School Business Affairs November 2019 SCHOOL BUSINESS AFFAIRS | NOVEMBER 2019 31 A School for Every Student: Meeting Special Needs Meeting the social, behavioral, and academic needs of all students. By Ed Hodges FACILITIES individualized education and related services to help them reach their full potential. The low teacher-to- student ratio allows for one-on-one and small-group instruction. Until a few years ago, such instruction took place in a controlled but sterile-looking eight-square-foot conference room in an office building in Natick, Massa- chusetts, which was devoid of the social opportunities of a traditional school or classroom. The Crossroads School’s stakeholders wanted students to have more social opportunities to help prepare them A safe and nurturing school environment is critical for children with special needs, such as those with autism. These students require a more supportive environment than a tra- ditional school can provide. However, by educating them in a setting where they can acquire new skills and knowledge, they may return to the traditional classroom when and if feasible. The Crossroads School provides children and youth on the autism spectrum with comprehensive, The Crossroads School in Marlborough, Massachusetts provides a more supportive environment than some traditional schools can provide. PHOTOS COURTESY OF DEMELLA SHAFFER, BOSTON, MA