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Bay Cove Academy is a small, therapeutic day school located in Brookline, Massachusetts serving adolescents, ages 12-21, from the Greater Boston area. Approved by the Massachusetts Department of Education and nationally recognized by the US Department of Labor for its Career Development Program, the school provides a highly structured, learning environment for teens whose educational and social needs exceed those which traditional public and private schools can accommodate.
Brookline, MA 02446
The curriculum provides a comprehensive middle and high school course of study that meets all requirements for a high school diploma. All curriculum is aligned with the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks. Our teaching staff are all highly qualified with licensure in their individual subject area as well as in special education.
Educational services include a full range of academics in a classroom setting with a 5:1 ratio of students to teachers, and diagnostic testing and remediation in a 1:1 setting when needed.
Individual Education Plans are written by teachers in consultation with therapists and other specialists to accommodate the specific needs of each student. The objective of these highly focused educational blueprints is the development of basic academic skills as well as conceptual abilities such as problem-solving, negotiating and critical thinking strategies. Staff guides the students in their process of considering options and making decisions which advance their personal goals and minimize their reliance on others.
The academic core curriculum includes traditional academic subjects, as well as individual tutoring, computer training, career exploration, art, physical education and various electives. Successful classroom experiences help students to build self-confidence and trust, to increase their tolerance for frustration, to enhance their risk-taking abilities, and to develop improved concentration. As an integral part of the milieu, the classroom is highly-structured and expectations of the students are clear and consistent.
The curriculum is designed to allow each student to progress through a sequential program of study according to his or her learning style as prescribed by that student’s Individual Education Plan. Students are eligible to earn Massachusetts high school credits and a diploma. All curriculum is aligned with the Massachusetts Frameworks and student’s are required to pass the MCAS tests in order to be eligible for a diploma.
Outstanding Features of the Academic Program
- The school operates with a strong milieu-based philosophy, where all staff is a part of the whole, creating a culture of predictability, clarity, consistency and constancy.
- All teachers are highly qualified, holding Massachusetts licensure in their subject field, as well as licensure in special education.
- There is a teacher and assistant teacher in every class to provide one-on-one instruction when needed.
- Individual tutoring is provided to students who need intensive language or other remedial instruction.
- The curriculum provides a comprehensive middle and high school course of study that meets all requirements for a high school diploma. All curriculum is aligned with the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks.
- Individual Education Plans are written by teachers in consultation with therapists and other specialists to accommodate the specific needs of each student. Each student progresses through a sequential program of study according to his or her learning style as prescribed by that student’s IEP.
- The Academy has been successful in preparing students with learning disabilities to take the MCAS tests, with an overall passing rate of more than 80%.
- Bay Cove Academy relates academic learning to real-life work issues and situations and stresses active learning.
- Electives are offered in special topic areas such as:, Independent Living Skills, Financial Literacy, Art Portfolio, Adobe Illustrator, Geography, Psychology, Communication Skills, Senior Research Project.
- A unique summer program extends the academic year to forty-nine weeks.
- A Transition Team develops individualized long and short term goals for students in the areas of school, employment and community.
- A school store offers an effective incentive program.
- Monthly field trips to such sites as the Museum of Science, Museum of Fine Arts, and the Huntington Theater are provided.
“Bay Cove Academy’s Career Development Department implements a comprehensive curriculum that provides a developmental framework for identifying appropriate career paths for all students. ……Students participating in the program are placed in internships or job placements where they apply skills learned in school in conjunction with practicing employment skills with job counselors…..”
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Special Commendation
The Career Development Program (CDP) at Bay Cove Academy (BCA) is a nationally recognized Best Practices program dedicated to creating partnerships with community businesses and meaningful work experiences for youth. Honored by the US Department of Labor, CDP provides comprehensive training to help students find and keep jobs and learn industry-specific skills, as well as offer career counseling for students who are employed as interns by local community and business partners. The program provides students with classroom and real-world employment skills training, community job placement and on the job employment-training specialists. CDP also helps students research and explore post-school career options.
Bay Cove's Career Development Program has an integrated approach and philosophy. We know that job placement and career development need to be highly individualized, and that appropriate job matching is an essential ingredient for a successful placement. We believe a well conceived and purposeful program is the best way to increase the likelihood of a positive first work experience and to ensure continued benefits to individuals and to society.
Students work with experienced career counselors to explore interests, set goals, and begin the process of obtaining an internship. Career counselors guide students in applying for jobs, building work readiness, demonstrating employability, and preparing for interviews. They help to facilitate a positive and professional work experience throughout the course of the student’s employment. In addition they help to develop goals for IEP’s, provide opportunities to attend career building events, teach academic courses, and help to develop a comprehensive transition plan. Student goals are addressed regularly in individual career counseling sessions and reviewed formally every three months. Supervisors at the work site are asked to complete a monthly evaluation report on student performance and attitude regarding the job placement. Students also assess themselves on a regular basis.
