Admissions FAQ

Young mn holding a science project poster board

At Seaport Academy, we strive to make admissions as streamlined as possible so you can make informed decisions and also feel good about the outcome. 


If you have any questions or concerns, we encourage you to speak with us directly. We’ll work quickly to solve problems and remove obstacles.


Admissions Eligibility and Process


Who may apply to Seaport Academy?

To be considered for placement, a student’s school district needs to send us a referral. We also accept students who are privately funded.


How old does a student have to be to apply?

A student should have completed the seventh grade and be at least 13 years old by the beginning of September of the year they enter Seaport Academy. 


What types of students does Seaport serve?

We serve students with strong academic potential who have struggled in traditional schools. Our program is designed for students with nonverbal learning differences and social-emotional and behavioral challenges who would benefit from a single-sex, cooperative, experiential learning environment.


Do you accept private-pay students?
Sometimes we do if space is available. If you’re interested in a private placement, please email us at We can tell you immediately if we have openings and advise you on the next steps.


What are the steps in the admissions process?


  1. For most students, the admissions process officially begins when Seaport Academy receives a referral from the student’s school system. 

  2. Then, Seaport Academy’s admissions team reads the file and determines if we can meet the student’s needs. If so, we will inform the student’s district. This usually happens within a couple of days.

  3. We will then schedule a placement interview and tour with the student and their family.

  4. If all goes well, we will invite the student to spend a day with us and attend classes, participate in activities and meet other students and staff.

  5. After the day visit, the family, student and educator teams from the students’ district and from Seaport will work together to make a decision.


Admission has to be a team decision, and it has to include the student. Only when everyone agrees that Seaport is the right choice, will we offer the student a place. A sincere commitment from every student is important. We want each student to start with us by accepting that this, ultimately, is their education – not ours.


How do you make admissions decisions?
Admission to Seaport Academy is always a team decision made by the student, parents/guardians, home school or district, Seaport Academy staff and other service providers, all working together. We carefully consider every student who is referred to us. When we make decisions, we consider how well we can meet the student’s needs and how the student can contribute to the school community.


If the family doesn’t speak English, do you have a translator?
We can arrange for the district to provide a translator. Please let us know in advance if you would like this service.


How long does it take for a decision?
Once we have all the necessary school records and the interviews are completed, we strive to make a decision within 48 hours.


Do you have a waiting list?
Yes. Some Seaport students return to their home districts and graduate from their public schools. When this happens, we may offer a place to a student on our waiting list.


Can girls apply?
Seaport Academy is an all-boys school. We focus on the special needs of boys with learning differences and emotional challenges. Special education professionals seeking placements for girls are encouraged to consider coed Dearborn Academy, which is also a Schools for Children program.

Other Questions Related to Admissions


Is Seaport a state-approved special needs school?
Yes. Seaport Academy is a state-approved Massachusetts Chapter 766 school. If your student qualifies for an out-of-district placement and is a candidate for Seaport Academy, they will be referred to us by their district’s SPED director or out-of-district coordinator.


How many students can you serve?
Seaport Academy is a small, private school by design. We have a maximum enrollment of 28. We are usually fully enrolled, but we also help students return to their public schools, if appropriate. Spaces do open up during the school year.


How is tuition paid?
Tuition is paid by the student’s home school district in accordance with state law and the Federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). For our occasional private-pay students, we will customize a tuition payment plan for you.


Do you provide lunch?
Yes. Seaport serves a healthy catered lunch every day.


Is transportation to Seaport Academy available?
Districts will arrange for transportation to be provided as stated in the IEP. Seaport Academy is also accessible by public transportation via the T, the commuter rail and bus.


How long is the school year?
Seaport Academy has a four-term, 180-day school year. We start at 8:00 a.m. and end by 2:00 p.m. each day (see the school calendar for more information).


What is the staff/student ratio?
Seaport Academy has a 2:1 student/staff ratio.


Does Seaport Academy have a parent organization?
Yes. All parents are encouraged to join Seaport Academy’s Parent Advisory Council and participate in the Seaport community.


What is the relationship between Seaport and Schools for Children?
Committed to rigorous academic achievement, social-emotional
development and respect for inclusion, Schools for Children transforms learning for students in its eight schools and programs. Seaport Academy was created by and is currently managed by Schools for Children. Read more about Schools for Children’s unique history and mission.


What if I have more questions?
We know choosing an out-of-district placement school can be confusing for families. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help you through this process. Email us (!