SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

February 12, 2013

School to build new campus in Beverly

BEVERLY — A private high school for special-education students is planning to build a new campus at Cherry Hill Park.

New England Academy, which serves students with social and emotional disabilities in grades seven to 12, has filed plans with the city to build a two-story building with a cafeteria, gymnasium and athletic field at 96 Cherry Hill Drive.

The school opened in 2006 inside the Cummings Center office park on Elliott Street with 27 students. Enrollment had increased to 91 by 2009, the last year for which figures are available.

School officials did not return calls seeking comment.

The 40,000-square-foot new school would be built on 4 acres of land at the corner of Cherry Hill Drive and Sam Fonzo Drive in the Cherry Hill office park off Conant Street, near Axcelis Technologies. It would include 80 parking spaces.

The plan must be approved by the city’s Planning Board.

New England Academy was started by its executive director, Ryan Plosker, a former public school psychologist and special-education administrator. Plosker won an award from the Asperger’s Association of New England in 2010.

Over the last few years school officials have considered moving the school to the former Osram Sylvania plant on Sylvan Street in Danvers and to the Iron Rail property in Wenham.

Tuition at New England Academy is more than $50,000 per year. The student’s home school district is often responsible for the cost under the state’s special education laws. The school operates 11 months per year.

All of the school’s graduating seniors have been accepted into college, according to the school’s website.

Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or pleighton@salemnews.com.

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