Pathways Academy

Basic Information

Address: 115 Mill Street Belmont, MA 02478
County: United States
School District: Belmont Public Schools
Phone Number: 617-855-2847
Fax Number: 617-855-2833

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Additional Information

President: N/A
School Type: Therapeutic Day School
Ages/Grades: age 6-22 years
School Setting:

Pathways Academy is a private, nonprofit year-round therapeutic day school developed to meet the psychological, social and academic needs of children and adolescents ages 6 through 22, with Asperger’s Syndrome and related disorders, such as autism spectrum disorders, nonverbal learning disabilities, sensory processing disorder, socialization and peer-relations problems, anxiety disorders and school phobia. Operated by the Center for Neurodevelopmental Services at McLean Hospital, Pathways Academy is fully approved by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

School Size: Maximum 32 students
Classroom Size: Maximum 4 students
Student/Teacher Ratio: 4 students: 1 teacher and 1 school counselor

Academic, Clinical, Speech and Language and Social Pragmatics, Occupational Therapy and Sensory Integration


Pathways Academy follows the Massachusetts State Curriculum Frameworks, adapting a variety of curricular materials to meet student needs. Integrated within the program, social pragmatics is a core curriculum item for all students. This form of therapy is provided in group format and integrated into each student’s individual learning program.

Support Services:

The Center for Neurodevelopmental Services (CNS) - Pathways Academy is a year-round, day school that provides comprehensive therapeutic and educational services to children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum and related disorders. Pathways Academy is fully approved by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Services include: 45-Day Extended Evaluation Placement, Academic Support, Crisis Intervention, Educational Assessment, Life Skills Training, Medical Doctor on Call, Milieu Therapy, Neuropsychological Assessment, Occupational Therapy, Occupational Therapy Assessment, Pragmatic Language and Social Skill/Thinking Classes, Problem Solving Strategies, Psychological Assessment, Psychopharmacological Services, School Nurse, Sensory Integration, Speech and Language Therapy, Social Pragmatics Training, Therapeutic Milieu, Transition Planning, Transitions Skills Training

Summer School: Yes
Computer Capabilities:

iPads, laptops, Chromebooks, Wii, and school-wide wifi.

School Championships:


School Clubs:


Uniform Guidelines:


Admissions Requirements:

Although, Pathways has rolling admissions, parents are highly encouraged to start the application process early. For further information or to request a school application, please contact our Admissions Coordinator, Timothy Kadehjian, by calling 617.855.3626 or e-mail 

Mission Statement:

Pathways Academy was developed to meet the physical, social, and academic needs of children and adolescents who are out of school or struggling in school. These students have difficulty understanding social cues and tend to misunderstand and misinterpret social situations. They have difficulty integrating their experiences and interactions and drawing expected inferences. Their reduced ability in these areas often leads to feelings of frustration, limited success, and low self- esteem. They also may have co-occurring psychiatric diagnoses, including depression, social and academic anxiety and other behavioral difficulties. Each student's program is customized based on his/her individual academic, social, and cognitive profile.

Philosophy/Belief Statement:

At Pathways, children with similar cognitive, learning and developmental profiles are clustered together to facilitate group learning. Small, highly structured language-based classrooms enable academic instructions to meet individual students' needs and goals. Additionally, each child is provided with an individualized education program that fosters his/her own competence, academic growth and sensory needs. Social pragmatics is a core curriculum item for all students. This form of therapy is provided in group format and integrated into each student’s individual learning program. Pathways Academy also provides speech/language support, occupational therapy and sensory integration, as well as transition planning, as needed.

School History:

Pathways Academy was founded under the auspices of the Center for Neurodevelopmental Services in 1998.

Notes/School Information:
What Makes Pathways Academy Unique?


  • Pathways Academy offers a highly structured school day with a staff to student ratio of 1:2.
  • Pathways Academy offers a low stress, therapeutic environment.
  • Pathways Academy offers milieu therapy, as needed throughout the day, such that the student can better process the issue at hand.
  • Pathways Academy offers small, highly structured classrooms (maximum 4 students per classroom)


  • Pathways Academy utilizes an eclectic and neurodevelopmental approach towards education.
  • At Pathways, supports and teaching methodologies are adapted to the student. Thus, teachers work to meet the needs of the students, as opposed to expecting students alter their learning styles to fit the way we teach.
  • We recognize that students may have a limited amount of internal resources with which to use throughout the day; we incorporate this understanding into our teaching methodology.
  • Pathways Academy follows Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks, and teachers utilize students' interests whenever possible as a vehicle for developing curriculum related skills and concept understanding.

Social Pragmatics

  • Pathways Academy as an eclectic approach towards social pragmatics and draws its curriculum from a myriad of resources (i.e. Social Thinking Model, Room 28, and SCERTS Model).
  • Social pragmatics is integrated throughout the school day and is taught directly in classes three times a week. Additionally, students are offered the opportunity to generalize skills learned in the classroom via social pragmatic outings.
  • Students are able to develop an increased repertoire of coping strategies and build their inner resources for coping with frustration in our low stress, therapeutic setting. This is accomplished through direct teaching by clinicians and supportive strategies and coping techniques.
  • Pathways Academy interprets all behavior as a form of communication, and the focus is on helping students develop appropriate communication skills.
  • All school staff members are trained to work with students on developing their social pragmatic skills and to serve as models through their formal and informal interactions.

Sensory Integration

  • Sensory integration is integrated through the day; and all school staff members are trained to work with students to help them utilize sensory integration techniques and access sensory diets.
  • Sensory integration breaks are scheduled for 15 minutes out of every hour, and staff members work with students to structure the breaks according to student needs and interests.
  • Pathways Academy offers sensory integration rooms and offers a sensory appropriate environment.
  • Pathways Academy offers occupational therapy as needed, and in addition to the students' IEP.