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Serving Bright Students (in grades 8-12, and PG) with Unique Learning Styles, Franklin Academy Is More Than Just A School

Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to be in a safe and welcoming school community where you can be yourself, where making friends is easy, and where teachers understand you?

Offering a unique and model program created by innovative and talented educators for students who may find it hard to thrive in the social setting of traditional schools, we provide hope.

In the right learning environment our students are able to realize their potential, go on to higher education, enjoy self-sufficient lives filled with meaningful relationships, and make their mark on the world.

Upcoming Virtual Open Houses

February 5

March 4

March 25

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Transforming Lives Is What We Do Best


“She has shown us all how brightly she can shine!”

Our students are smart, interesting, and passionate young people who have dreams and aspirations. They are curious about a lot of things, and they are exceptionally talented in different areas. They are kind and respectful and enjoy helping others. They want to have friends.

While our students share similar traits and characteristics, each is unique. Some may be identified with Autism Spectrum Disorder – Level 1 (formerly Asperger’s Syndrome), a Nonverbal Learning Disability, a Social Pragmatic Communication Disorder, Anxiety, ADHD, or Executive Functioning Disorder. But, in the right school environment with the right educators, all of them can succeed – graduating from high school, advancing to a wide range of post-secondary opportunities, living an enriching adult life, and making their mark on the world.


“Finding your school has been a blessing for our whole family.”

If one’s rationale for being a teacher is to make a positive difference in the life of students, there is no better opportunity to affect lives than right here, right now at Franklin Academy. This is what our parents tell us.

  • You truly do save kids, families and lives.
  •  For the first time in John’s life he might be in the right place at the right time.
  • We can’t believe how lucky we – and Ryan – are!
  • Thank you for giving our daughter Emmeline an education and a life.
  • As we left the school he said “Mom, I finally feel there is hope.”


“Once the heart is held safe, their academic minds have no limits!”

Safe Environment

The foundation of Franklin Academy is a safe and welcoming environment in which every student feels secure, connected, and understood. This is the bedrock of our school, forged by thoughtful and deliberate educators who share an inspiring vision and a common set of values. Our teenagers find support and individual acceptance, as well as the challenge and reward of higher-level relationships. This allows them to develop their identities to become strong, healthy, productive adults who enjoy life and meaningful relationships with others.

Living Where You Learn

We believe that a boarding school community is the desired setting for enhancing social interactions – a crucial component in our students’ comprehensive curriculum. What is taught in the classroom about relationships is practiced across campus – during meals in the dining hall, in the commons room of the dormitory, at community meeting, and while participating in clubs, activities, or off-campus excursions. With one educator for every two students on campus, there are many opportunities to seize that “teachable moment,” whatever the venue.  In fact, the lessons learned outside the classroom, might be just as important as the lessons learned inside the classroom.

The Power of Friendships

In our community students enjoy the solidarity of belonging to a natural peer group that shares similar strengths, common interests, and comparable challenges. Friendships blossom. The positive impact of this transformative experience should not be underestimated. Simply stated, having friends helps to build self-esteem, and feeling good about oneself becomes a key to unlocking the potential of every student. What educational goal could be more important?


 “The social/emotional/executive function component is without a doubt the area that I value most about Franklin Academy.”

Academics at Franklin Academy

Franklin Academy promotes a growth mindset to inspire continual learning and personal development by students and teachers.   A college preparatory curriculum is at the heart of our program. Students are more capable than they realize, so we encourage academic risk-taking to stretch everyone beyond individual comfort zones. As a result, students discover and hone interests, passions, and talents in a safe and supportive community that fosters curiosity and intellectual discussion. We identify each student’s learning preferences, strengths and challenges, personal learning history, and short and long-term goals. Then, we partner with students and parents to articulate a unique vision statement to create an individual road map for reaching full potential. Our coursework is abundant, rich, and varied, including honors and college-level classes. Click here to learn more about academics at Franklin Academy.

