Dearborn Academy Summer Program

Dearborn's Summer Program activities include sports, adventures and the  arts in addition to academic work. Middle school students here are taking a drumming class.

Summer Learning Adventures

The Dearborn Academy Summer Learning Adventures (SLA) is a program designed to meet the needs of elementary or middle school students who will benefit from academic support as well as opportunities to socialize with friends, learn new skills, get outdoors and have fun. It is open to: 

  • Current Dearborn students in grades 3-12 whose IEP calls for a summer program
  • Students from other special education programs

Referrals to this program must be made by special education directors or out-of-district coordinators. We review every candidate carefully to make sure our summer program is a good fit.

We also consider private pay students. If interested, please call 781.641.5992 or email us at to learn more.

Program Structure

The summer program's student/staff ratio is less than 4/1, and the staff is comprised of teachers, therapists and other specialists who are excellent at working with young people with learning differences as well as social and emotional issues. Our goal is to help students retain, consolidate and build on the academic progress they have made in the previous school year while providing positive social experiences and summer adventures to build self-esteem, self-regulation and more. 


Each day begins with breakfast and a check-in with students to go over the structure of the day. Then the activity begins. For two days each week, students attend carefully planned field trips. On the other days, students follow a consistent schedule and routine with a variety of academic and activity based experiences. Each student has at least one daily academic period which focuses on the specific recommendations of their academic year teacher. Depending on the need of the student, it may be reading, math, or language arts.

Beyond academic work, students have the opportunity to sample a range of activities, including taking part in the summer jobs program or enjoying arts and crafts, computer instruction, sports or drama offerings. Many choose to participate in a summer favorite, a weekly music program where they are introduced to various instruments and have fun making music in a drumming circle.

Students also participate in group counseling, which usually focuses on themes such as making friends or getting along with others, and is often accompanied by a group activity.


Field trips are a central part of the Summer Learning Adventure at Dearborn Academy. Each summer we offer an adventure based trip along with at least one trip that is more about having fun or learning something new. Twice weekly students participate in adventure-based trips, which involve a challenge, and emphasize trust, group support, and team building.

Adventure-based trips

  • Indoor rock climbing 
  • Ropes course
  • Hiking
  • Lake and river canoeing

Recreational and educational field trips

  • Trips to local beaches, ponds, and lakes
  • Theme park visits
  • Rollerblading
  • Rainy day movie
  • Museums
  • The Freedom Trail


The Jobs Program is available to all students enrolled in the Summer Learning Adventures. The program runs for one period on a day when students are not on field trips. Student jobs include taking on small projects around the school, cleaning, working on the school grounds, office work, landscaping,  and repair projects. Students learn about work responsibilities while being paid a wage for their work. School jobs are a great way to gain a little work experience and earn a little pocket money. 


Every day students meet in small groups with a staff therapist for group therapy and support. Students explore topics such as peer pressure, transitions and understanding the ways students are growing and changing. Our goal is to create healthy conversations on difficult topics and help all our students become stronger personally and socially as well as academically.


Our summer program can provide reading support, pragmatics, and speech and language therapy. Our learning intensives are usually one-on-one and never include more than three students. Intensives may meet one to three periods per week during class time and are individually designed to support the students enrolled in our program.

Please call 781.641.5992 or email us at for more about Dearborn Academy's Summer Learning Adventures.

We offer a similar program for high school school students. Learn more here.