Pathways Academy

Basic Information

Address: 115 Mill St Belmont, MA 02478 (Mailing Address) 11 Hillside Ave Arlington, MA 02478 (Physical Address)
County: MA
Phone Number: 617-855-2703
Fax Number: 617-855-2833
Principal: Laura Mead, MS.Ed
School Type: Therapeutic Special Education School

Action Shots

Pathways Academy
Pathways Academy
Pathways Academy
Pathways Academy

* Click each thumbnail for a larger version.

Additional Information

Accreditation: MA DESE Approved
Organization Affiliation: McLean Hospital
Ages/Grades: Ages 6 - 22 years
School Setting:

Relaxed, therapeutic, small school setting using a collaborative problem-solving model as opposed to an ABA model.

School Schedule: 8:30am - 2:30pm, except Wednesdays 8:30am - 12:30pm
School days in Calendar Year: 216 (including summer session)
School Holidays: Similar to public school, typical holidays, plus pre- and post-summer breaks
School Size: 32 students maximum
Classroom Size: 4 students
Student/Teacher Ratio: 4:1 (2:1 student to staff ratio)

Paid for by public school district

Financial Aid:





The academic curriculum is individualized based on Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks. Pathways utilizes an eclectic approach to the social and social-emotional curriculum.

Percentage of Graduating Class: n/a
Support Services:

Embedded social pragmatic language coaching and supports in conjunction with social pragmatics classes; embedded sensory integration supports, scheduled sensory breaks between classes, milieu-based counseling (ongoing access to clinicians). LGBTQIA+ supportive environment.

Summer School: Yes
Computer Capabilities:

full capabilities; laptops, tablets, etc.

School Championships:


School Clubs:


Notable Graduates/Alumni:


Parking Spaces/Availability:

parking available

Uniform Guidelines:


Admissions Deadline: Rolling admissions
Mission Statement:


Philosophy/Belief Statement:

Pathways Academy provides a safe and comfortable learning environment for students with autism spectrum and related disorders. We consider every interaction a learning opportunity, so Pathways Academy focuses on intensive social-pragmatic learning and natural consequences rather than an applied behavioral program. All behaviors are communicative and our staff is trained to look critically and objectively at behavior to determine what the child is trying to communicate. Students are taught coping and self-regulation strategies directly and receive ongoing guided practice in using their new skills. They are encouraged to use their language and develop social skills to resolve conflicts, instead of utilizing behaviors that may be disruptive or off-putting to peers. Students are taught to find appropriate avenues for meeting needs and defusing strong emotions that may not be expected in a school setting.

School History:


Programs and Services:

Therapeutic milieu, embedded sensory, social, and social-emotional supports, informal/relaxed environment, speech/language, occupational therapy, social work, milieu-based counseling, transition planning life skills/pre-vocational skill development, LGBTQIA+ supportive environment.

Social Media:


Notes/School Information:

Pathways uses a collaborative problem-solving methodology to work individually with students to set them up for sucess in the school setting. Before coming to Pathways Academy, many students struggled with school engagement and meeting typical school demands. Pathways takes an inclusive approach to classroom instruction, allowing students to engage their learning in a manner that feels comfortable to them. Upper Elementary, Middle, and Highschool (through age 22) cohorts are all typically available. While Pathways Academy is licensed to serve students as young as six, we typically do not have a primary grade cohort; however this is subject to change.

Pathways Academy is best suited for:

  • Students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (however not a requirement), require social coaching and supports, have complex learning profiles, and may or may not have co-occurring psychiatric diagnoses
  • students who have relatively average or above-average cognitive abilities but may struggle with typical classroom demands and expectations
  • Students who are seeking a gentle and individualized approach to education with social pragmatic, sensory, and therapeutic supports throughout the school day
  • Students who want a school they can make friends and look forward to going to each day!