The Carter School

 A High School for Students with Special Needs

A sense of purpose - a sense of accomplishment - a sense of pride

The Carter School is a private special education school located in Providence, Rhode Island.  We serve students year round with significant and complex cognitive, physical, and medical needs. Our innovative approach to special education extends far beyond the classroom door. Our programs support education, vocational opportunities, and recreational and social activities tailored to each student's specific interests and abilities.

What sets The Carter School Apart?

  • Rich academic environment for students with special needs year round for students in 9th grade to 22 years old.
  • Intensive therapeutic services, including comprehensive school nursing services.
  • Occupational, physical and speech therapy provided in both the classroom and one-to-one settings.
  • Aquatic therapy in our salt water pool.
  • Commitment to innovative techniques linked to successful transition into adulthood.

Program Components

Our best-practice approach offers four centers that concentrate on community-based learning (CBL) and determines the time spent in each center based on individual needs.  Each center parallels a key school-to-career dimension reflected in a student's Individual Education Plan (IEP).

Education & Training Center

Focuses on functional academics, communication, self-advocacy and socio-emotional behavior skills and attaining relevant standard for each individual student through experiential learning.

Employment Center

Readies each student for entry into the world-of-work at the appropriate level utilizing an eight-stage on-site and off-site, hands-on, real world program which emphasizes inclusive experiences with a natural peer group of young workers, aged 18-22, in the work force. The goal of the Employment Center is to assist our students in attaining maximum potential as adults in the work environment and as active members in their communities.

The Carter School Employment Center emphasizes essential hands-on, trial work experience for successful post-school transitions into integrated employment in the workforce.

Elements of the center include:

  • Intra-agency Occupational Investigations
  • Career and Vocational exploration in various community locations
  • Job shadowing
  • Business tours
  • Person centered / Student Centered Career Development Plan
  • Internships

Examples of some community / vocational sties are:  Blithewold Mansion, Ronald MacDonald House, Lazicki's Bird House, Regency Plaza, and Petco.

Life Skills Center, On-site

Provides instruction in personal and community daily living (life) skills, and other activities of daily living needed for transitioning to adulthood.

Independent Living Center

Simulates a small apartment and prepares students for living in a similar environment.

Extended School Year (ESY)

ESY is operated every summer and it helps students maintain progress throughout the summer months.  Implementation of skills to 'real world' contexts is emphasized.  We offer flexible enrollment options for the Extended School Year:

  • Half day
  • Flexible start day

Our campus

Students flourish at The Carter School's state-of-the-art facilities, which are situated on Meeting Street's beautiful campus conveniently located right off Interstate 95 in Providence.

  • Nine-acre campus featuring 40% green space
  • Innovative, award-winning 76,000 square-foot facility
  • "Green" building design fills space with natural light
  • Robust student library, technology center and family resource collection
  • Full-sized high school gymnasium
  • Meeting Street salt water therapeutic pool
  • Dedicated art and music rooms
  • Spacious, comfortable commons areas and cafeteria

Inclusive Programs

We partner with students from local High Schools providing our students to interact in an inclusive setting.

 Through Adaptive Physical Education - students also take part in CVS Health Downtown 5K, Ronald McDonald House Race, inclusive road races, Special Olympics, etc.

"Meeting Street is not only my child's school; it is our second family. I honestly don't know where my family and I would be without Meeting Street."

— Christina Rivera

The Life Skills Center

  • Life experiences in simulated office and technology, sales and merchandising, and daily-living skills areas.
  • Community-based learning and therapeutic activities, such as bowling, golf, swimming, as well as visiting museums, zoos, and other educational facilities.
  • Community-based daily living activities, such as shopping, doing laundry, attending a movie, or eating lunch at a restaurant with friends.
  • Community-service projects, such as food and clothing drives.
  • Off-site vocational work options provide valuable experience at a variety of businesses and organizations throughout the region.

The Carter School is a special education high school certified by the Rhode Island Department of Education. We are also eligible to serve students with multiple special needs from Massachusetts and Connecticut.  

If your child’s IEP indicates that The Carter School is an appropriate educational placement, we encourage parents to contact us for a tour of the Meeting Street campus and our Life Skills classrooms.

Admissions information