The Boutwell Early Childhood Center (ECC), a part of the Groton-Dunstable Regional School District, is an integrated, language-based preschool that provides stimulating experiences for children aged 3 to 5. In this integrated model, children with special needs attend with their “typically” developing peers. Class size ranges from 8 to 12 (maximum 15) children, with some children having special needs. Each class has a designated teacher and a classroom assistant.
The school building was named after George S. Boutwell, who served as Secretary of the Treasury under President Ulysses S. Grant, the 20th Governor of Massachusetts and the first Commissioner of Internal Revenue under President Abraham Lincoln.
All of the teachers at Boutwell are highly qualified, state licensed teachers with Master’s Degrees. Classroom and Student Support Assistants participate in training opportunities, including the principles of ABA (applied behavioral analysis), play therapy, social skills development, speech and language development, and fine/gross motor development. Boutwell has highly trained specialists who work in the classroom with all children, as well as with individual children. There is a nurse onsite during the hours that children attend school. The Boutwell ECC is overseen by the Early Childhood Director and by the Pupil Personnel Services Director, who are administrators in the Groton Dunstable Regional School District. Please view our Faculty Directory for more information.
Class Time, Size and Teacher Ratio
All classes are two and half-hours in length. The hours are 9:00–11:30AM and 12:30-3:00PM. There is a class size limit of 15 with one teacher. The classroom environment is treated like a community where all children have a place and where diversity is respected. In these programs children learn from each other, and have the opportunity to be peers and models for one another. All classes have the potential to be mixed age groupings. We do make every effort to balance each class.
Enrollment is held the end of January/beginning of February for the following year. Registration/application packets are made available and parents identify the session they prefer for their child. If our program becomes over-enrolled, a lottery is held for open slots. Children currently enrolled are guaranteed a slot for the following year and siblings are given preference. Placements are then offered that are:
- Educationally sound
- Create the proper balance in each classroom
- Come as close as possible to your priorities
The philosophy of the Boutwell ECC, based on current research and supported by both the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and the Department of Early Education and Care (DEEC), is founded in the belief that children learn best from each other. Three, four and five-year-olds learn life-long lessons about individuality, strengths and weaknesses, and differences in a nurturing environment that promotes tolerance and understanding. The special needs of the children vary greatly and range from speech and language delays to cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and Autism. It is important to note that the Boutwell ECC considers all the children special and believes that each child is a role model in his/her own way.
DESE Profile & MCAS Results
Groton-Dunstable Regional School District is ranked among the Commonwealth of Massachusetts top scoring school districts. For the Boutwell Early Childhood Center’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) district report card, please click here .
The Boutwell ECC is a language-rich, developmentally appropriate preschool program that supports the growth and needs of each child as an individual. At the same time, the children develop the crucial social skills necessary to make friends and become positive, contributing members of a group. Based on developmentally appropriate learning standards established by DESE and DEEC, and supported by various prominent national organizations, the Boutwell ECC provides children with experiences designed to stimulate imagination, creativity, discovery, and deeper thinking.
Boutwell, a small, six-classroom building, is a warm, friendly environment that supports the entire family, not just the child. Parents (and siblings) are an integral part of the Boutwell ECC program. Regular communication is provided by direct contact with the teacher, home/school notebooks, emails or telephone calls. Parent-teacher conferences are held twice a year. Parents become involved in many ways. Some parents help with library or music; others volunteer in the classroom to help with projects, while some come in to read stories. Many parents’ help with preparation of materials and others provide clerical support. In addition to important communications you will find on our website, we also provide our Parents a School Handbook to clarify any school matter that you may have. Any matter that is not clarified here; you are always welcome to call the school.
While the Boutwell ECC fills classes with mixed ages and abilities there are options to support all learners throughout the day. Within each class filled with children of mixed ages and abilities the following are occurring on a daily basis:
- Kindergarten readiness groupings that provide appropriately leveled academic activities.
- Preschool groupings for younger learners or children who are in school for the first time.
All children in each class are exposed to a language rich environment ripe with opportunities for developing social skills and academic skills that will help them learn now and prepare them to be lifelong learners. We offer a 4 morning half day program and a 4 afternoon half day program. You may also choose to send your child to both sessions for a full day. The more days that children attend the more in depth we cover the curriculum.
DESE Profile & District Reports
We are pleased to share Groton-Dunstable Regional School District’s Report Card. Please read the full communication to our parent community by clicking here. Report cards answer important questions about a district’s overall performance and contain specific information about student enrollment, teacher qualifications, student achievement, accountability, how a district is performing relative to other schools in the state, and the progress made toward narrowing proficiency gaps for different groups of students. Groton-Dunstable Regional School District is ranked among the Commonwealth of Massachusetts top scoring school districts.
School Improvement Plan
Please read our School Improvement Plan for the 2015-2016 school year by clicking here .
Statement of Non-Discrimination
Groton-Dunstable Regional School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, gender identity, disability, religion, homelessness or sexual orientation.