom, field trips around Boston, and playing basketball on a competitive team as part of the Greater Boston Basketball League. We also organize events like Color Day, Field Day, an annual Turkey Trot 5k, Halloween and tailgating parties.


We invite you to come see our school. Please contact me at raltepeter@dearbornacademy.org.


We look forward to seeing you!





Rebecca Altepeter

Head of School