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Education Overview

Education Overview

Each of our schools, Dr. Franklin Perkins School, Don Watson Academy, and RFK Academy, are year-round, state-approved special education day school programs that serve students 6-21 years of age with social, emotional, and behavioral needs.

We focus on each student’s ability to develop attitudes and actions that promote problem-solving, independence, and academic achievement. We believe in a comprehensive educational environment that focuses on social competence, character development, and personal values for learning.

Dr. Franklin Perkins School and Don Watson Academy are housed in Lancaster, Massachusetts, while RFK Academy is located in Springfield. In addition to its day school, Dr. Franklin Perkins School also has a residential program.

Each of our three programs works with school districts across Massachusetts and neighboring states to ensure educational services are provided that align with each student’s Individual Education Program (IEP).

More Than Just a School

Our programs

offer differing related services that include 45-day diagnostic assessments, occupational and speech therapy, and nursing.

Our classes

are structured with low student-to-staff ratios, and the curriculum is taught in accordance with the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks. Engaging lessons, projects, and activities are taught and reinforced through a hands-on approach and using 1:1 devices.

In addition to core content

students also have classes that address Physical Education and Health, Career Education, Transition, Social Skills, as well as elective classes. High school students receive credits toward their local graduation requirements, and they have options for credit recovery, as well.

Our school-based clinical services

provide individualized therapeutic treatment to assist each student to function successfully across all environments. Services include individual and group sessions, as well as crisis intervention, which all target social/emotional growth and problem-solving.

Using the Attachment, Regulation, and Competency (ARC) model

our trauma informed, therapeutic integrated program combines education, therapy, and related services. Our clinicians, along with all other members of the staff, are also trained in the use of Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS), a therapeutic model that addresses behaviors that stem from lagging skills.

The clinical team

collaborates closely with classroom staff and other service providers to implement specific strategies and methodologies across all environments to consistently develop student social, emotional, and behavioral regulation.

Our curriculum and support services
healthy relationships with peers and staff and instill educational and social confidence, helping students to reach their full potential.

Our Schools

Doctor Franklin Perkins School

Day and Residential Lancaster, MA

Don Watson Academy

Day School Lancaster, MA

RFK Academy

Day School Springfield, MA

Contact our team to learn more

Our Admissions team members, Deanna King (she/her/hers) and Jennifer McGrail (she/her/hers), would love to chat.

Contact Us

A Learning Mindset

Like those we serve, we seek to learn on a daily basis from best practices, real time experiences, and each other.