For Families

Referrals To Dearborn Academy

We understand the out-of-district placement process can be stressful for families—but we are here to help. If your child’s IEP team recommends an out-of-district school placement, your special education director will send a referral packet to several schools. If Dearborn Academy is one of the schools to receive your packet, our admissions team will carefully review your student's needs and history. If we think our educational and therapeutic services will be a good fit for your child’s needs, and we think we are the right kind of community, we'll contact you to arrange a formal interview for you and your child.

If you know that Dearborn has received your packet, you are always free to call us. Until we review your packet, we won't be able to answer many questions regarding possible placement, but we'll do our best to answer any questions about our school. You can help by working with your school or special education director to ensure that your packet is as complete as possible.

The Admissions Process

A family's first visit to Dearborn Academy will include a tour of the school and a conversation about our program with our team. We hope you'll ask lots of questions because we want you to be able to make an informed decision. If you need a translator at that meeting, please let us know in advance and we will with your public school district to work out the details. Also, you can download our handy checklist to help you stay on top of the process.

At that first meeting, we'll review the student's previous and current school experiences, needs and goals. Our process is designed to provide the prospective family as well as the school the chance to assess whether or not this is the best setting for the student.

If together we agree to take the next step, we may then invite the student for a day-long visit. The student will meet our teachers, counselors and students and spend the day as a student in the school.  At the end of the day, we meet with the student to talk about his or her impressions.  

A member of our team will then call the parent and school system with our decision. We don't want there to be any further delay in a student's education so we try to make our decision promptly. Most families will have a decision within two days. Once a student has been admitted, Dearborn's public school liaison works with the school system and parent to complete any needed IEP paperwork and arrange for transportation.

The next step? We'll help you make a successful transition to your new school—and welcome you to Dearborn!

Collaboration with Public Schools

For many students, Dearborn Academy is a temporary experience, a chance to overcome any learning challenges and take advantage of intensive personal support.  When a student is ready to return to his or her public school, Dearborn works closely with everyone involved to ensure success—often continuing that work well after the student has left Dearborn.

Private Pay Students

Although most students come to us through referrals from their districts, we are also able to enroll students on a private pay basis. There is no separate application. If you are interested in a private placement, please let us know. We will ask you to provide us with your child's IEP packet, school records and assessments and then arrange for an interview. If you are interested in pursuing a private pay placement for a student in grades 3-8, please contact Ginny Doxsey at 781.641.5992 x3004 or email her at If you are interested in pursuing a private pay placement for a student in grades 9-12, please contact Tanya Linehan at 781.641.5992 x3022 or email her at