The Jobs Program
Bay Cove students are employed on-campus and throughout the community in a wide range of fields, including office administration, culinary arts, hospital materials management, property maintenance, childcare, retail sales, and many more.
The general goals for the Career Development Program are to help students develop a positive worker identity, match a student's skills, strengths and interests to a job placement and upgrade basic skills as needed to a work-place literacy level. In addition, goals are to empower and motivate students toward a future of successful employment and self-reliance, provide career exploration, and prepare students for the transition to skilled post-graduate opportunities, as well as higher education.
At Bay Cove, an individual’s effort and a positive process in addition to traditional performance-based measures of ability define a successful outcome. It is sustained effort that enables an individual to increase his/her skills and potential to experience success. Incremental, solid accomplishments and skills acquisition creates a foundation for self-esteem and hope about adult life.
The career development curriculum includes classes in independent living,communications, career awareness, life skills, transition class, and senior research.
This past year, Bay Cove students worked at twenty-three different business sites including:
- Brookline Community Foundation Brookline Health Care Center
- Courtyard Cafe
- EXCL Recycling
- Boomerangs Thrift Store/Aids Action Committee
- Kit Clark Senior Services
- Crispus Attucks Children’sCenter
- Shimon’s Service Station
- SMILES Preschool
- St. Francis House
- Hebrew Senior Life
- Mount Auburn Hospital
- Russell Call Children’s Center/Northeastern University
- Jewish Vocational Services
- Gifford Cat Shelter
- Rogerson Day Program
The Academy’s clinical component consists of two areas: therapy and crisis management. As soon as students are accepted into the program, they are assigned to a therapist. Clinical services include weekly individual counseling, case management, group work, and family work. The clinical department consists of three full-time clinical social workers (LICSWs). Each therapist has a caseload of ten to twelve adolescents. Specialized psychological services are also provided as needed.
In addition, crisis counseling and crisis management are integrated into all aspects of the program. Rules and consequences are clearly articulated and predictable and are drawn from the philosophy that students need a safe, consistent, well-organized environment to learn and grow. Through this model, students are exposed to a wide range of corrective social interactions throughout the school day. They benefit from on-the-spot counseling and feedback as they present issues related to their development. Daily interactions among teams of teachers, therapists and career and educational specialists ensure that growth strategies for each student are coordinated and comprehensive.
The Academy encourages each student to achieve their most sophisticated level of independent living, with an emphasis on making positive and productive adult decisions.
Bay Cove Academy has unique and innovative transition services. Work in the area of transition really begins at the time of enrollment. Our transition services are comprehensive and designed to help students gain the necessary skills and experiences needed to transition from school to work and/or higher learning, and independent young adult life.
Specifically Bay Cove’s transition services include the following:
- Exposing students to a range of career options and helping them to develop a realistic career direction.
- Teaching students good work habits through job counseling, job coaching, class work and on-the-job training.
- Assessing each student’s strengths and career interests, and then carefully matching him or her to an appropriate job, thereby gaining real work experience.
- Creating a formal transition plan designed to achieve short and long term goals.
- Identifying and developing independent support systems which may include family and community networks and resources.
- Teaching important social pragmatic skills and how they relate to the world of work. For example, planning what to say, thinking about what to say before speaking or choosing the right time and place to talk to others in the workplace.
- Regular meetings with a career counselor to develop and follow through on school-to-career transition goals.
- Classes in independent living skills, communications, and capstone project curriculum.
- Aid students to obtain referrals to appropriate adult-service agencies, when appropriate.
- A senior support group where students discuss the emotional and social issues that surround late adolescence and transition from high school.
- Aid in developing a community support network through a series of client-centered meetings.
- Exposure to an array of transition opportunities. An annual college fair is held at the school during which students are able to spend individual time with college admissions staff asking and answering questions. Students also attend college fairs throughout the greater Boston area. A career fair is held yearly with employers from a range of career fields that are of interest to our students. Bay Cove also has an annual Job Shadow Day where students choose a field of interest and shadow an employer for the day to learn about all aspects of an industry.
At the start of each school year an interdisciplinary transition team meets to identify a caseload of potential students. This team includes staff members representing the Career Development Department, Clinical Department and Education Department and it meets monthly throughout the school year. Staff review academic areas of need, brainstorm ideas for post-graduate opportunities and begin to schedule client centered meetings. During client centered meetings students invite all individuals who can help and support them in their decision making and their post-graduate planning. Invitees typically include parents/guardians, outside workers, employers and significant others. At these meetings participants set short and long-term goals in the areas of school, work and community. These include career opportunities, referrals to outside adult service agencies, living arrangements and post-graduate opportunities.
