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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 prosocial 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, as well as 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, physical 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 our Admissions Department at (508) 886-4746, ext. 330 or 332. 

Title IX Policy and Procedures

What is Title IX?Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”) prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity. Sex discrimination includes sex-based harassment, discrimination on the basis of sex and retaliation related to complaints of sex discrimination. Sex-based harassment is unwelcome conduct, which includes both sexual harassment including, but not limited to, sexual assault, other forms of sexual violence and other sexual misconduct, and gender-based harassment. This applies to academic, educational, athletic and residential programs.

What is Different? The new Title IX regulation holds schools accountable for failure to respond equitably and promptly to sexual misconduct incidents and ensures a more reliable adjudication process that is fair to all students. The Final Regulations specify how recipients (defined as schools, LEAs, postsecondary institutions) of federal financial assistance must respond to allegations of sexual harassment consistent with Title IX’s prohibition against sex discrimination. They further specify how recipients (defined as schools, LEAs, postsecondary institutions) of federal financial assistance must respond to allegations of sexual harassment consistent with Title IX’s prohibition against sex discrimination.

Policy and Procedure Documents