“The Campus School at Boston College has exceeded our expectations in every way. Not only is our daughter thriving and happy, our family is delighted knowing we have the best of best”
Founded in 1970, The Campus School at Boston College educates students ages 3 to 21 who face complex challenges and have unique learning needs. Our personalized educational and therapeutic services focus on the potential of each student.
Located in Boston College’s Lynch School of Education, The Campus School develops age-appropriate thematic units that align with the Massachusetts General Education Curriculum Frameworks. Daily classroom routines integrate communication systems, mobility and positioning protocols, hand-skill development programs, feeding and tasting programs and sensory “diets” and sensory processing interventions.
Our certified special education teachers and professionals team with Boston College student interns, volunteers and families to help students realize their full potential, in the classroom and beyond.
Stef Ohnemus was a competitive business student, working hard to be the best—but she was unhappy. Then, she found The Campus School.
The impact the Campus School had on Johnny was immeasurable, the lessons invaluable. He plans to take both with him in his next chapter as a digital marketer.
When Kaitlin first began as a Campus School volunteer, she had no idea her experiences would come to define her passions and career path.
1:2 is our staff-to-student ratio
We develop our curriculum with careful planning, evidence-based practices, ongoing assessments and insightful staff reflection. With roots in the state’s General Education Frameworks, our curriculum creates a responsive learning environment where students thrive.
Our expert teaching staff, specialists and medical professionals collaborate to address student needs across learning areas and school environments. This transdisciplinary team meets once a week to assess individual student programs – and plant ideas for continued growth. Additionally, we incorporate various therapies into the daily classroom schedule.
The Campus School also uses the Assessment, Evaluation and Programming System to evaluate student goals and objectives and create intervention plans. For students age 8 to 16, we link Individualized Education Program goals to state learning standards.
Our approach structures all that we do, from activity units to the entire school year schedule, into cycles to give students a sense of completion to our curriculum.
Structured by classroom type – from preschool to high school – our curriculum branches out into five areas: Communication competency and language development; personal management; applied academics; socialization; and leisure and recreation.
More than 300 undergraduates work with students at The Campus School every year to help us deliver personalized student services and therapies.
Our array of therapies accommodates our students’ range of unique needs, helping them thrive inside and outside the classroom. With the expertise of our outstanding therapists and using assistive technology, we satisfy individual education plans in small groups, large groups and one-on-one.
Our three physical therapists work closely with students to build a foundation of motor skills to improve their function in the classroom, at home and in the community. Using alternative position equipment, students experience their world in different ways.
In addition to direct therapy, we also help families procure specialized equipment through a monthly wheelchair clinic and biweekly orthotics clinics.
Our occupational therapists work as part of a transdisciplinary team and focus on developing functioning in four key ability areas: fine-motor, visual/sensory-motor, self-care and oral-motor. Our primary objective is to enhance or enable the participation of each student within their individual educational program.
Guided by the principles of sensory motor integration, occupational therapists train all staff and collaborate when appropriate with outside medical and educational professionals to enhance student well-being and educational development.
Speech therapy and communications
To facilitate the full expression of each student, we employ a total communication approach—from vocalizations to gestures, sign language and aided forms. An individualized communication system is embedded into each student’s daily routine, at school and at home, to promote communication in all aspects of their lives.
Using augmentative communication tools such as picture symbols, objects, digital photographs, iPads, Tobi’s, PODDs, and personal communication devices, students can participate in educational and leisure activities, socialize with staff and friends and communicate wants and needs.
Visual understanding and deaf/blind education are part of every student’s day, delivered in all activities. With the help of a Teacher of the Visually Impaired (TVI), students with visual impairments participate in vibrant activities. The TVI trains staff on visual impairment issues, develops and oversees small group instruction, consults in all classrooms and works directly with some students.
Music is a powerful medium and research shows that it plays a unique and important role in helping our students develop communication, social, motor and education skills. Rhythms and melodies can motivate and prompt some students in a way that language alone simply cannot.
Through the use of assistive technology, Campus School music therapy sessions let students choose songs or instruments to play. The music inspires social and emotional engagement, self-expression and learning.
Life skills and transition
To empower independence and decision-making, Campus School students begin transition skills classes at age fourteen. These skills—built through diverse programming focused on personal management, household chores, age-appropriate leisure activities and community service—give students more control over daily activities and enhance their quality of adult life. Our transition skills classroom includes a wheelchair-accessible kitchen and washer/dryer.
Nursing and medical care
With three full-time registered nurses on staff, a licensed nurse practitioner providing ongoing consultation and a nutritionist, the Campus School works to maintain students' health and comfort so they can have successful, uninterrupted school days. Our nurses develop the health care policies and procedures for the school and train and supervise staff on complex health care areas such as feeding, seizure disorders, respiratory issues and other necessary health care interventions.
Functional literacy is the curriculum of choice in most school settings. With EagleEyes technology, our students with little to no expressive language can access a computer and, by moving their eyes, communicate. We also use Camera Mouse—a similar technology that allows students to control the computer by moving their heads. Best of all? These tools help expose previously unknown capabilities in some of our students. Learn more about EagleEyes and Camera Mouse.
Family Support Services
The social worker is an integral member of the transdisciplinary team, providing ongoing dialogue between home and school, and a link for families in need of community services. By attending screenings, IEP meetings and transition meetings, and being available to all staff for consultation about student and family issues, our social worker (LICSW) and school psychologist enable all team members to provide responsive services and all students to reach their full potential. They also support the transition coordinator with guardianship issues, supervises PULSE students—a BC undergraduate program centered on service—and much, much more.
Ask anyone what makes The Campus School at Boston College distinctive, and you’ll no doubt hear about our location.
We’re a special education school in a university setting, and the countless advantages of working with Boston College helps make The Campus School exceptional. As an integral part of the Lynch School of Education, The Campus School stands at the forefront of special education, related therapies and health care.
The result: We provide innovative best practices across our curriculum and services with the help of gifted student interns and enthusiastic volunteers, who contribute in the classroom and to research projects.
We even provide consultation services to public school districts and private schools.
We’re also fortunate to have so many other campus resources at our doorstep. Our program has access to the Lynch School’s Educational Resource Center and the Flynn Recreation Complex. Our direct-care staff takes advantage of professional development right here at Boston College. Most important, our students become full-fledged participants in the larger Boston College and Chestnut Hill communities.