A therapeutic school for adolescents with a history of problems in their classrooms, at home or in the community
The mission of Bay Cove Academy is to assist adolescents with emotional difficulties and learning disabilities to develop the life skills necessary to create a broad range of choices and opportunities for adult life. The goals are based upon individual needs and abilities and are achieved through educational, clinical, career development and transition services.
Bay Cove provides a dynamic therapeutic learning environment designed specifically to help students with a history of emotional and academic challenges.
In order to accomplish these objectives, the school relies heavily on an interdisciplinary philosophy combining the academic, clinical and career development components of the program into a cohesive whole. We believe this combination is unique among public and private special education programs.
Students are offered a comprehensive academic program, career development and transition services, and individual and group therapy. An integrated curriculum model enables the students’ development of essential skills necessary to participate fully and responsibly as productive adults. The school is organized around a highly structured day with clearly designated standards and limits, which is essential in treating adolescents who are struggling with problems associated with profound emotional adjustments.
The school building consists of seven classrooms, a library, several group rooms for meetings between counselors and students, and a large eating area and kitchen. There is also a fully networked computer room with up-to-date equipment. The art gallery is filled with many creative projects such as student paintings and sculptural works. Gym space is rented at West End House, which is located close to the school
Bay Cove Academy is in session for 220 days a year. This includes a six-week summer program. All staff work from 7:30am–3:30pm from Monday through Friday. Students arrive to the school at 8:00am and following a short breakfast and break time, they begin classes at 8:10am. There are seven classes in the school day. Students are dismissed at 2:20pm. The Career Development Program is integrated into school hours for most students, although, for some, the work day may extend past school hours.
Vacations and Holidays
Following the six-week summer program, the school closes for a three-week vacation in August. Other holidays that are observed vary annually in accordance with a public school calendar.
Bay Cove Academy provides a high-intensity program that addresses the individual academic, social, behavioral and career development needs of its students. The entire school serves as a therapeutic milieu where students focus on individual emotional development, while at the same time completing a comprehensive academic program.
There is also a strong emphasis on career development. Students are encouraged to gain employable skills through both classroom training and part-time work in the community.
The ultimate goal is to help each student make a successful transition from school to work.
In order to accomplish these objectives, the school relies heavily on an interdisciplinary philosophy combining the academic, clinical and career development components of the program into a cohesive whole. Staff members at the academy believe this combination is unique among public and private special education programs.
Transportation is provided and arranged by your local public school district. Bay Cove Academy is easily accessible by public transportation as well.
In case of inclement weather, Bay Cove Academy will close if the Brookline Public Schools close. Given our Brookline location we feel that this is a convenient way for students and parents to know if the school is closed. If school is open but you feel that the weather makes travel too unsafe for your child, we will excuse him/her from school on that day. If you have questions regarding any school cancellation, please call us at 617-739-1794.
Bay Cove Academy accepts students who have been evaluated and determined to be in need of a more intensive school placement than the public schools can provide. The students who are appropriate for our program have a wide range of serious emotional, and or learning difficulties, but do not have acute psychotic illness, developmental delays or behaviors or disorders which would prove unmanageable in an open, non-secure day school setting.
The admissions process officially begins with the receipt of a referral packet from the school system responsible for the student's education. A cover letter or call from the sending school system documenting the reason a new school placement is being sought helps speed the admissions process. Upon receipt of the referral packet, it is promptly reviewed to determine whether Bay Cove’s program would support the needs of the student.
If the basic criteria for admission are met, the Principal and Clinical Director then schedule an intake interview with the parent or guardian, the student and other appropriate agency officials. A standard intake interview includes a detailed presentation of the school’s program including the educational, clinical, career and transition services available, the school calendar, general school rules, behavior management and disciplinary practices of the program, and admission procedures. At the conclusion of the interview, a tour of the school is conducted.
In addition to the initial intake interview, the student is offered the opportunity to return for a half day visit, during which the prospective student will attend a few classes and may participate in further educational assessments.
The Principal and Clinical Director make the final decision regarding acceptance of a student into the program. This decision is based upon the information derived from the referral materials, the intake interview, and other observations made by staff during any class visits. In most cases, the placement decision is made within a day of the interview or visit. As soon as a decision is made, the student, parent and all concerned parties are contacted. A starting date is then established when parents or guardians, the student, Bay Cove staff and the referring town agree on the placement. Once accepted, the student is gradually transitioned into the program during the first week following the admission decision.
Referrals are received and processed throughout the calendar year.