Submitted by hound29 t3_10rtamy in boston

Hi! Our family was already strongly considering a move but recent events we think have cemented it. Our third child has been diagnosed with profound hearing loss in both ears, and we want to put him in the best possible position for success. We are incredibly optimistic but still know that school district especially in a situation such as his can go beyond just the teachers in the classroom. Access to technology etc.

While of course the youngest is still a few years from school - the other two are kindergarten and a year out from K and ideally we'd like to be as settled this summer leading into first grade.

We own in Billerica - but no one doctor/specialist/educator has remotely hinted at staying in Billerica would be the right move for us. If anyone feels different please shout, but you'd be the first.

My wife is dead set on Winchester but would consider Bedford. Are there other strong districts that might be slightly more affordable? Hidden gems for hard of hearing out there?

Looking to stay in Metrowest. Honestly Winchester would be a stretch $-wise but doesn't appear Bedford is any more affordable.




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tandemtuna t1_j6ylrxi wrote

I'd suggest looking seriously at newton. Excellent schools overall, plus EDCO school for the deaf.


hound29 OP t1_j6ymjok wrote

I hadn't come across EDCO yet - thank you very much for legitimately one of the most helpful responses yet!


bondsman333 t1_j6xhueo wrote

Have you considered private schools? I know they are crazy expensive but the cost difference between a house in Billerica and one in Winchester is probably the same delta. I'm sure there are programs, grants, etc. Just have to do the leg work.

I only say this because I went to public school in one of the wealthier metro west towns and I know many parents who are not getting the support for their special needs children. The best public schools focus most of their efforts on the kids who excel under traditional learning methods.


hound29 OP t1_j6xi2z4 wrote

a consideration for sure - but for us this was never really our forever home anyway - more expediting a move. but worth really running the numbers on


LadyGreyIcedTea t1_j6xw76t wrote

Is your goal for your child to remain in-district with services or to be placed out-of-district? If Billerica cannot meet his needs in-district, they would be obligated to fund an out-of-district placement.


Cameron_james t1_j6ydwoz wrote

> Billerica cannot meet his needs

So, legally, they have to. However, how they will is a question for the family.

The family could go to the director of student services in Billerica with the diagnosis and ask how these needs would be met. If the student is a few years out, this could help the system prep the materials and training.

I would advise the family that wherever they consider moving to meet with the director of student services to ask how these kinds of needs may be met. If the plan is clear and detailed, they have handled this type of student before and probably have the tech on hand. If the plan sounds developed in the moment, they could be good and could not. It's more of a toss up.


Squish_the_android t1_j6ykamt wrote

>So, legally, they have to.

Meeting the needs can mean sending him somewhere else. They don't necessarily need to do it in the district. It can literally be cheaper and better for everyone if they do an outplacement.


Cameron_james t1_j6ylqhm wrote

Yes, that's why speaking with a director of student services is a way to gauge how they will. Outplacements are expensive, so schools really don't like to do that. That's why people sometimes sue for it.


LadyGreyIcedTea t1_j6yytg0 wrote

It depends on the district too. Some are more apt to outplace than others. I work with children with severe special needs and have seen Salem, for example, not hesitate to send kids out immediately (like at their initial IEP meeting prior to their 3rd birthday) because the magnitude of their needs was too great. There are also families of means who move to certain towns specifically because that town is known as more likely to outplace their child without a fight. Newton is a town that has that reputation within the local pediatric circle.


KSF_WHSPhysics t1_j6zr14b wrote

> That's why people sometimes sue for it.

A lawyer is a lot cheaper than a house in winchester. I'd try that first


geographresh t1_j6xxmo2 wrote

I'm not sure the extent of the accommodations needed, but I know the Acton-Boxborough school system pretty well. Had a classmate for whom the teacher would wear a device that amplified their voice directly into the student's hearing aid, all of us would use it when giving presentations, etc. It was totally chill and uneventful.

We also had a lot of classroom aides and special education resources, though not sure about resources for complete deafness.

Good luck!


