In addition, the school has access to McLean’s fitness center and gymnasium for physical education classes and to a separate conference room in the McLean cafeteria for testing, team meetings, and parent support groups.
Arlington School classrooms utilize SmartBoards and have a variety of electronic devices for student use, including wireless internet access for personal devices. In addition, Mac laptops and iPads are available to be checked out of the school’s library.
Class content is delivered by teachers who are licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). Students address the content with accommodations delineated in individualized education programs (IEPs).
Arlington School graduates and parents of graduates are often invited to speak with current students and their families about their post-secondary school experiences. Speakers are chosen to represent a diverse range of experiences, and current students and parents are given the opportunity to ask questions.
Mission & Philosophy
At the Arlington School, we believe that growth is possible for every student, that learning renews self-worth, and that our students can overcome the challenges that impede their success. Discovery, flexibility, empathy, respect, acceptance, patience, and courage are the core values of our learning community.
We aim always to be organized and clear in presenting material, to offer flexibility and variety in the curriculum, and always to be encouraging and patient.
Teachers at the Arlington School commit to loving their subject and continuing to learn it, and generating enthusiasm to make learning exciting. We emphasize each student’s strengths and strive to present educational options that play to those strengths.
Also, we address the student where he or she is, not where we feel he or she should be. We recognize all forms of success and progress, behavioral or academic.
We respond with understanding, respect, humility, forgiveness, persistence, and a belief in each student. Because we expect that teachers and staff will experience student behavior that is abrasive, disruptive, or hostile, we always attempt to be empathetic and understanding of the students’ feelings and impulses, while making clear our expectations.
We know that not all behaviors deserve our tolerance, but each has a cause. We are always respectful of the person, even when we are critical of their behavior, and we listen to what the student is telling us, verbally or non-verbally, and attempt to understand it before we act.
In a touchy or volatile situation in the classroom, we intentionally ignore the hidden agenda wherever possible, use humor (not sarcasm) or a moment of silence to defuse the situation, continue as if nothing has happened, and address the incident later with the student privately or with clinical staff.
When we are wrong, we apologize. We always accept students’ apologies and reparations, and we never give up on a student or on the possibility of that student’s progress.
Bullying Prevention and Intervention
The Arlington School is committed to providing a safe learning environment, free from bullying and cyber-bullying. This commitment is an integral part of our comprehensive efforts to promote learning and to prevent and eliminate all forms of harmful and disruptive behavior that can impede the learning process.
We understand that many students who enroll at Arlington School have already been the targets of bullying, harassment, or teasing. We take steps to create a safe, supportive environment for our vulnerable population within our school community and provide all students with the skills and strategies to prevent or respond to bullying, harassment, or teasing.
We will not tolerate any unlawful or disruptive behavior—including any form of bullying, cyber-bullying, or retaliation—in our school buildings, on school grounds, or at school-related activities.
We will investigate promptly all reports and complaints of bullying, cyber-bullying, and retaliation, and take prompt action to end that behavior and restore the target’s sense of safety.
We will support this commitment in all aspects of our school community, including curricula, instructional programs, staff development, extracurricular activities, and parent or guardian involvement.
The Arlington School Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan is a comprehensive approach to addressing bullying and cyber-bullying, and we are committed to working with students, staff, families, law enforcement agencies, and the community to prevent issues of violence. The school director or a designee is responsible for the implementation and oversight of this plan.
You can find the plan in the Publications section, or you can ask our office for a copy.
Our college preparatory curriculum meets all appropriate standards to prepare students for a high school diploma and includes classes in core subjects such as English, math, science, history, and world languages. Arts, health, and fitness classes are also offered, along with an array of electives.
Students at the Arlington School can experience a more consistent education because we have the flexibility to adjust our curriculum to accommodate social and emotional issues that would otherwise interrupt learning.
Course progression is organized by grade, but often students come to us with educational gaps. Adjustments are made to the individuals’ courses as needed.
The Arlington School also provides an array of academic supports and opportunities to help students become better equipped to manage the demands of their course work. These supports are wide-ranging to meet the needs of a diverse group of learners and support the mission of the school.
Academics at a Glance
- All classes, including most electives, meet five times per week
- Classes are 45 minutes each
- There are seven class periods, plus an activity period and lunch period
- Class periods do not rotate from day to day
- The school day starts at 8:30am and ends at 2:40pm
- Early release days start at 8:30am and end at 12pm
Our teachers and staff realize that, in addition to traditional basic literacy, students need the vital skills required in this digital age, such as critical thinking, problem solving, and collaboration. We incorporate this into our academics as well as use technology with students throughout each day.
The Arlington School resource room is a small, quiet classroom where a teacher works with students using techniques geared toward a special-needs population.
Students receive assistance with homework and related assignments as individuals or in groups. The development of executive function skills—including homework management and behavior—are included in the program.
In addition, the resource room is used for students to utilize their individual coping strategies to effectively manage the school day. Time in the resource room can also be used as an opportunity to check in with clinical staff for support and problem solving.
Many students enroll in a study skills class and are expected to use this time productively. Students can complete class assignments, work on homework or a project, read a book or magazine, work on creative writing assignments, or conduct research.
Also, students can access one-on-one assistance with academic work or get help with time management, organization, concentration/memory, note taking, test taking, and research skills.
The mission of the Arlington School Library is to support all members of the school community with the resources and skills necessary to be successful readers, researchers, and users of information in the 21st century. The library can be a place for quiet reflection or a lively environment, depending on what activities are taking place.