Students with Special Needs

The Grace School is appropriate for students with a wide range of abilities.  Our highly trained professional staff, teach and work with students with various physical, cognitive and developmental delays, as well as students with severe to moderate medical needs.  However, our programs are not appropriate for students with significant behavioral needs.

Students who attending The Grace School, are in a fully inclusive classroom. All day, every day, students learn, work and play alongside with their same age peers that do not have disabilities.


Frequently Asked Questions

How many services do children receive and how are they delivered?

Special education services are provided per a student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) which is developed in partnership with the student’s parents/guardian, a representative from the student’s home school district and his/her educational team at Meeting Street.  Each IEP is personalized to include goals, objectives and services to meet each student’s unique needs so that he/she will grow and learn. A wide variety of services are included but not limited to educational, therapeutic (Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy, Physical Therapy), transition, career work readiness, behavioral, and Adaptive Physical Education.

How is tuition paid?

Tuition for students with IEPs who are referred by their school district and accepted into The Grace School is payed for by the school district. 

What is covered in the tuition?

What’s Included in a Special Education Tuition at Meeting Street? 

·      Education

o   Meeting Street’s entire facility was designed with students with special needs in mind.

o   Professional and licensed staff including educators, teacher assistants, physical therapists (PT), speech language pathologists (SLP), occupational therapists (OT) and nursing staff are on-site and integrated into and across our students’ day, every day. 

o   Extended School Year Program (ESY) is eight full weeks, 8:00 a.m-1:00 p.m. for our programs in Rhode Island

o   Students are provided daily instruction in academics, functional and life skills.   

o   General Education/Grade level curriculum is modified to meet the individual needs of our students

o   Progress monitoring on all academic and therapeutic goals

o   For students in preschool-Grade 8, students are provided with the opportunity to participate in inclusive enrichment activities and programs such as chorus, drama club, etc.

o   Consultation between students’ teams (educators, assistants, therapists, behavior  specialist, nursing, etc.) are scheduled and occur on a regular basis

·      Communication

o  Staff trained and experienced in a variety of communication devices and language systems 

o  Consistently trial a variety of communication devices (low-tech, high-tech, eye-gaze) 

o  SLP collaboration with OT and PT to determine appropriate positioning and an activation site to access assistive technology 

o  Ability to provide regular 1:1 therapy speech sessions 

o  Close working relationships with device/assistive technology vendors 

o  Individualized student feeding plans; management and treatment recommendations provided  

o  Support to Families

§  Home visits by SLP to support communication needs in the home with family members and care givers  

§  SLP available to attend specialist doctor appointments with student and family members

§  Assist with completing and filing insurance documents for dedicated communication devices

·      Equipment

o  On-site Equipment Clinic

§  Screen, evaluate, and trial equipment for students

§  Pressure mapping for seated equipment

§  Assists parents with scheduling appointments for equipment repair and ordering from Assistive Technology Professionals (ATP), and Rehabilitation Technology Suppliers (RTS) 

§  Able to schedule these appointments to take place during school hours at Meeting Street 

§  PT acts as referring therapist for equipment; writing and submitting letters of medical necessity

§  Therapists will make home visits to assist with ordering equipment 

o  Personalized/customized equipment for school use

§  Ensuring that students have access to alternative positioning throughout the school day

·      Adaptive classroom chairs

·      Standers

·      Walkers

·      Gait Trainers

·      Power Chair trials

·      Adaptive bikes

·      Mats, wedges, bolsters, 

·      Swings

§  Staff trained in transfers in and out of equipment and daily equipment; 

Schedules are developed and implemented to ensure alternate positioning throughout the school day 

o  On-site Bracing Clinic

§  Screen, evaluate, monitor bracing needs

§  Assist parents with scheduling appointments for bracing repair and/or ordering with an orthotist/prosthetist

§  Offering these appointments to take place during school hours at Meeting Street

§  Establish and monitor orthotic/prosthetic wear schedules throughout the school day

·      Oral Motor and Adaptive Feeding 

o  Oral motor programs to improve chewing, decrease mouthing of objects, and increase types of food eaten

o  Screen and evaluate feeding needs

o  Feeding plan developed and implemented by trained staff

o  Adaptive feeding equipment provided

o  Support families

§  Home evaluations by OT for needs such as bath/shower chairs, beds, adapted toilets 

§  OT available to attend specialist doctor appointments with student and family members

·      Sensory

o  Sensory screens and evaluations conducted

o  Sensory plans developed and implemented by trained staff

o  Multiple Sensory Integration Gyms on location

o  Sensory equipment/tools provided i.e. weighted vests, fidgets, chewies, adaptive bicycles 

o  Make recommendations and assist parents with securing adaptive bicycle for at home

·      Toilet Training 

o  Screen and evaluate toileting needs

o  Toileting plan developed and implemented by trained staff

o  Adaptive bathroom equipment provided on-site

·      Aquatherapy and Therapeutic Pool 

o  Therapeutic Pool on site

§  Salt water 

§  92 degrees

o  Trained Aquatherapy practitioners

o  Built into therapy sessions and Adaptive Physical Education (APE) program

·      Medical Care

o  Medical Director available weekly on-site for parent and staff consultation

o  Provide educational workshops/staff trainings as requested or needed

o  Registered Nurses on site to meet the students’ needs and available for consult with parents and staff 