Laldog1958 t1_j70gkim wrote

30 year teacher of the Deaf here. The number 1 option is a residential placement at the Learning Center in Framingham. While sending your child to a school away from home may seem callous or even cruel, it is the accepted and favored option for most members of the Deaf community

. Residential schools are staffed by Deaf people and have historically been the place where Deaf children become fluent in American Sign Language, familiar with Deaf culture and develop strong and lifelong friendships with other Deaf kids who share the same challenges but more importantly, the same language (ASL) as their own

TLC is a private school, and one of the few in Mass. Most other states in the country have a residential school for their Deaf kids, but MA. does not have this option.

Its true that some cities and towns have higher quality schools than others, but in the case of your Deaf child, its been my experience that they will have a more complete and fulfilling education at a residential school staffed and equipped for Deaf children.

Placement in a traditional education setting (esp since he/she is profoundly Deaf) will only prove to be extremely isolating and difficult for your child.

Please, please, please.....start sign language classes now. All of you. It may be the single most important thing you can do

Good luck. I really wish you the best!!


hound29 OP t1_j72nf1v wrote

thank you so much for your wonderful response.

First things first - we are all fully committed to learning ASL - brother and sister too!

You have gave us lots to review, consider and think about. Many thanks!!


lotusblossom60 t1_j6z7jci wrote

Teacher here. Worked in Billerica and left after a year. Ugh. Best bang for your buck is Lexington. They will take care of your kid. Also, get a good advocate of you don’t already have one.


[deleted] t1_j6y2ce6 wrote



hound29 OP t1_j6ykbet wrote

oh yes - not in disagreement on principal, hilariously she is less willing to downsize than I am - hence my trying to figure out where might be comparable education wise but slightly more affordable. i appreciate your thoughts!


Squish_the_android t1_j6yjkf2 wrote

I think you need less help around where to move and instead need to meet with some kind of expert on deaf children resources.

If you send your kid to any public school, they're going to get services that are spelled out in their IEP. The school has to do what is spelled out in the IEP and you can bring in a lawyer if they don't.

If the school can't meet the child's needs the town will pay to send them somewhere that will.

I'm not saying that any of this is easy, but maybe look into resources for the deaf and see if they can recommend something before you go and move to district that will basically just run you through the same process.


hound29 OP t1_j6ykjqf wrote

yes you can bring in all of the lawyers you want - but on principal some districts are more accommodating to IEP's that others. Unfortunately that is just the way it is.

We are prepare to fight every step of the way - but if you tell me it will be much simpler in City A vs City B why wouldn't we strongly consider moving?


Squish_the_android t1_j6ylamu wrote

I think you're missing my point.

There are local deaf resources out there. Heck, there are several local schools for the deaf. They're going to KNOW what the best places for your kid are.

Just asking on here what a good school district is likely isn't going to be as helpful as targeting your resources.


hound29 OP t1_j6ylssm wrote

there are two "close" schools for the deaf. one in Beverley, the other in Framingham. With two other kids a daily trip to those would not be realistic from Billerica - we'd much rather move to be closer if we go that route.

not just asking reddit and nothing else. Professionals generally don't bad mouth school districts they are required to work with in a professional setting. that is left for the internet


rainniier2 t1_j6zi2l6 wrote

I still think you’re missing the point slightly. The recommendation is to tap into the HOH community for experiences/ recommendations with school districts specifically related to accommodating HOH children. A school district may be great for kids with accommodations for one reason (e.g. autism or learning disabilities) but could still have a history of failure for accommodating HOH children. This is the research I would do before spending upwards of a million dollars on a house.


hound29 OP t1_j6zqa9w wrote

Yea I mean maybe missed the point? But yes we planned to do lots of outreach and have already started. Not moving based strictly on Reddit…but was hoping to use as one data point


CrossroadsConundrum t1_j6ztg42 wrote

If the district sends your child to an out of district placement because they can’t meet their needs, they pay and provide transport. We have that now for my daughter. Unfortunately she travels and hour to school each day, fortunately they arrange and pay for her transport.


