Special Education for Children

Helping Children Reach Their Potential

Special Education for Children

Helping Children Reach Their Potential

St. Charles School is a full-time licensed private special education provider serving public school students, grades K-8, who display severe emotional disturbances and other forms of behavioral impairments.

Our dedicated team of state-certified special education teachers, paraprofessionals, behavioral consultants and school administrators has dozens of years of collective experience in transitional education.

Through our specialized services and compassionate learning environment, we work with students to address the underlying causes of their behaviors, helping them better connect with others and their environments, develop more positive behaviors and start reaching for their potential, both inside and outside the classroom. While it can often be an extensive journey, many of our students are able to successfully reintegrate back into traditional school settings.

“I have had the opportunity to refer students with various needs to St. Charles. The St. Charles staff has created a caring and supportive learning community for the students and their families; they continuously strive to improve and it is incredibly beneficial for the students. We are so fortunate to have such a wonderful facility in our area, where students can begin to grow.”

Pam MacDonald, Student Services Director, SAU 56 (Somersworth, Rollinsford)

Program Requirements

The St. Charles School’s admission policies meet the requirements as outlined in Ed 1114.05(a) of the New Hampshire Standards for the Education of Children with Disabilities.

    1. The sending school district contacts the Executive Director about placement.
    2. If the child’s needs are an appropriate fit for St. Charles School, the Executive Director provides the Out of District Coordinator with a copy of our release form to get parental permission to exchange information, and a list of the documentation we will need to process the referral.
    3. St. Charles will review all information and make a determination whether it is appropriate to continue the intake process.
    4. A tour and interview will be set up with the parents so that parents can see the facility, freely ask questions, review the program, and determine whether they would like to continue the application process. The student does not take part in the initial interview.
      1. The initial interview has several purposes:
        1. St. Charles School wants to understand the child’s issues from the parents’ point of view.
        2. St. Charles School will ask questions to get a general idea of family history.
        3. St. Charles School wants parents to thoroughly understand our methods of responding to behavior.
        4. St. Charles School wants parents to recognize their obligations regarding their child and attendance at St. Charles School.
      2. If parents and the St. Charles team believe St. Charles School is a good match for their child, they will receive the admissions packet. We request the packet be completed and returned when the child comes in to visit the school.
    5. The student’s visit to the school is scheduled. When possible we like to schedule this during the school day so that the student can meet the other students who are here. Parental schedules do not always allow a daytime visit to the school, in which case an evening time mutually agreeable to parent and Executive Director can be arranged.
    6. Upon the review of all intake materials provided by the Out of District Coordinator and parents, St. Charles staff will make a final determination of acceptance of the student into our program and notify the Out of District Coordinator of our decision.
    7. An IEP placement meeting will be scheduled. At that time the start date for the new student will be determined. It is the responsibility of the sending school district to arrange transportation to and from St. Charles School.
  • St. Charles School supports inclusion of and accommodations for students of all types of backgrounds. This includes:

    • Students in major racial and ethnic groups: Students are provided with accommodations in a small group setting if needed, with short breaks between testing. An interpreter will be made available when appropriate. If students have difficulty with reading assessment, they will be provided with a reader, but no content or questions will be explained or answered.
    • Students with disabilities: St. Charles School follows guidelines for the inclusion of and accommodations for student participation found in the IEP. When indicated, St. Charles School will make suggestions for accommodations based on our observation and outcomes working with the student.
    • Economically disadvantaged students: Many students referred to St. Charles are from economically disadvantaged situations. No student is excluded from any activity based on the ability of the family to pay. St. Charles School provides accommodations based on a student’s individual need – economic situation has no bearing on our provision of accommodations.
    • Students with limited English proficiency: Students with limited English proficiency will receive necessary accommodations. The NWEA has the ability to provide several different languages within the testing system that will be used depending on student’s first language proficiency. An interpreter will be provided if the student’s first language is not provided on the NWEA assessment system. Extra time or short breaks will be made available if needed.

St. Charles School Mission

The St. Charles School’s mission is to provide a safe, nurturing and therapeutic setting for students who are in crisis, and who have exhibited severe behavioral issues in the typical classroom setting.

We strive first of all to help children feel safe and valued so that they can begin to heal. We help them to understand themselves and their behavior so that, in time, they will feel empowered to change.

We seek to understand the unconscious needs underlying our students’ behaviors, and enable them to recognize and meet those needs in safe, responsible and respectful ways. In every situation, we strive to motivate children to want to be with their classmates. This helps them resolve issues among one another by learning to listen and respond empathetically to what others feel. They take responsibility for their own actions and responses.


19 Grant Street, Rochester, NH 03867


2024 Extended Calendar

2024-2025 Calendar

All school cancelations, delays and early releases due to inclement weather will be announced on WMUR as St. Charles School Rochester.

Contact St. Charles School

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