Shore Educational Collaborative is one of twenty-four educational collaboratives in Massachusetts. Collaboratives were established by law in the mid-1970’s when public school education was (finally) mandated for all students, most especially those who had previously been excluded – kids with disabilities and kids who spoke languages other than English.
As a result, neighboring school districts combined resources and formed educational collaboratives; public organizations that could effectively and efficiently provide special education to students in their districts.
Throughout the late 70’s, Shore contracted with the State “Bureau of Institutional Schools” to provide educational programs for children with significant disabilities who lived at Hogan, Fernald, Dever, and Wrentham state schools. As these children aged out of educational services, the “Department of Training and Education Continuity” tapped Shore to continue providing high quality services to these young adults.
Shore’s School Programs continued to grow and expand, operating classrooms in more than twenty schools and many districts, during the 80’s and 90’s. Shore Staff boxed up their entire classrooms at the end of each school year and waited to hear which school or city they would report to the next year. In the 1990’s, Shore also leased schools that districts no longer needed: the Fulton School in Medford, the Cliftondale in Saugus, and the Conwell in Somerville. These clusters of classrooms gave Shore staff, students, and their families a sense of continuity and community.
Shore continued to operate a day program at Hogan State School for young adults who lived in these facilities. In the 1980’s Shore developed its first community-based Adult services program, a “sheltered workshop” at the old Adams School in Everett. In the early 90’s, this program moved to an office park in Wakefield and expanded to a second program in Beverly.
This was a milestone in community integration and inclusion for adults with disabilities, commuting every day to professional, office buildings to work or attend program.
District services, such as parent training, professional development, and job-alike groups were developed during these years to support and provide skills to families and educators of students with disabilities.
Shore purchased and renovated a building on Revere Beach Parkway in Chelsea, now known as the Henry Owen School. At last, Shore students and school staff had a bright, spacious, and permanent school community. Adult services expanded, growing from 50 individuals to 370, in three programs. Parent training, transition services, special education consultation to district teachers and administrators, and school-based claiming (Medicaid billing) services support families and school districts.
As our reputation grew, so did our numbers: over (350) adults currently attend our three programs.
Through the years, Shore has responded to the needs of school districts to create and provide special-education related services that are more efficient and effective when shared across districts.