The Campus School at Boston College (CSBC) admits children with severe multiple disabilities, including complex health care needs, who are in need of a highly specialized environment and comprehensive educational/therapeutic services. The program provides responsive services through a transdisciplinary team for students who present with some or all of the following needs:
- Significant physical challenges
- Communication disorders
- Sensory limitations (vision and/or hearing)
- Special health care needs
- Severe cognitive challenges
The admissions process for prospective students ranging in age from 3-21 is outlined below:
- Prospective students must have an initial referral from their public school system for the Campus School admissions team to review.
- If our program appears to be an appropriate placement for the student, parents will be invited to visit our school for a tour and information session.
- If parents believe that our program would meet their child's needs, a screening date is scheduled.
- After the intake evaluation, the screening team will evaluate the appropriateness of the placement and will notify the school district of the decision.
- The sending school district is responsible for transportation and tuition upon student admission.
Initial referral can be made by parents, guardians, school districts, state agencies, advocates, physicians, therapists, and attorneys. At the time of the initial referral, a visit to the program is arranged to determine if the program is an appropriate placement option. Information about the CSBC program is mailed to the referring person or provided at the time of the visit.
As part of the CSBC student admission process, parents are provided with a tour of our school as well as the opportunity to meet with the Director and an Assistant Director to discuss the school’s purpose and services, policies regarding parent and student rights including student records, the health program including the procedures for providing emergency health care, and the procedure for termination of a student. If a parent is interested in placing their child at Campus School and the school district provides us with a referral, they are invited to bring their child to a screening where their level of need is assessed by a physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech and language pathologist, teacher of the visually impaired, program nurse, and special education teacher. If it is then determined that our program would meet the needs of the student, and is the least restrictive placement, an acceptance letter is sent to the parents as well as the sending school district. If a placement is made, parents are provided with the Campus School admissions packet which contains the Parent Handbook, the Campus School “Face Book,” staff contact information, school calendar and copies of policies and procedures (all 17 admissions criteria are contained in our Admissions Packet as required by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education). Parents are notified in writing annually that copies of all state and federal special education regulations, as well as our Policies and Procedures manual, are available to parent(s) in the main office upon request.
It is emphasized that CSBC will not arrange an intake screening until referral materials have been received from a school district or other funding agency. Parent(s) and/or school administrators also have the opportunity to observe in an age appropriate classroom.
Generally, the formal referral is made to CSBC by the school district. The referral packet includes a cover letter requesting consideration for admission and includes pertinent student information such as the individualized education plan, evaluations/assessments, progress reports, medical records and family history.
The referral packet is reviewed by the Director who makes an initial determination of whether or not the referred student is an appropriate candidate for the program. The school district and parents(s) are contacted by telephone (unless a written response is requested) and, if appropriate, arrangements are made with the school district and parent(s) for an intake screening.
The intake screening team is comprised of an Assistant Director, special education teacher, physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech pathologist, teacher of the visually impaired, nurse and social worker. The parent(s), and sometimes the school district liaison, bring the child to CSBC to meet with the screening team. If the parent(s) and/or school district liaison have not visited the school previously, a tour of the program is provided. The intake screening consists of an exchange of pertinent information as well as informal assessments of the referred student.
The parent is advised that, prior to admission, as part of the intake process, CSBC requires documentation from a licensed physician that the student has had a physical examination within the past 12 months. (In the event of emergency placements, the program/school district will make provision for a complete examination of the student within 30 days of admission).
During the intake process, the school social worker meets with the parents to discuss family needs and concerns, whether the parents might welcome a home visit, and services that we may be able to facilitate. At that time, parents are also invited to participate in the Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) and the Parent Support Group.
After the intake screening is completed, the screening team discusses the appropriateness of the program to meet the student’s needs and availability of space in an appropriate classroom. A decision is made no later than one week after the screening. The school district and parent(s) are contacted by telephone regarding the decision. If the student is deemed not appropriate for the program, or if there is not a current opening, other options are discussed such as being placed on a waiting list or other programs that could meet the student’s needs.
As part of the admission process, the home language of the family is assessed with the help of the sending school district to determine if there is a need for translation from English. CSBC and the sending school district will collaborate to provide necessary document translation.
When a student is admitted to the program, there will be a written contract with the responsible school district (consistent with the requirements of 603 CMR 28.06(3)(f)).
When a student first attends our program, parents are given the opportunity to remain at school for a period of time sufficient to exchange pertinent information with the classroom teachers and service delivery team in order to ensure a smooth transition for the child.
Parents, clinical personnel, or individuals interested in learning more about The Campus School at Boston College or wishing to schedule a visit should contact the Director, Dr. Barbara Cataldo, at 617-552-3460.