Special Education Resources


For English Language Learner Resources, click here.


If you are the parent of a child who has an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), below are some tips to help you navigate your child’s school choices in Boston.

General Tips:

  1. Understand your child’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and the support they need for their disability. Your pediatrician can be a great start for referrals if you need additional support.

  2. Review your child’s academic data regularly. If your child has fallen behind academically, they will need to make over a year’s worth of growth each year in order to catch up, and their IEP should reflect and support that.

  3. Follow up and document meetings (for example, via email) so that all parties are on the same page.

  4. Visit schools and observe classrooms prior to making decisions on a school.Our school visit guide can help.


Boston Public Schools (BPS):

BPS’ Road to Registration guide is a helpful resource. It is available in multiple languages. The list of BPS schools with special education strands can also help you understand school options.

Families entering school for the first time:

  • Meet with a registration specialist at a Welcome Center. You can pre-register beforehand, and make an appointment.

  • Depending on the needs outlined in your child’s IEP, BPS will assign your child a team and you will work with them to choose a school that fits your child’s needs.

Families who are transitioning schools:

  • Review and transition plan with your school-based staff team. An Individualized Education Plan (IEP) review must take place when your child is 14 years old, but you can request an earlier review so that you can understand school choices sooner.

  • If you need additional support, request it from the school principal or the district.


General Tips for All Schools

Understand the programs available at each school, and whether they are a good fit for your child’s specific needs.


Supporting Organizations

Organization Name How they support
List of BPS Schools w/Special Education Strands Navigate specific programs at schools
Boston SpedPac A citywide parent advisory council. Works with the Boston Public School system to ensure that children get the services and support they need. General meetings are held at schools on a regular basis. Check website for details.  
Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education Procedural guides are available in multiple languages
Federation For Children with Special Needs   Provides information, support, and assistance to parents of children with disabilities


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