January 7, 2020

Six Mass. State Representatives Meet with Staff, Teachers, Students; Gain Insights and Understanding of Chapter 766 Schools; Explore Issues Facing Children with Autism

Southborough, Mass. – Jan. 7, 2020 – The New England Center for Children® (NECC®), a global leader in education and research for children with autism, announced today a successful Legislators’ Day on Dec. 13 in which six Massachusetts State Representatives visited NECC to learn about the unique needs of private special education schools, also known as Chapter 766 schools.

Attending the Legislators’ Day were State Representatives Kate Hogan (D-3rd Middlesex District), Carmine Gentile (D-13th Middlesex District), Hannah Kane (R-11th Worcester District), David Muradian, Jr. (R-9th Worcester District), Legislative Aide Ben Kaplan for Representative Carolyn Dykema (D-8th Middlesex), and Legislative Aide Danillo Sena for Senator James Eldridge (D-Middlesex and Worcester Districts).

The Representatives observed NECC’s transformative teaching, research and technology for children with autism. They received a tour, met with administrators, teachers and students, and learned about the funding issues of special needs schools from Elizabeth Becker, Executive Director of The Massachusetts Association of Chapter 766 Approved Private Schools (MAAPS).

Chapter 766 schools (referring to the Massachusetts law that guarantees the educational rights of children with special needs) are private special education schools for children whose educational needs are beyond what can be offered in their local public schools. Funding is provided by the State.

“It was important to me as a lawmaker to meet with New England Center for Children (NECC) students, faculty, and staff at their Legislators’ Day and experience first-hand the inclusive learning environment they provide for students right here in our community,” said Representative Kate Hogan (D-Stow). “NECC is a steward of the Commonwealth’s commitment to reaching each and every student with educational excellence – working with passion and expertise to break down barriers to opportunity for exceptional learners and students living with autism.”

“All of us at NECC are honored to host these Massachusetts state legislators. Special education and Chapter 766 schools must remain a priority for Massachusetts,” said Vincent Strully, President and CEO of NECC. “With the State’s support and the work of dedicated teachers and parents throughout Massachusetts, all of us can help transform the lives of children with special needs.”

“It is always special to have Massachusetts state legislators take the time to visit our member schools,” said Elizabeth Becker, Executive Director of The Massachusetts Association of Chapter 766 Approved Private Schools (MAAPS). “Meeting students and speaking with a few of the hundreds of employees about their experience at The New England Center for Children, was incredibly meaningful. NECC has not only changed thousands of lives, it has changed the entire field of education around autism spectrum disorder. Massachusetts is lucky to be the founding site for this special school.”

The legislators also learned about NECC’s graduate-level teacher training program, which educates tomorrow’s teachers in best practices that will benefit students in Massachusetts classrooms and beyond. NECC also partners with public schools in Massachusetts to provide classrooms that apply behavioral principles that mirror the structure and support often found only in private school settings. NECC consultants work with public schools to design effective solutions to improve student progress and increase independence. 

About The New England Center for Children

The New England Center for Children® (NECC®) is an award-winning autism education center and research institute. Our community of teachers, researchers, and clinicians have transformed the lives of thousands of children with autism worldwide through education, research, and technology. The Center provides comprehensive services to maximize independence: home-based, day, and residential programs, partner classrooms in public school systems, consulting services, the ACE® ABA Software System (www.acenecc.org), teacher professional development, and research on educational best practices.

NECC is committed to staff professional development, partnering with local colleges to provide on-site graduate training and degrees at little to no cost to the NECC teacher. The result is a growing pool of exceptional teachers trained in best-in-class methodologies, whether they continue their careers at NECC or move on to public schools or private agencies. The New England Center for Children is based in Southborough, MA, and operates a center in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Learn more at www.necc.org.


Michele Hart
The New England Center for Children
(508) 481-1015 x4049
[email protected]