A Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education approved private special education school, the Walker Beacon School is a coeducational therapeutic middle and high school program for students with mental health, social, and emotional challenges. Walker Beacon provides an integrated academic and therapeutic program to 65 students between the ages of 12 and 22. Throughout the school day, students benefit from comprehensive clinical services provided by experienced clinicians who are trained in a series of evidence-based practices, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Trauma-Focused CBT, Motivational Interviewing, and Solution-Focused Therapy.
Walker Beacon School provides in-the-moment therapeutic interventions in addition to weekly individual and group therapy, designed to help students appropriately respond to multiple stressors and to make progress toward their academic and therapeutic goals. In addition to offering a strong general education curriculum, we are unique in that we have an enriched educational program which includes programming in creative writing, fine arts, photography, music, theater, and public speaking. While in our program, a majority of students meet their educational requirements, including passing MCAS exams, meeting state requirements for high school graduation, and discovering new creative outlets and talents which serve them well in their future endeavors.
At the Walker Beacon School, students and parents/caregivers have access to a guidance counselor and career education assistance opportunities. We strongly promote parent/caregiver involvement throughout a student’s enrollment in our program. Parents/caregivers are invited to participate in student progress meetings, become members of the Family Advisory Council, and provide input into and effect change in program policies and practices.
Debra McElroy, Principal of Walker Beacon School
To inquire about placement or with any questions about the program, please contact the Admissions Team:
Edie Janas, Senior Director Residential & Educational Programs
Beyra Rivera, Admissions and Operations Coordinator
As a resource for families, students and referring school districts, the 2018-2019 Walker Beacon School Calendar is now available online.
Each year, the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) conducts a review of each of our school programs. Every year, DESE conducts an annual review; every three years they conduct a more in-depth Mid-Cycle Review; and every six years they conduct a Program Review, which is a very thorough and comprehensive review of our school programs.
In June, Walker completed our six-year DESE program review, which included a written submission, on-site inspection of each of our schools, staff interviews, student and personnel record reviews, classroom observations, and family surveys. We are proud to announce we have received a final report which indicates that we passed each area of inspection. We have no corrective action required. Our Mid-Cycle was completed in January 2018. Once again, our programs passed each area of inspection. Our DESE-approved school programs include the Walker Beacon School, Walker Day Program and Walker Intensive Residential Program.
Final inspection reports can be found on We invite you to view our Final Report on our website, or please stop by the reception area at any of our DESE-approved school programs. We will have a copy available for you to review onsite.