A Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education approved private special education school, the Walker Beacon School is a coeducational therapeutic high school for students with mental health, social, and emotional challenges. Beacon provides an integrated academic and therapeutic program to 65 students between the ages of 14 and 22. Throughout the school day, students benefit from comprehensive clinical services provided by experienced clinicians who are trained in a series of evidence-based practices, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Trauma-Focused CBT, Motivational Interviewing, and Solution-Focused Therapy.
The Walker Beacon School provides in-the-moment therapeutic interventions in addition to weekly individual and group therapy, designed to help students appropriately respond to multiple stressors and to make progress toward their academic and therapeutic goals. In addition to offering a strong general education curriculum, we are unique as we have an enriched educational program which includes programming in creative writing, fine arts, photography, music, theater, and public speaking. Our students excel academically and in these areas as well. While in our program, a majority of students meet their educational requirements, including passing MCAS exams, meeting state requirements for high school graduation, and discovering new creative outlets and talents which serve them well in their future endeavors.
At the Walker Beacon School, students and parents/caregivers have access to guidance counselors, pre-vocational, vocational, and career education assistance opportunities that can aid in the development of a student’s transition plan (i.e.: return to a less restrictive school setting or to enroll in a vocational or college program). We strongly promote parent/caregiver involvement throughout a student’s enrollment in our program. Parents/caregivers are invited to participate in student progress meetings, become members of the Parent Council, and provide input into and effect change in program policies and practices.
David Zimmer, Walker Beacon School Principal
To inquire about placement or with any questions about the program, please contact the Admissions Team:
Edie Janas, Senior Director Residential & Educational Programs
Beyra Rivera, Admissions and Operations Coordinator
As a resource for families, students and referring school districts, the 2017-2018 Walker Beacon School Calendar is now available online.
Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Program Review
Each year, the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) conducts a review of each of our school programs. Every year, DESE conducts an annual review; every three years they conduct a more in-depth Mid-Cycle Review; and every six years they conduct a Program Review, which is a very thorough and comprehensive review of our school programs.
In June, Walker completed our six-year DESE program review, which included a written submission, on-site inspection of each of our schools, staff interviews, student and personnel record reviews, classroom observations, and family surveys. We are very proud to announce that we received a Final Report which indicates that we passed each area of inspection. We have no corrective action required. Our DESE-approved school programs include the Beacon High School, Walker Day Program and Walker Intensive Residential Program.