Gateway School

Providing safe, dynamic, flexible and therapeutic instruction to build a skillset for success in any school setting.

Take the First Step
The flagship program of CAPS, Gateway welcomes students ages 3-22 with a broad range of learning and social-emotional needs.

Individualized Care for Emotionally Vulnerable Students

Students are referred to the Gateway School because their needs in social/emotional development are impacting their ability to access curriculum in a less restrictive setting. If your student presents as emotionally vulnerable and deals with challenges such as emotional impairments, attention deficit disorders, depression, anxiety, bi-polar, learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, complex trauma, school refusal and/or court involvement, Gateway is a program to consider. Check out the How It Works page for step-by-step guidance on exploring your options.

A Secure, Quiet Environment

Educational success is derived through an adult-intensive and highly structured setting. Small class sizes, consistent behavioral support, encouragement and therapeutic counseling make up Gateway’s foundation. Your student can feel secure in a quieter learning environment that:

  • Allows for sensory breaks throughout the day
  • Provides opportunities for supervised active movement
  • Offers compassionate de-escalation support
  • Fosters curriculum work based on your home district requirements
    (in accordance with the MA Curriculum Frameworks)

Compassionate Support

Depending on your student’s needs and IEP*, they’ll receive small group, one-on-one and/or online instruction from patient and compassionate teachers and aides. Plus, they’ll practice social skills throughout the day and in weekly group counseling sessions. Your student will also receive individual counseling once a week with check-ins as needed.

Beyond the Classroom

Staff utilize a collaborative approach with families, districts, and the surround community to meet individual student needs. Gateway develops the skills necessary to be successful in any school setting, community and later in life. To further their skills, a job coach assists students who wish to participate in vocational and volunteer opportunities within the community. Students after the age of 18 through 22, also have an opportunity attend transition classes at Mount Wachusett Community College via the CAPS Gateway Link program. Furthering the base built at the Gateway School, LINK seeks to increase student independence through:

  • Functional skills
  • Self-advocacy
  • Career exploration
  • Transition Planning

*Individualized Education Plan

    Location Icon

    Elementary, Middle, & High School

    Sonoma Square
    2 Narrows Road
    Westminster, MA 01473


    Mount Wachusett Community College
    444 Green Street
    Gardner, MA 01440

    Contact Icon

    Contact & Hours

    Michelle Atter
    Program Director
    978-632-2208 x 160
    Email Michelle

    A Place To Feel Heard

    “CAPS is a special place that made me feel appreciated, heard, and supported.”

    Anna – Gateway Student

    Setting Boundaries

    “Being at CAPS has taught me a lot about boundaries.”

    Daisy – Gateway Student

    A Safe Place to Grow

    “CAPS is a safe place where I was able to grow and do better.”

    Daniel – Gateway Student

    A Word

    From Our Executive Director

    "Ultimately, our goal is to empower each student reach their true potential. To do this, our programming is designed to provide the highest quality education in the most inclusive and innovative learning environments possible."

    -Jennifer Gates