As of October 1, 2020, about 11,350 students aged 3-21 with disabilities (21% of total enrollment) are enrolled in special education programs in BPS, of whom:
- 49.8% are educated in fully inclusive settings (spend 80% or more of the school day with their general education peers).
- 10.6% are educated in partially inclusive settings (spend 60% or less of the school day outside of the general education classroom).
- 30% are educated in substantially separate classrooms (spend 60% or more of the school day outside of the general education classroom).
- 7.3% are enrolled in special schools in public or private day or residential settings, including six BPS day schools (Horace Mann School for the Deaf, Carter School, and the four McKinley schools).
The district offers substantially separate programs for all of the major areas of disability. Students are provided with specialized instruction throughout their day within a small group structured setting. Research-based practices, specific to disability, are utilized in the specialized Classroom.
In BPS, we are committed to educating every student in the least restrictive environment. Inclusive education is an opportunity for schools to meet the needs of all students by teaching learners with disabilities alongside their non‐disabled peers. The Boston Public Schools believe that all children can learn together in the same schools and classrooms with appropriate supports. Our mission is to allow each student to develop to their potential with the maximum amount of inclusive opportunities. The world is inclusive, and at BPS, we believe an inclusive education prepares students for success within the broader community.
We provide support to students with disabilities to help them succeed and access the curriculum, including Speech-Language Pathology, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Adapted Physical Education, Teachers of Visually Impaired, Orientation and Mobility, Assistive Technology and a Mainstream Team for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
BPS transition services are available for all students ages 14-22. The goal of our transition embedded curriculum is to prepare students for post-secondary success. Our transition curriculum addresses each student’s, preferences, needs, vision, and goals for the future, and may include Vocational Training, Adult Services, Independent Living, or Community Experience
For more info about the transition program at BPS, check out the BPS STRIVE TEAM
Public Day Schools
BPS provides three public day schools as a continuum of services for students with disabilities. With these placements, the student will receive specialized instruction and related services in a separate school.
- The Horace Mann School for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing provides personalized clinical and academic services for deaf and hard of hearing students in pre-school through high school
- The McKinley Schools provide students with emotional and behavioral disabilities with therapeutic and educational supports. McKinley Elem. Grades K-5 & McKinley Middle Grades 6-12
- The Carter School provides intensive educational services and personalized care for students with multiple severe disabilities. Grades 6-12