Orchard Street Academy (formerly AVCAS)

Bigelow School

A program for students in grades 5-12 experiencing
emotional, learning and behavioral difficulties.


A Note From Our Director

Shannon VanderSwaaghEveryday is a new opportunity to support our students by offering a chance to build their skills, confidence and engage in academic success. Everyday is an opportunity to be better than the day before. We are proud of our students every day for coming to school and embarking on the work that needs to be done to reach their goals. We believe that every student possesses unique strengths and talents, and it is our work to bring out the best in each and every individual. We provide a culture where students can safely explore and try new activities and access the education they deserve.

-Shannon VanderSwaagh, Director of Therapeutic Programs


Orchard Street Theatre

Working Together for
LASTING RESULTS

We work with our member districts to provide:

  • a small therapeutic school
    environment for special education
    students in grades 5 through 12
  • clinical, instructional, behavioral
    and environmental supports to
    make lasting change in the lives of
    children with emotional disabilities
  • a framework that fosters long-term
    success through engagement and
    meaningful instruction to reduce the
    impact of social/emotional struggles
    in academic settings
  • support for students and families
    by engaging and connecting them
    with their community to promote
    independence and sustainable
    progress
  • a structured setting with predictable
    and meaningful incentives and
    deterrents for better and lasting
    outcomes


Students make progress when they feel SAFE, VALUED, CONNECTED to adults, ENGAGED in activities and adequately CHALLENGED.

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