For Districts and Coordinators

Each Dearborn Academy student’s success starts with the admissions process and determining if Dearborn is the right setting for them.


  • Can we meet the student’s academic, social and emotional needs?

  • Can the student thrive here?

  • Are we a good fit? 

In order to answer these questions, we review the following referral documents, provided by the district with caregiver permission:


  • IEP and recent progress reports

  • Evaluations, including but not limited to:

    • Psychological, neuropsychological, academic, speech and language, occupational, transitional 

  • Transcripts and report cards

  • MCAS scores

  • Hospital discharge summaries, when relevant

  • Any other documentation deemed relevant to share in order to provide our admissions team with information to help us determine fit



Our admissions team reviews referral packets within 48 hours and informs the district representative that either:


  • We would like to invite the student for a tour and interview.
  • We are not able to meet the student’s needs
  • We have one or more questions that we need answered prior to making a decision about whether to proceed with the referral. 


When we have determined that we may be a good fit for the student, we are able to offer a tour and interview within five school days. After the tour and interview, if the student, caregivers and our team feels that Dearborn Academy could be a match, the student is invited to spend all or part of a school day with us to get a better sense about whether they will feel great coming to school here – and so that we can decide whether we can do our part to make that happen.


Within 48 hours of the visit day, a member of our admissions team informs the district about whether we can offer a spot at Dearborn Academy. 


Once a student has been accepted, our team will coordinate with the district and caregivers to complete any needed IEP paperwork, arrange for transportation and ensure a smooth transition. The student’s clinician and homeroom teacher call the student and caregiver prior to their first day to:


  • Introduce themselves (often via FaceTime so that we can show our friendly faces!),
  • Review the student’s first-day schedule and
  • Answer any questions the student has before day one.


Our concise admissions process timeline assures that there is no extended interruption in the student’s education – while allowing the initiating school district, prospective family and Dearborn staff to assess the opportunity for a positive experience.