Frequently Asked Questions

The Campaign for Cotting School

1. When will gym construction begin?

Pending approval from the town of Lexington and our continued Campaign success, we anticipate breaking ground in the spring of 2020.

2. How long will construction take?

It will take approximately one year to build the new gym and arts

3. What will the renovations entail?

Occupational and Physical Therapy will move into the old gym, and we will create a Medical Suite in the former OT/PT space. Classrooms renovations and a Learning Commons will follow.

4. How long will the renovations take?

Renovations are slated to last one year.

Cotting School

1. How old is Cotting School?

Celebrating its 125th anniversary, Cotting was founded in 1893 as an experiment by two Children’s Hospital orthopedic surgeons as the first school in America to serve students with physical disabilities.

2. What is the school's mission?

To enable students with special needs to achieve their highest learning potential and level of independence.

3. What is the school's vision statement?

To create an inclusive community which fosters academic achievement, skill development, and social-emotional maturity.

4. How many students does cotting serve?

120 students with moderate to severe special needs ages 3-22 from 74 cities and towns.

5. Is Cotting School accredited?

Cotting is a Chapter 766-approved private day school that is accredited by the New England Association of Schools & Colleges.

6. What does tuition cost and who pays tuition?

Tuition is set at $95,000 by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and paid by the student’s school district. However, this reimburses only 75% of the cost of educating each student at Cotting School. The remaining 25% is raised annually from individuals, foundations, corporations, and the endowment.

7. What is the school's operating budget?

For fiscal year 2019-2020, the operating budget is $14,881,405.

For fiscal year 2020-2021, the operating budget is $15,343,168.

8. How much does the annual fund raise yearly?

Approximately $1M is raised annually by donations from individuals, foundations, and corporations.

9. How does the school use technology?

Teachers and therapists integrate assistive technology and therapies into each classroom subject, optimizing learning.

10. What is particularly noteworthy about the way students are taught at Cotting?

Our widely diverse student learners receive individualized instruction in a comprehensive, adaptable curriculum that incorporates State Standards. Students are taught according to how they learn best and in a way that they can most easily access.

11. What subjects are offered beyond academics?

Art, gym, performing arts, sports, and woodworking are offered, along with a full roster of after school activities. On Saturdays in the fall, we offer intramural soccer and in the spring, Saturday Challenger Baseball.

12. Are there other extracurricular activities?

  • Circle of Friends is an off-site social activity on Friday afternoons when students, for example, play mini golf, see a movie, have dinner, or shop at a mall.
  • We offer older students a winter ski strip to Mt. Sunapee. Cotting holds quarterly dances and a spring prom dinner dance at a local venue.
  • The Senior Class enjoys a trip to Disney World in early May each year. They raise funds to help cover the expense.

13. Are there summer enrichment experiences at Cotting School?

  • An Extended Year Program for ages 3-22 for five weeks in July and August offers academics and a class that teaches older students independent living skills called the Summer Adapted Living Experience.
  • Talk2U@Cotting School is a weeklong experience in late August offered for tweens and teens whose primary mode of communication is high-tech or low-tech Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC).
  • A week-long, integrated summer enrichment, Bridging the Gap brings together teens for the chance to develop friendships and enjoy summer while engaging in day trips.

HOPEhouse at Cotting School

1. What is the HOPEhouse program?

HOPEhouse is a 5-day (Monday –Friday) boarding program for young adults ages 17-22 who want to practice independent living skills in a supportive community setting.

2. What is the focus at HOPEhouse?

Licensed professionals support young adults to live with peers who share similar hopes and challenges. Everything associated with effective transition planning is a part of the program at HOPEhouse.

3. What do HOPEhouse students do during the day?

Students can:

  • Enroll in academic courses at Cotting School or at a local Community College
  • Make connections with employers, develop work skills, and work part-time

4. What do they learn at HOPEhouse?

HOPEhouse students:

  • Develop life skills through classroom work and increasing responsibility for preparing meals, doing laundry, coordinating transportation, planning social and recreational activities, managing a budget, and more.
  • Enjoy dorm-style living in a modern, accessible home on our vibrant campus.

5. What is the goal for a HOPEhouse student at age 22?

Each student leaves with a plan and an opportunity for the next step, whether that involves a community college, a job, or a work program, often within their home community.

Cotting Consulting

An Outreach Program of Cotting School Providing Solutions for Students in Their School Environment

1. How many and how old are the students served by Cotting Consulting?

123 students served by Cotting Consulting range in age from 3-22

2. Which school districts use consulting services?

Over 40 MA school districts and collaboratives have been served by Cotting Consulting from 2014 to present.

3. What services does Cotting Consulting offer?

Consulting improves curriculum access and functional independence for students on an Individualized Education Program (IEP) by offering:

  • Technology, communication, and Occupational Therapy assessments
  • Instruction and management of technology
  • Development and implementation of technology plans
  • Professional development for general and special educators
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