Everyone has a place in our world

Our Mission

We help young people build lives of meaning, purpose, and joy.

The Connecticut Coastal Academy is at the forefront of a decades-long movement that restores and recognizes the gifts of people with physical, intellectual, social/emotional and learning differences. Inclusion of non-traditional thinkers and learners is not a service we provide; it is a strength we harness. Through restorative approaches to behavioral health, we nurture solution-oriented young people, who are proud to take meaningful roles in their communities.

Located in Essex, CT, the Connecticut Coastal Academy is a non-profit, state-approved private special education program for students in Grade 6 through age 21. Overseen by the CT Department of Education, we provide educational supports and specialized services to at-risk students with disabilities.

Connecticut Coastal Academy does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, or national or ethnic origin; disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression in administering its educational policies, scholarship or loan programs (if any) and athletic (if any) and other school-administered programs.

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What students are saying...

  • “The students can relate to each other in some way because of their experiences and having to deal with and overcome them. In this way you feel safer. …Vocational can give the sense of accomplishment and can help in the long run. It also allows students to connect better, in the sense that they joke around but have fun while doing their job. After work, the students on the ride home get to talk and make jokes with one another. …you get to learn about them and connect with them in different ways.”

  • “Being at the school this year was one of my best experiences…  The school helped a lot of people, including myself. I’m excited to see new faces next year, and I hope they’ll be able to have the same experiences I did.”

  • “This is the first school that has fought to keep me in instead of fighting to keep me out.”

  • “A place to be yourself.”

  • “Teachers are helpful and care.”

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