Littleton Academy

Littleton Academy is a therapeutic residential school that provides comprehensive clinical treatment and education to latency age children who have a history of complex trauma and significant behavioral/mental health issues and learning difficulties.

Littleton Academy
At a Glance
This service is for
Focus: Littleton Academy is a therapeutic residential school for children who will benefit from a structured and safe environment in which they can gain the skills needed to grow.
Age: 6-12
Gender: Male, female, transgender, non-conforming
Capacity: 16
Let's Connect
Eileen Johnson, LICSW
Program Director
22 King Street
Littleton, MA 01460
978) 952-6809 Ext 201
(978) 952-8607
Littleton Academy

Littleton Academy works with latency age children who have a history of complex trauma, emotional dysregulation and learning difficulties.  Academy staff work closely with students to provide social, emotional and educational support in a warm, nurturing and physically comfortable environment. The program uses the ARC Framework. This model assists youth in developing the internal core strength, building strong positive attachments, self-regulation and competency skills. It is a treatment model developed to provide guidance for thoughtful clinical intervention with complexly traumatized youth. Littleton Academy provides individual and family therapy that supports youth in identifying their strengths and utilizing them on a daily basis. Our residents attend school on site, and are taught by a fully accredited teaching staff. Our individually tailored Success Plans are designed to be built around a child's age, educational and cognitive abilities and treatment plans. Through healthy relationships, individualized attention and non-judgmental support, our boys and girls will feel safe and empowered as they gain the confidence and skills needed to grow.


Learn more about Littleton Academy
Hear from the students and staff!
Eileen Johnson
Eileen Johnson
Program Director

Eileen began her career at JRI as a Residential Counselor at the Walden Street School in 2010. She worked there for 8 years, being promoted throughout the Residential Department, including participating in an administrative capacity. Eileen was able to participate in the JRI Simmons Scholarship, receiving her Master's in Social work in 2017. At this point, she transitioned to the Clinical Department, where she provided direct clinical support for students and families. In the Fall of 2019, she joined the team at Meadowridge Academy, providing direct oversight, training and clinical supervision while continuing to work with students and families' capacity to increase competency in areas of healthy attachments and regulation as the Assistant Program Director. Eileen most recently joined the team here at Littleton Academy in 2023 as the Program Director bringing passion for both her residential and clinical experience to the Residential work.

Zachary Kerr
Zachary Kerr
Clinical Director

Zachary began his career doing LGBTQ+ advocacy working at the state and national level.  During this time Zachary participated in many policy and advocacy efforts to further the rights and legal protections for LGBTQ youth. While studying for his Bachelors in Social Work at Wheelock College Zachary had his first experience working for JRI doing in-home therapy and therapeutic mentoring through the Child Behavioral Health Initiative. After graduating with his masters in social work from Boston College Zachary began doing outreach outpatient therapy with mainly MassHealth enrolled youth and their families before transitioning to working in a therapeutic day school first as a clinician then as an administrator. Zachary is excited at the opportunity to rejoin JRI as the Clinical Director of Littleton Academy!

Melissa Sankey
Melissa Sankey
Education Director

Melissa has been working in special education for over 20 years in many different settings and positions. She started her career in special education at the Walker School as a special education teaching assistant and found her passion there working with students with emotional disabilities.  She went on to teach special education in the public school setting.  She has taught in self-contained classrooms, resource classrooms and co-taught classrooms.  She has assisted schools in creating and implementing programs for students with emotional disturbances so that they could remain in their neighborhood schools.  She received her masters in education from Wheelock College and is licensed as an elementary and special education teacher. She has also earned a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies (C.A.G.S) in special education administration from Boston University and is licensed as a special education administrator. 

Katie O'Malley
Katie O'Malley
Lead Teacher

Katie began her teaching career working in a private inclusive child-care setting where she remained for nearly eight years.  Her time spent working there provided her with opportunities to plan and implement curriculum for individuals whose ages ranged from 2-12 years old, while making accommodations for their various social, emotional, and behavioral needs, as well as providing ABA services both in the school and home setting.  Working in the inclusive child-care setting led Katie to spending additional time providing home-services to young adults in the home setting as well.  Following her time in child care, she transitioned to becoming an educational support personnel in the public school setting while finishing graduate school, where her job responsibilities were heavily influenced by the level of emotional and behavioral support required for the individuals she worked closely with daily.  Katie has experience implementing and assisting in the process of creating PBIS to ensure student success, while assisting individuals in meeting MA state standards as well as their individualized goals.   

Gina Pepe
Gina Pepe
Occupational Therapist

Gina graduated from Springfield College with a Bachelor's degree in Health and Science as well as a Masters of Occupational Therapy. Gina has experience in consulting with in home service teams to educate in home therapists on implementation and utilization of Occupational Therapy techniques. Gina also has experience implementing direct OT services to youth in therapeutic schools, ages 8-16. She enjoys baking, reading, hiking, and kayaking. 

child using laptop

Students attend school on-site, year-round, and have a full day of academic instruction. Our education program features small class sizes that combine cooperative, hand-on learning with individualize instruction. Our teachers provide clinically informed classroom support that takes each student’s emotional needs and learning style into account. In addition to the traditional curriculum, Littleton Academy offers enrichment time through expressive arts, health and fitness, music, environmental education and other programs.

Class with books



Littleton Academy provides individual and family therapy that supports our students in identifying their strengths and utilizing them on a daily basis. The program’s primary treatment is based on the ARC (Attachment, Regulation, and Competency) model, which focuses on helping to develop internal core strengths, and building strong, positive attachment, self-regulation and competency skills. This model was developed by Kristine Kinniburgh and Margaret Blaustein as staff at JRI. Littleton Academy also offers Trauma-Sensitive Yoga, Therapy Dogs and other unique therapy methods, which have all been proven effective in the treatment for many disorders, including trauma related struggles.




The school is situated on two and half acres with an outdoor basketball court which is used year-round, large outdoor play area and a multipurpose rec room/gym. The program maintains a generous supply of both indoor and outdoor games, toys and equipment. This includes safety equipment for those activities requiring extra precautions. Indoor supplies include extensive arts & crafts supplies, board games, card games and an extensive reading library. In addition, age appropriate video games, movies and music is also available. Outdoor supplies include sports equipment, scooters and bicycles. Emphasis is always placed on participation and enjoyment of the games and activities offered.

Child Playing Basketball
The staff at Littleton really took the time to get to know me as a person. When I came there I was angry all the time and just wanted to go home. They helped me learn what I was angry about and talk to my mom and I got to go home.


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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.