School For Autism & Developmental Disabilities To Open In Wilmington

WILMINGTON, MA — The May Center School For Autism & Developmental Disabilities will soon be opening in Wilmington at 50 Concord Street in the Cummings Business Park.

The nationally recognized school, located in Woburn from the past 11 years, provides educational services to approximately 23 children and adolescents (ages 3-22) with autism and other developmental disabilities. Its full-day, year-round education features highly individualized and developmentally appropriative curriculum, with an emphasis on all areas of a child’s development — communication, language, social, school-readiness, self-care and play skills.  The school touts a 1:2 staff-student ratio and 1:6 teacher-student ratio.

To fulfill a state law requirement, the Wilmington School Committee recently met with May School Program Director Jaimie March and Executive Vice President for Educational Services Paula Raymond to approve its opening.  According to Interim Superintendent Joanne Benton, a private school located in any Massachusetts town must be approved by the school committee of that town, even if children from that town do not attend. The approval is necessary so that children who attend the school do so without violating the state’s compulsory attendance law.

After a brief 10-minute presentation, the Committee unanimously supported the school’s plans to open.  It was noted, however, that the School Committee’s approval was “neither an evaluation of the program’s quality nor an endorsement of the school.” Nevertheless, several members were complimentary of the school.

“The job that you’re doing is wonderful,” remarked School Committee member Peggy Kane.  “I’m personally glad you’re moving to Wilmington.”

If parents  wanted their child to attend the May Center School, that child would need to be referred by his or her home school district and successfully complete an assessment & screening process to ensure the school can best meet the child’s needs.

Watch the presentation — beginning at the 44:00-minute mark — courtesy of Wilmington Community Television:

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