·      Challenging Behaviors

o  Behavioral Specialist on staff and available for parent and staff consultation

o  Screen and assess challenging behavior

o  Complete Functional Behavioral Assessments (FBAs) and develop Behavior Improvement Plans (BIPs) 

o  Consult with and train staff in data collection and de-escalation strategies

o  Monitor plan implementation, analyze data and provides behavioral progress updates to families 

o  Available to meet with parents and develop in-home plans to support behavior at home

·      Teacher of the Visually Impaired (TVI) and Orientation and Mobility (O+M) Support

o  Conduct screens, evaluations, and assists in the coordination of State Services for the Blind and medical care.

o  Consult with staff to address the individual student’s vision loss as it relates to their particular discipline, so they can keep the child safe and making progress.

o  Attends eye appointments with students/families as necessary and as available

o  Help families understand the impact of vision loss and foster methods that can accommodate students with such an impairment  

·      Social Work 

o  Social worker on staff and available for parent and staff consultation

o  Assist parents with transitions to adult programs, securing guardianship and accessing community resources

o  Arrange visits of adult programs and will attend with parents

o  Assists with securing funding for adult programs and services from the Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals (BHDDH) including application and support




What is an IEP?

IEP stands for Individual Education Plan and they are developed for students that have been identified as qualifying for special education services. IEPs can include goals on a variety of areas such as educational, communication, mobility, social emotional, etc.

What is the average class size and staffing ratio?

The Grace School offers a highly individualized program with small class size that allows our teachers, assistants, and therapists the opportunity to work closely with each student. Per a child’s IEP, additional supports such as individual nursing care and 1:1 teacher assistants can also be found in our classrooms.

What does the average day look like?

While each child’s plan is individualized we incorporate the goals and skills they are working on across all contents areas including English Learning Arts, math, science, adaptive physical education, and art and music classes. Additionally, they receive therapy services per their IEP, in addition to life and social skills. Our students also receive weekly instruction in American Sign Language (ASL).

The school day runs from 8:00 am - 2:45 pm each day.

Do you offer an Extended School Year (ESY) program?

Yes, for students with special needs. Our ESY program runs for eight full weeks in the summer, Monday-Friday, from 8:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Students must qualify for ESY services, which is determined annually at the student’s IEP meeting.

Will my child make friends?

Absolutely!  At Meeting Street we believe all children should have the opportunity to socialize with their peers. To assist our students we build social time and play into our daily lessons and activities.  We also focus on socialization skills during career work readiness and recreational activities, as well as community outings.

In The Early Learning Center and The Grace School, students are in fully inclusive classroom, Preschool-Grade 8.   All day, every day, they learn, work and play alongside and with their same age peers that do not have a disability.

Are there opportunities outside the school for enhanced learning?

Our students attend field trips and community outing, including career to work readiness job sites, which are varied based on the student’s age and educational needs. Outings often focus on skills in one or more areas such as academic need, career and work readiness skills, and recreation/leisure activities.

How do I communicate with school staff about my child?

At Meeting Street we believe one of the biggest factors in a child’s achievements is the support and involvement of their family. We encourage all parents/guardians to communicate with their child’s teachers and therapists on a regular basis.  We utilize a variety of daily communication tools such as a daily log for each student where school staff and families can communicate and share information, apps such as Remind and Brightwheel and a listserv.  Parents/Guardians are also encouraged to email their child’s teachers and therapists as well.

Family members are encouraged to participate in our Family Advisory Council, Parent Meetings and conferences.  In addition, all of our educational programs offer a variety family events such as a science fair, Harvestfest, field day, movie nights and a prom.

How do you help families advocate for their child’s needs?

Our teachers and staff believe that the best advocates for our students are their parent/guardian.  To that end we collaborate with them and their school districts to identify their child’s needs and strengths. Through our work with the parent committees and groups, we are able to help families outreach and support each other as they work with their home school districts and treatment providers to  develop the most comprehensive and beneficial plans of care possible.

Do you provide Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Services?

At Meeting Street we have a behavior specialist on staff that works closely with our staff and families to develop behavior support plans that are based on Applied Behavioral Analysis concepts. However, our program is not appropriate for students with significant behavioral needs.

Do provide specialized equipment?

At Meeting Street we have a wide range of adaptive equipment for our students to use and trial. This includes motorized lifts, gait trainers, braces, adaptive bicycles, walkers, and feeding utensils. We will also work with families and their school districts to review and identify additional equipment needs that an individual student may need.

What type of assistive technology do you have?

Under the direction of our Speech and Language Therapists (SLP), our staff utilize augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) to assist our students use and expand their communication skills throughout the day. Types of ACC include but are not limited to picture symbols, Voice Output Communicators, switches, modular hose mounting systems, iPads and tablet devices loaded with various communication based applications.

Do you provide vision and/or orientation and mobility services?

We have a vision and O+M specialist that works on site as a consultant each week with our educators and therapists.

My child is not toilet trained. Can they still be enrolled?

We can accommodate children at all levels of developmental needs. Under the direction and guidance of our school therapists, individual toileting plans are developed for our students and staff is then trained prior to implementing those plans.

Interested in learning more?

Schedule a Visit

Contact Information

1000 Eddy Street |Providence, RI |02905|
P: 401-533-9247 |F: 401-533-9101|Email Us

1000 Eddy Street
Providence, RI |02905
P: 401-533-9247
Email Us

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