Purpose, Pride and Accomplishment at The Carter School

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?

  • A year-round, rich-academic environment for students with special needs, ages 14 - 22
  • In-house nursing services.
  • Occupational, physical and speech-language therapies delivered in both the classroom and in one-to-one settings.
  • On-site aquatic therapy pool.
  • Our team of dedicated, highly trained and compassionate staff who are committed to ensuring each child reaches their full potential.

"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

Our Program

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

Education Center

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

Employment Center

Prepares each student for entry into the world of work at the appropriate level utilizing an eight-stage, on-site and community-based work placement that emphasizes inclusive experiences with a natural peer group of young workers, aged 18-22.

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 of their communities.

Life Skills Center

Students learn the essentials of independent living - personal care, cooking, cleaning, laundry and making a bed - in our state-of-the-art apartment designed to mimic a one-bedroom, ADA-compliant apartment.

Our Inclusive Programs

In partnership with local high schools, we offer an on-site "Buddies" program whereby students visit once each week to build friendships and foster an inclusive environment.

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

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
  • A full-sized high school gymnasium
  • Meeting Street saltwater therapeutic pool
  • Dedicated art and music rooms
  • Spacious, comfortable commons areas and cafeteria

To enroll in The Carter School, a student must be referred by their School District. 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. We can also provide an overview of our educational curriculum, our vocational programs, and the therapy services provided to students.

If you and your school district determine that The Carter School is an appropriate placement for your child, the school district will send Meeting Street a referral packet that includes the student’s current IEP and their most recent evaluations. We are happy to provide tours of Meeting Street and The Carter School.


Tuition costs are covered by your school district.


Transportation is provided by your local school district as specified in your child’s IEP.

What population do you serve?

Meeting Street’s school programs are appropriate for students with a wide range of abilities. Our highly trained professional staff, teach and work with students with various physical, cognitive, and developmental delays, as well as students with severe to moderate medical needs. However, our programs are not appropriate for students with significant behavioral needs.

Students who attend The Early Learning Center and The Grace School, located on our Rhode Island Campus, are in a fully inclusive classroom, Preschool-Grade 8. All-day, every day, students learn, work, and play alongside and with their same-age peers that do not have disabilities.

How many services do children receive and how are they delivered?

Special education services are provided per a student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) which is developed in partnership with the student’s parents/guardian, a representative from the student’s home school district, and his/her educational team at Meeting Street. Each IEP is personalized to include goals, objectives, and services to meet each student’s unique needs so that he/she will grow and learn. A wide variety of services are included but are not limited to educational, therapeutic (Occupational Therapy, Speech, and Language Therapy, Physical Therapy), transition, career work readiness, behavioral, and Adaptive Physical Education.

What are the average class size and staffing ratio?

Meeting Street offers a highly individualized program with a small class size that allows our teachers, assistants, and therapists the opportunity to work closely with each student. Per a child’s IEP, additional supports such as individual nursing care and 1:1 teacher assistants can also be found in our classrooms.

What does the average day look like?

While each child’s plan is individualized we incorporate the goals and skills they are working on across all content areas including English Learning Arts, math, science, adaptive physical education, and art and music classes. Additionally, they receive therapy services per their IEP, in addition to life and social skills. All students in our high school programs also work on career and work readiness skills.

At The Schwartz School, the school day runs from 8:45 am - 2:45 pm each day.

At the Early Learning Center, The Grace School, and The Carter School, the school day runs from 8:00 am - 2:45 pm each day. In addition, students in the Early Learning Center and The Grace School receive weekly instruction in American Sign Language (ASL).

Will my child have the opportunity to socialize with peers and make friends?

Absolutely! At Meeting Street we believe all children should have the opportunity to socialize with their peers. To assist our students we build social time and play into our daily lessons and activities. We also focus on socialization skills during career work readiness and recreational activities, as well as community outings.

In The Early Learning Center and The Grace School, students are in a fully inclusive classroom, Preschool-Grade 8. All day, every day, they learn, work, and play alongside and with their same-age peers that do not have a disability.

What type of opportunities do we have outside of school for enhanced learning?

Our students attend field trips and community outings, including career to work readiness job sites, which are varied based on the student’s age and educational needs. Outings often focus on skills in one or more areas such as academic need, career and work readiness skills, and recreation/leisure activities.

How do I communicate with school staff about my child’s progress and any questions that may arise as the school year progresses?

At Meeting Street we believe one of the biggest factors in a child’s achievements is the support and involvement of their family. We encourage all parents/guardians to communicate with their child’s teachers and therapists on a regular basis. We utilize a variety of daily communication tools such as a daily log for each student where school staff and families can communicate and share information, apps such as Remind and Brightwheel, and a listserv. Parents/Guardians are also encouraged to email their child’s teachers and therapists as well.

Family members are encouraged to participate in our Family Advisory Council, Parent Meetings, and conferences. In addition, all of our educational programs offer a variety of family events such as a science fair, Harvestfest, field day, movie nights, and a prom.

How do you help families advocate for their child’s needs?

Our teachers and staff believe that the best advocates for our students are their parents/guardians. To that end, we collaborate with them and their school districts to identify their child’s needs and strengths. Through our work with the parent committees and groups, we are able to help families outreach and support each other as they work with their home school districts and treatment providers to develop the most comprehensive and beneficial plans of care possible.

Do you have Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Services?

At Meeting Street we have a behavior specialist on staff that works closely with our staff and families to develop behavior support plans that are based on Applied Behavioral Analysis concepts. However, our program is not appropriate for students with significant behavioral needs.

My child requires specialized equipment to complete many talks. Do you have any equipment here at school or will I be expected to supply it?

At Meeting Street we have a wide range of adaptive equipment for our students to use and trial. This includes motorized lifts, gait trainers, braces, adaptive bicycles, walkers, and feeding utensils. We will also work with families and their school districts to review and identify additional equipment needs that an individual student may need.

What type of assistive technology do you have?

Under the direction of our Speech and Language Therapists (SLP), our staff utilizes augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) to assist our students to use and expand their communication skills throughout the day. Types of ACC include but are not limited to picture symbols, Voice Output Communicators, switches, modular hose mounting systems, iPads, and tablet devices loaded with various communication-based applications.

Do you provide vision and/or orientation and mobility services to students enrolled in a school program?
To address the vision needs of students attending The Schwartz School, we are able to host consultants and specialists sent by school districts to consult and work with our educators and therapists.

At our Providence Campus, we have a vision and O+M specialist that works on-site as a consultant each week with our educators and therapists in our Early Learning Center, The Grace School, and The Carter School.

My child is not toilet trained. Will this stop them from being enrolled and if not how is this supported in the school?

We can accommodate children at all levels of developmental needs. Under the direction and guidance of our school therapists, individual toileting plans are developed for our students, and staff is then trained prior to implement those plans.