Campus School, Kennedy Day School Explore Affiliation
Campus School Director Don Ricciato has informed his staff that Boston College is exploring a collaborative relationship with the Kennedy Day School at Franciscan Hospital for Children in Brighton that could result in an affiliation of the two entities.
Ricciato said that a letter of intent has been signed that will explore affiliation possibilities, with the goal of providing the best possible educational and therapeutic experience for students at both schools.
“These discussions are in the early stages, so we do not have specific details to share at this time, but we wanted our staff and the parents of Campus School students to be aware that discussions are taking place that are focused on how best to serve the students at both schools,” said Ricciato. “A joint advisory committee has been formed to lead the process, and we will provide additional information as it becomes available.”
After meeting with Campus School staff, Ricciato called and later met with the school’s parents to inform them of the development. He has also scheduled a meeting with BC students and volunteers who have supported the school since its founding in 1970.
Both the Campus School and Kennedy Day School provide special education and related services to children and young adults ages 3-21 with severe disabilities. Currently, the Kennedy Day School hosts approximately 70 students from communities in the Greater Boston area. The Campus School serves 38 students.
In a letter to parents of Campus School students, Interim Provost Joseph F. Quinn explained the rationale behind the decision to explore a possible affiliation. “The Kennedy Day School offers similar educational and therapeutic services through a caring staff in a new facility about two miles from the BC campus,” said Quinn. “The Kennedy Day School recently completed a multi-million dollar renovation that resulted in a 20,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility whose amenities and number of programs exceed our own. Both schools are under-capacity and face declining enrollment as the local school districts increasingly seek to retain their special-needs students. As a result, we feel compelled to explore the possibility of an affiliation with the goal of melding the best of the Campus School, including our students, staff and volunteers, with the best of the Kennedy Day School.”
Founded in 1963, the Kennedy Day School underwent a major renovation in 2012 that resulted in new state-of-the art facilities in a 20,000 square-foot building on a 10-acre setting on the Franciscan Hospital for Children campus. Its facilities include a therapy pool, gymnasium, health care room and vocational service center, as well as assistive technology in each classroom.
Ricciato, who has led the Campus School as its director since 2007 and had served as program director since 1989, said he is open to the discussions and the collaborative possibilities that may result from them.
“I care deeply for our students, and have been committed to ensuring the best possible care for them for the past 43 years, so I believe that we should explore these options for the benefits they may hold for our students.”