Mclean Hospital
Schools at McLean

Arlington School

Our admission procedure is designed to ensure that students who enroll at the Arlington School are appropriately placed. We work to assure that the student and school are well matched, both academically and clinically.

Students, parents, therapists, and school systems interested in Arlington School admissions are welcome to contact Suzanne Loughlin, APRN, BC, director, at 617.855.2124.

In general, the length of enrollment depends on when a student enrolls. When students come to the Arlington School in the upper grades, they often finish their high school careers here. If they have started in the earlier grades, some return to their public high schools or transition to a small private school.

Arlington School grounds at McLean HospitalWe also offer 45-day assessment placements when space is available. These students are integrated into our general student population.

To ensure a timely admission process, an interview can usually be scheduled within a week, followed by a class visit several days later. A decision on admission can usually be made within 24 hours of the school visit.

The admission process typically begins when we receive a referral packet from the out-of-district coordinator of the student’s local public school.

A referral packet generally includes:

  • Individual education program (IEP)
  • Transcript
  • Recent psychological or neuropsychological testing
  • Other evaluations, such as speech and language evaluations, reading assessments, etc.
  • Treatment summaries
  • Admission and discharge notes from recent hospitalizations, if relevant

Our director, educational administrator, and designated clinicians review the referral packet to determine whether the student is likely to benefit from the Arlington School experience. We are mindful that paperwork does not always accurately describe a student’s strengths.

We invite the student and parents to come for an interview and tour of the school. The tour covers a variety of topics, including learning style, academic interests, peer relationships, safety issues, coping strategies, and a willingness to work toward goals. If it is determined that the school is a good fit, the student is invited to attend a half-day of classes and a clinical interview.

Following a successful school visit, we advise the family and referring school system whether their student is invited to attend the Arlington School. If an invitation is accepted, a placement agreement is signed and the student is enrolled.

We are not able to offer tuition assistance. In most cases, tuition is paid for by referring school districts. However, some families will privately pay the tuition. Those families are required by Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) regulations to pay the same tuition rate that school systems are charged. Because we are an academic institution, health insurance does not cover tuition.