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CARES School - Center for Autism Resources and Education Services

Katherine Flynn, M.S. Ed.
Principal and Director of Student Services
270 Airport Rd., Fitchburg, MA 01420
(978) 516-0789 

The Devereux CARES School provides evidence-based primary, elementary and secondary education services for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disabilities. 

CARES is a day school for students, ages 5 to 22, who require a small classroom setting and specialized instruction. Our goal is to teach functional and pro-social skills that can be easily generalized to a student’s home and community. 

There is a strong emphasis on skill building using Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). These approaches help our students overcome challenging behaviors and achieve success in the following areas: 

  • Communication
  • Recreation and leisure
  • Social skills
  • Community inclusion
  • Academic skills
  • Self-determination
  • Self-care routines
  • Potential employment 

The CARES School primary track (ages 5 to 7) focuses on increasing levels of independence. The elementary track (ages 8 to 12) provides life skills practice opportunities. The high school program (ages 13 to 22) is customized with an emphasis on building life and vocational skills, and providing community employment opportunities. 

The school day runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Our CARES After School Program reinforces skills learned throughout the day and encourages community involvement. 

At CARES, our classroom structure is designed to meet the unique needs of each individual. With six students per class, one special education teacher and three teacher’s aides, CARES provides a comprehensive learning environment to address each student’s strengths and abilities. Our team of professionals also includes: psychologists, clinical coordinators, nurses, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, and a vocational coordinator. 

We believe that family/caregiver involvement is essential to a student’s success. Frequent, informal communications between families and the CARES team are held to discuss individualized education services, future planning and quality improvement. 

CARES is prepared to meet the academic requirements of local educational agencies, as well as those of other states that enroll students in our school. Our curriculum is aligned with the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks, and we collaborate with referring districts to provide the specialized services and supports that each student requires.  

To assist in determining students’ progress, we use quality of life indicators, including: 

  • Satisfaction with school and employment
  • Community integration
  • Social connectedness
  • Personal autonomy 

We look forward to providing an optimal educational experience for all of our students.

Devereux is licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. We are accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.  

For admissions assistance and additional information, contact:
Vicky Sheerin, admissions outreach specialist
(508) 886-4746