Special Education Placement Options

Our Mission

Our mission is to provide easily accessible information and support for parents about educational placement options. We want parents to have a place to turn, to understand their children’s rights, and to know how to proceed when they believe their child’s challenges are not being met in their current setting.

“Special education is not about a place, but about the services the child receives.”

– Marcia Mittnacht, former State Director of Special Education, Massachusetts Department of Education

Why is there a need for this website?

When parents of children with complex needs believe that their child’s educational needs are not being met, parents may not know what their options are.  Disagreements may occur between members of a child’s educational team about whether an alternative school placement should be considered.  Parents often feel alone and overwhelmed trying to navigate a complicated educational system to get their child’s needs met. This website aims to provide easily accessible, accurate information about how to identify the appropriate educational placement for your child.  For some families, this includes when private day or residential placement should be considered and what the process involves.  

Who can benefit from this website?

  • Families of children receiving special education services (i.e., on an IEP or 504 Plan) but who do not feel that their child’s needs are being met;
  • Parents who have questions about alternative options to their child’s current placement;
  • Parents of children with complex needs who may require an alternative school program or private day school;
  • Parents considering or already coping with residential placement for their child of any age (including adult children), and would like emotional support for the unique stressors of this experience;
  • Professionals working with children with complex challenges wishing to better understand the perspective and needs of families considering and experiencing private placement.