Alternative_Nail1632 t1_j702yh4 wrote

It’s not metro west but Danvers or Lynnfield might not be bad options. Both have Good schools, good services, plus private deaf school and NS Education Coop a town away. Cheaper than Winchester.


rygo796 t1_j6yjsna wrote

I've known a family to move out of a good district because their kid was special needs and the district couldn't/wouldn't handle it. I would only recommend you know the district you're moving into would be willing to step up for your child's needs.


AutoModerator t1_j6xeqqh wrote

Ok. Head on in to Faneuil Hall. Wander around for approximately 5 minutes. Congrats you have seen Faneuil hall. Take a pic or two and post them online. Go to the Dunks at 20 North St and grab an iced coffee. Next you want to see Beacon Hill. Wander up Cambridge St and then poke around Beacon Hill. Take some pics of yourselves. Congrats you have been to Beacon Hill. Reward yourself by going to the Dunks at 106 Cambridge St. get an iced coffee. Next head to the North End. Take a pic of yourself outside of Mike’s Pastry and grab a slice at Regina’s. Then wander to 180 canal st where you will find a dunks. Grab an iced coffee and look at the TD Garden which is across the street. Next go to 22 Beacon St. there is a Dunkin’s there. Grab an iced coffee and check out the state house and then wander through the Common towards the public garden. Take a detour to 147 Tremont St. There is a Dunks there. Grab an iced coffee. Go back into the common and head toward the public garden. Wander through the public garden and check out all the cool stuff there. Wander down Newbury St and then cut over to 715 Boylston St where you will find a Dunks. Get an iced coffee. Now head towards Kenmore Square! Make a stop at 153 Mass Ave and grab an iced coffee at Dunks. Then continue onward to Kenmore. Wander through the edge of the Fens then go past Fenway Park. Hit 530 Comm Ave and get an iced coffee at Dunks. Next you will want to see Harvard Square! 65 JFK St has a dunks. Get an iced coffee. After that, I suppose you can hit the Hong Kong and get smashed. Hope this helps.

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urtlesquirt t1_j72vs11 wrote

bad bot, lol


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what did you say to me? Say it again you filthy transplant. Yeah i know your type. You probably have Connecticut plates and a Yankees sticker on your car. You brag about how close you live to Fenway Park, but then complain in the sub about how loud the concerts are. How about you and me meet in the parking lot of the 7-11 in Revere and settle this?

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urtlesquirt t1_j72xs9r wrote

Still a bad bot


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what did you say to me? Say it again you filthy transplant. Yeah i know your type. You probably have Connecticut plates and a Yankees sticker on your car. You brag about how close you live to Fenway Park, but then complain in the sub about how loud the concerts are. How about you and me meet in the parking lot of the 7-11 in Revere and settle this?

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CoffeeContingencies t1_j6zdk5j wrote

I suggest moving wherever is the best place for you without this in mind & hiring a very good educational advocate to fight for their rights in that school system. And if they can’t provide FAPE, request to be sent to a collaborative on that towns dime.

There’s EDCO which was already mentioned, and the North Shore Education Consortium that specializes in Deaf/HOH as well, but any collaborative that the town is a part of will have specialized resources. That’s why they exist.


freedraw t1_j6zjxc9 wrote

Bedford is great with the appropriate technology and small elementary school class sizes. The question is can you afford at least 850k for a single family 3br house? (Edit: if you can even find a smaller home for sale - most listings on Redfin right now are 4br in the 2 mil range)


hound29 OP t1_j6zr33p wrote

Bedford is top of my list at the moment - but it’s pricey. Thankfully we can “upgrade” some- but think we will still need to get lucky . Thanks for the comment


macaronikiss t1_j6zxi13 wrote


I know you want to stay metrowest but I'll just put it out there. Clarke Northampton is a great option. Northampton is also a sweet little town with affordable homes.


twowrist t1_j6xk5y2 wrote

I suggest signing up for Nextdoor and asking there, as you can get a cross section of people from nearby towns.


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