Bay Cove Academy

Bay Cove Academy is a small, therapeutic day school located in Brookline, Massachusetts serving adolescents, ages 12-22.  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.


Bay Cove Academy logo
At a Glance
This service is for
Focus: Bay Cove Academy provides education, therapy, and career counseling. Our students thrive in our small, intensive strength-based learning environment that has been designed to help them develop new pathways to success in all areas of their lives.
Age: 12-22
All gender identities and sexualites are supported.
Capacity: 30 students
Accessing this service
Students are referred through their local school district or by parents, legal guardians or other agencies in collaboration with the local school district.
Let's Connect
Alex Rogal
Program Director
156 Lawton Street
Brookline, MA 02446
508 320-9225
Education Services

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 6:1 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 classroomabilities, 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 students in classcurriculum is aligned with the Massachusetts Frameworks and student’s are required to pass the MCAS tests in order to be eligible for a diploma.  

College and Career Development Program

“Bay Cove Academy’s College and Career Development Department implements a comprehensive curriculum that provides a developmental framework for identifying appropriate college or 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

Bay Cove Career pictureThe College and Career Development Program (CCDP) at Bay Cove Academy (BCA) is a nationally recognized Best Practices program dedicated to creating partnerships with community businesses and local colleges to create and foster meaningful work and educational experiences for youth. Honored by the US Department of Labor, our career program provides comprehensive training to help students find and keep jobs and learn industry-specific skills. This program provides students with student plantingclassroom and real-world employment skills training, community job placement and on the job employment-training specialists.  As part of their ongoing learning Bay Cove Academy also helps students research and explore college and vocational opportunities. 

Bay Cove's College and Career Development Program has an integrated approach and philosophy.  We know that college and career development, along with job placement 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, learn and model the use of effective communication and interpersonal skills, and begin the process of obtaining an internship.  Career counselors also guide students in applying for jobs, studentbuilding 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 college and 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, in addition to traditional performance-based measures of ability, define a successful outcome.  It is a 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 higher self-esteem and hope and excitement for their future.

The career development curriculum includes classes in independent living, communications, career awareness, life skills, transition class, and senior research.

Bay Cove students have 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’s Center
  • 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
Clinical Services

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-Counselor and studenttime 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 Bay Cove Clinical 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.

Student Transition Services

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 Bay Cove Academy graduatesindependent 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 student at radio stationcareer 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.
  • Bay Cove classRegular 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.

Bay Cove Academy Mission and Other Information

A therapeutic school for adolescents with a history of problems in their classrooms, at home or in the community

Our Mission

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, college and 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.

Services Provided

Students are offered a comprehensive academic program, individual and group therapy, along with college and career development and transition services. 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 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, Monday through Friday. Students arrive to the school at 8:00am, they are provided breakfast and their first class begins at 8:15am. There are seven classes in the school day and students are dismissed at 2:20pm. The College/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.

Our Program

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.

Student on keyboard
Bay Cove Academy focuses on the whole child by equally emphasizing academics, social and emotional well being, along with employment opportunities. Through the seamless integration of the academic, clinical and employment disciplines, students are able to develop their individual potential, and are held to high standards and expectations. All behavioral expectations are firmly established and are consistently addressed by all staff providing clear and natural consequences for students. Academic courses offered range from life skills to college preparatory curriculum.
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

student and teacherBay 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 Two studentsdistrict 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 Program Director schedules an intake interview studentswith 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, college/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.

The Program Director with input from the Clinical and Educational Director makes the final decision regarding acceptance of a student into the program. This decision is based upon the information derived from the referral materials, the graduateintake 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.

Request More Information

For assistance determining which programs or services will meet your individualized need, please fill out the form below. Our Service Navigator will reach out to you about your inquiry via phone, text, or email. If you have a question regarding a particular program, please contact the Program Director listed in the “Let’s Connect” box above. 

Please note that this form is not HIPAA compliant.  We urge you not to include protected health information.

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Rachel has been a part of the JRI team since January, 2000. For over 20 years, Rachel has been working in the field of human services assisting families with accessing and navigating services. Rachel received her Bachelors degree in psychology and Masters Degree in Public Administration from Bridgewater State University. She was promoted in July 2005 to Family Networks Program Director where she closely worked with the Department of Children Families for 10 years ensuring that children and families received the highest quality of individualized services ranging from community based through residential care. Rachel is very dedicated to helping the individuals she works with and is committed to improving the lives of children and families. Rachel’s passion for creative service programming inspires her in her role as JRI Service Navigator.