Day and Residential Programs (ages 3-22)

A teacher working with a student while reading braille

Every moment of every day. Our Day and Residential Programs fully immerse your student in a blend of academics and the Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC), an essential, foundational curriculum for students with vision loss that complements the core academics. Our accessible campus in Watertown, Massachusetts, is where students ages 3 to 22 with blindness, low vision and deafblindness work with experts who are both highly qualified in academic subjects and in vision.

Are Perkins’ Day and Residential Programs right for your student?

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Learning for every age and ability

We customize learning to support the unique needs of every student, no matter where they are on their educational journey. All our programs include both academic and functional learning options, and are ultimately focused on each student's successful transition to adulthood. Explore our programs below or contact our Admissions staff to talk specifically about your child's needs.

Early Learning Center: This program takes the youngest learners and gives them the supportive foundation they need for a lifetime of learning. Every student has an individualized program that includes communication modes, orientation and mobility and other physical and developmental needs. Children learn and play in our Preschool Program, for ages 3 to 4, and our Transitional Kindergarten, for ages 5 to 6.

Lower School: Elementary and middle-school age students benefit from a combination of academics, Expanded Core Curriculum subjects such as social skills and an introduction to vocational activities. Our Lower School is one of our newest facilities, with classrooms featuring cutting-edge technology, modern amenities and ample space for optimum learning.

Secondary Program: The Secondary Program provides students ages 14 through 22 the chance to spread their wings while having a safety net. Rigorous academics and Expanded Core Curriculum subjects combine with extracurricular activities such as chorus, goalball and the radio station, while vocational skills prepare students for the next step. Our variety of enrollment and curriculum options include a residential program, inviting students to practice independent living skills.

Deafblind Program: This Total Communication environment takes students’ unique communication needs into account to use whatever combination works best for them. We offer a wide spectrum of comprehensive educational services for students ages 3 to 22 who are deafblind or deaf with additional disabilities. Each student’s individual development is considered as our team of educators and specialists create an appropriate curriculum and teaching methods. The program is home to the world’s largest concentration of students with CHARGE syndrome, a condition that results in complex birth defects that often result in vision and hearing loss.

Flexible enrollment

Our enrollment options range from accredited academic programs that provide a traditional education to ungraded, functional tracks designed to increase students' independence and communication. Residential options, available for most programs, can support your child’s development into an independent, confident contribute to students' development and growth as independent, confident individuals.

Comprehensive coursework

All programs include a focus on the ECC, compensatory skills such as braille, orientation and mobility, communication modes, social skills, household management and more that are necessary for students with blindness to live as independent, involved members of their communities. Our continuum of transition services focuses on independence skills, vocational training, post-school placements and parent education to ensure all students are prepared for post-school success.

Specialized staff

We maintain a low staff-to-student ratio, with some students in one-on-one environments and others in small groups, depending on students' optimal learning environments. Our range of specialized staff includes:

  • Teachers of students with visual impairment
  • Teachers of students with deafblindness
  • Orientation and mobility specialists
  • Audiologists
  • Speech and language therapists
  • Occupational and physical therapists
  • Developmental psychologists
  • Music therapists

Assistive technology

Our educators blend appropriate assistive technology into students' daily living and learning habits, teaching them how to compensate for vision loss and function in a world designed for those with sight. Classrooms are outfitted with a range of cutting-edge technology, and the Grousbeck Center for Students & Technology offers endless opportunity for students to explore unfamiliar technology while interacting socially with peers.

Extracurricular

Learning only begins in the classroom. That's why we offer an array of after-school programs varied enough to appeal to every student's taste. Cheerleading, goalball, an extended day program and yoga are just a few of the choices available. Residential students have additional options including DJ club, Spanish club and teen hangout nights.