Lower School Program (ages 7-13)

Student and staff member laugh together while working on a lesson.


Lower School


The Lower School Program integrates classroom learning with community experiences to teach and excite children about the world, its possibilities and their place within it. Designed for elementary- and middle school-age students, this program immerses students in classroom learning, combined with lessons in daily living skills, communication and travel, with a goal of greater awareness and independence.

Housed in one of the campus’s newest facilities, classrooms feature cutting-edge technology and spacious, modern amenities to provide an optimum learning environment. Some students may further immerse themselves in the Perkins experience by living on campus in our residential program.


The Lower School Program aims to educate the whole child, from traditional academics that will prepare each child intellectually to the self-help and social skills that will allow our students to increase their independence. Our academic offerings include standard courses such as reading, writing, math, science, history, social studies and more. Cultural education includes art, music therapy, chorus and piano instruction. Students also learn to incorporate assistive technology into their daily learning and living routines. And they practice healthy, active lifestyles while they hone motor skills and improve balance and coordination in our adapted physical education program.

A Focus on Independence

Our students and their families choose Perkins for all the things not typically found in a public school setting -- skills taught through the Expanded Core Curriculum. This instruction is integrated into every moment of the day -- from daily living tasks like cooking and housekeeping to mobility skills, personal care, managing money and social skills. Our residential program is an opportunity for students to foster independence in their own living space while discovering the joy of friendship and learning the art of conversation. This is a chance for students to practice tasks such as personal care and dressing, as well as household skills like cooking and cleaning. Supervisory staff trained in child care and child development are on site and always available to assist.

Specially trained staff

Our educators work as part of a passionate, interdisciplinary team of related services staff to provide a multitude of services, including:

  • Occupational therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Music therapy
  • Speech and language therapy
  • Audiology
  • Orientation and mobility
  • Adapted physical education
  • Individual and group counseling
  • Visual efficiency training
  • Sensory integration programs
  • Therapeutic feeding programs
  • Social skills development
  • Case management
  • Residential services