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School Overview

A Special Education day school for youth with emotional, behavioral and learning disabilities.


"When my son... was having emotional difficulties in his early school years, COMPASS and its faculty were the only ones to really care about a child's education. They were devoted to giving these children an education by helping them overcome their problems. They are caring and loving people whom really came across to me as being there to truly help and not just for a paycheck. Thanks to COMPASS, my son has gone to college and become an outstanding young man. They even influenced him to follow a career path in helping other youths that may be headed down the wrong roads of life. They are amazing!"

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"My best experience since I came to COMPASS... was in the kitchen, working for the COMPASS Café. I learned a lot about all the steps to prepare and serve food and I got paid for it. We had to take turns at all the different positions. I liked to cook but I didn't like being a waiter. Chris helped a lot. He knew how to explain things, from how to chop vegetables to where the ingredients came from and how to measure things. There was a whole system..."

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"I found it easy to get used to things here. I just kept doing what I had to do. You just have to do your best and make it work."

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"I liked reading and history most. 'The Outsiders' was one of my favorite books. I also liked going to Washington DC and Gettysburg. We went to Holocaust Museum, the Lincoln Memorial and Arlington. I got to see part of history."

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"They care so much they saw past what I saw. They saw my potential even when I didn't. They're good at helping kids build a strong foundation for themselves."

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Adam exemplifies a person's ability to overcome challenges and has thrived in his growth as a student at COMPASS. As one of our few STEP 5 students (the highest honor at COMPASS), Adam has become a student leader, mastered the Culinary Arts Classroom, and participated in a job placement, as well as being an active member within his community through basketball, community service, and youth groups. Adam's experiences have taken him to Washington DC, Philadelphia, and New York, not to mention South Africa with his Youth Group. Adam graduated from the COMPASS School in 2009, and strives to go to college to continue his growth as a student.

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Anastashia ('Staya')

Anastasia has been a longtime COMPASS student. Like most of our students Staya comes from a troubled background. But now upon graduation she looks forward to a bright future, thanks to her own hard work and perseverance and our staff's insistence that everyone can overcome their circumstances, along with our wrap-around services philosophy. Her recent accomplishments include being awarded the John P.Santry Sportsmanship Award in June of 2008 for her skill and leadership on the basketball court. In June of 2009 she was awarded the Dr. Tom Frank Personal Growth award for her improvement in maturity and focus. Staya has been awarded a full residential scholarship to study automotive mechanics at Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology.

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Ascer was at the COMPASS School in October, 1995 when he learned of his brother's death, the result of a violent encounter in Mattapan. This incident and the circumstances under which Ascer learned of his brothers death, reading of it in The Boston Herald, put all our theories about violence prevention to the test. At COMPASS he focused on a newfound exceptional talent: art. Throughout the year, COMPASS staff worked with him, individually, as a team, and in the classroom, providing him opportunities to vent, to create, and to pursue what had once seemed a far-fetched dream - a college education. Some seven months after his brother's death, Ascer himself was on the front page of the Herald, pictured next to this headline: "Through fear and tears he rises up" In the article, Peter Gelzinis, the Herald reporter, recounted the story that had shaken and

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Juan attended the COMPASS school and graduated in June 2009, where he impressed with his engaging, warm personality. In his senior year, Juan showed an uncommon enthusiasm for Culinary Arts, and it was in the kitchen that Juan proved to himself and others that his dream to have a career in the food industry was a dream no more. Juan expects to start in the Culinary Arts program at Bunker Hill Community College this fall.

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The COMPASS School

A Special Education day school for youth with emotional, behavioral and learning disabilities

The COMPASS School is a private special education day school located in Dorchester that serves elementary, middle and high school students from 6-22 years of age. Each student has an Individualized Education Program that provides a comprehensive, individually focused service plan.

Keys to Our Educational Approach

  • To develop outstanding educational, vocational, and support services
  • To collaborate with other organizations to increase the resources available to each individual and his/her family.
  • To attract and retain diverse staff whose competence,compassion, and commitment are evident in our client-centered approach through interdisciplinary teamwork.
  • To employ a range of teaching methods centered on students' distinctive learning styles.
  • To provide challenging, individualized curriculum and instruction that addresses the academic, behavioral and emotional needs of our students.

Comprehensive School Support Services

The COMPASS School includes a range of support services that include wrap-around mental health, social, medical, legal, and vocational services. With our history of achievement as educational providers, COMPASS has the resources to ensure the appropriate educational, pre-vocational, clinical, and advocacy services for students in need of our services.

Special Programs

The COMPASS School integrates its Violence Prevention Program into its curriculum, culminating in Violence Prevention Day every June. The school also offers specialized vocational training such as our Culinary Arts Program, and a Building Maintenance and Repair Program. Enrichment programs include Music, Art, and Sports Programs.


Elizabeth Labbe, Principal
(857) 220-2333, x338
Terence Belli, Clinical Director
(857) 220-2333, x339
Map & Directions

School Links

Program Information School Calendar Anti-Bullying Policy


Job Opportunities

Violence Prevention

The Program

Academic Programs

Life Skills Class

Vocational Programs

Culinary Arts Program Building Maintenance & Repair Woodworking Course Computer Skills

Stories and Quotes

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COMPASS School Story: M.
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