Special Education and Student Services

  • Students with disabilities have many rights and protections under federal and state law. As regulated in the  Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), all children with disabilities have the right to free and appropriate public education that is designed to meet their individual needs and prepares them for further education, employment, and independent living. Students with disabilities must be educated in classrooms with non-disabled students as much as possible. 

    BPS provides a variety of settings for students with disabilities: 

    • Full inclusion: Students are educated alongside students without special needs for 80% of the school day or more in the general education classroom
    • Partial inclusion: Students may spend up to 60% of the school day outside of the general education classroom 
    • Substantially separate setting: Students spend more than 60% of the school day outside of the general education classroom 
    • Some students with high levels of need are enrolled in special schools in public or private day or residential settings and receive all of their instruction and services in these separate special education schools. BPS has three day-schools for students with disabilities with high levels of need:
      • The Horace Mann School for students with hearing impairment
      • The Carter School for students with multiple disabilities 
      • The McKinley Schools for students with emotional impairment.
    • Related services: speech/language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, vision and hearing support, adaptive physical education, assistive technology

    If you suspect that your child is having difficulty making progress in school due to a disability, you have the right to request an evaluation of your child to determine if he or she has a disability and whether or not the disability is impacting their access to general education i. Ask the principal/Head of School or the Coordinator of Special Education (COSE) at your school for more information.

    More Information

Students Who Are Experiencing Homelessness

  • Students who are experiencing homelessness need stable learning experiences in school. The BPS Homeless Education Resource Network works to give full support and resources to this student population and their families.

    Learn more here or call 617-635-8037

Home and Hospital Instruction 

  • The Boston Public Schools provides home and hospital instruction for students who must remain at home or in a hospital setting, or a combination of both, for at least 14 school days in any school year. Before a student can receive these services, a licensed physician must complete a state form, which can be obtained from your child’s school nurse. 

    Learn More here or call Socorro Holland, Coordinator 617-635-6633


  • Parents who live in Boston and want to homeschool their children must submit an application to the BPS Office of Expanded Learning Opportunities for approval. They must demonstrate that their home education proposal follows the Guidelines for Home Education in Massachusetts and meets the requirements of the state’s curriculum hours for grade levels. Parents or guardians who home school must submit an end of year assessment each year. Homeschooling authorization is granted upon receipt of the application.

    Learn more here or call 617-635-8880