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Lower School

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Lower School

"My child finally has friends." –Parent of Lower School student

Our program started the first kindergarten in the world for children who are blind. We serve children ages six to 14 who are blind or visually impaired with or without other disabilities. We offer traditional academics and services specific to our students' unique needs. Each child is given the optimum chance to realize their greatest potential. Whether they are college bound or have severe cognitive and physical disabilities, in the Lower School, each child experiences the joys of learning and discovers their own unique gifts.

Are you the parent of a Perkins Lower School student? Learn how you can join our Parent Advisory Group. 

Two girls attending the Lower School program at Perkins.
Two girls attending the Lower School program at Perkins.

Helping children discover the world

Childhood and early adolescence are times full of wonder and discovery. In this respect, Perkins' students are no different than other kids. However, children who are visually impaired do need individual attention, adaptive technologies and expert teachers with specialized training to help them reach their full potential. Aided by a low teacher-to-student ratio, our gifted instructors are patient, intelligent and determined to help young students as they grow to be responsible and respected adults.  

Imagine you are a Lower School student

You step off the school bus with other Perkins students, ready to start your day. You finish up a writing project on a computer with state-of-the-art adaptive technology, before working with your teacher on a math lesson. Then you are off to a music lesson where you take a special delight in the percussion instruments. Later, you will be busy with your daily job of delivering the newspaper on campus, which gives you a chance to practice your mobility skills. You are excited because today is Tuesday and that means swimming lessons with your friends. Click for more information about Lower School Curriculum Options.  

Supporting parents

Parental involvement is key to our students' success. Perkins has nearly two centuries of experience working with students who are visually impaired, but it is parents that know their child best. We work hand-in-hand with parents to develop an individualized education plan for each student.

We encourage parents to join advocacy groups, volunteer and work directly with the Lower School. We also help perspective parents through the Admissions process. Students in the Lower School are usually referred for admission through their local school district. We can help parents with that process and in deciding if they should enroll their child as day or residential student.  

A team of passionate experts

As one of the leading institutions in educating children who are blind, deafblind or visually impaired with or without other disabilities, Perkins employs an experienced staff with specialized training. Whether the student focuses on basic communication and daily living skills or he or she is college bound, each student's program is geared toward maximizing his or her potential.  

For information about the Lower School or on how to start the admissions process, contact Robert Hair at 617-972-7280 or email Rob.Hair@Perkins.org.

Perkins Lower School Parent Advisory Group

If your child attends Perkins Lower School be sure to sign up for our Yahoo Group where you can be connected to a community of families and keep updated with information about Lower School. By joining this group, you will have access to the following: our staff telephone and email list; school calendar; family contact information for those that choose to be listed; reminders of upcoming events; links to past Lower School and Perkins-wide events including photos, videos, and articles; and three-dimensional drawings of the new building and floor plans! (Only parents and guardians of children who attend the Perkins Lower School may join).

To join the Perkins Lower School Advisory Group please email: Betsey Porter (staff) elizabeth.porter@perkins.org; Peg Beck (staff) peg.beck@perkins.org; or Susan Arndt (parent) SusanArndtInteriors@yahoo.com.