The Core of Our Curriculum

We educate the whole student. These ten competencies are the foundation of our holistic program.

  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Social Cognition
  • Executive Functioning
  • Self-Care and Advocacy
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Critical Thinking
  • Research and Problem Solving
  • Mathematics and Data Analysis
  • Writing
  • Study Skills

Experienced Educators

Our teachers are Franklin Academy’s greatest strength. The school seeks veteran educators and young professionals who share a passion for serving students who learn differently. We value creativity and collaboration, abundant energy and high professional standards, compassion and commitment, flexibility, initiative, and, of course, a great sense of humor!  

No other group of professional educators nationwide has logged as many hours serving students with nonverbal learning disabilities or Autism Spectrum Disorder – Level 1.  Franklin Academy enjoys an exceptional reputation as the premier expert in educating these students.


“Ross’ acceptance to Binghamton University is a dream come true.”

The College Search

To help students and parents identify an appropriate range of post-secondary options, Franklin Academy employs a full-time college counselor who has significant expertise in placing our graduates at schools where they can be successful. In addition to all of the typical services offered by our college counselor, including frequent seminars for parents and lunch-time meetings for our students and representatives of various colleges, the school sponsors an annual fall college tour through New England and the mid-Atlantic states for one week every October.

Preparation through Practice

To give our seniors and postgraduates the best chance for collegiate success, we have created the Franklin Academy Learning Institute, or FLI as the program is known on campus. With the motto of “preparation through practice,” FLI replicates the structure and experience of the college freshman year. However, there is this difference – we have a safety net in place that supports our students as they embrace new challenges and learn new lessons. Does FLI work? Our alumni report they are significantly ahead of their neurotypical classmates in addressing the realities of college!

A Continuum of Support

Franklin Academy’s College Transitional Support (FACTS) program is designed to assist students and parents making the shift from high school to college. The student works in collaboration with a FACTS counselor who becomes immersed in the student’s college life, providing guidance to help plan and prioritize academic tasks, understand and advocate for support services, evaluate performance on a regular basis, and problem-solve. Video conferencing, phone conversations, emails, and campus visits allow counselor and student to connect, communicate, and ascertain if additional interventions are necessary. Ultimately, the larger goal is to help the student realize personal growth while gaining confidence in the ability to navigate successfully a collegiate environment.


“The creativity of Franklin Academy’s educators is the magic that distinguishes its program.”

Franklin Academy has been a center of educational innovation since its founding. Our talented teachers, working in teams to implement a competency-based curriculum, are encouraged to respond quickly to student needs. We design lessons and activities for small groups of students, assessing results and applying best practices, shared experiences, and perceptive insights in a continuing quest to improve and strengthen every aspect of our work. Consequently, we are able to move intentionally and carefully to support individual growth and sustain the health of our close-knit community. This innovation takes place every day and in every class at Franklin Academy. Other initiatives over time become school-wide traditions. Click on any of the special events below to learn more about the richness of our holistic curriculum.


We expect our students to become independent young adults who are able to take responsibility for their lives, self-advocate, and engage successfully in the larger world beyond Franklin Academy.


College Admissions


“How do you measure success?”

At Franklin Academy our goal is so much more than just getting students across the finish line of high school with a diploma in hand. Graduating seniors and postgraduates leave campus with plans to pursue their interests and passions. Our alumni know their strengths. They can identify helpful resources. They can self-advocate. Most will attend college. Some may choose a less traditional path. All are determined, however, to realize fulfilling lives, matching potential with accomplishment.


College Destinations for Franklin Academy Graduates

 College is all about the right fit on the basis of personal aspirations, academic achievements, available programs (including accommodations and support), location, and size of the institution. Here is a sample of recent matriculations.


What Are Alumni Doing Now?

We help our students identify their passions and encourage them to develop their interests because we believe that what is learned about oneself becomes the foundation for leading a fulfilling and independent adult life. Consequently, our graduates embrace a wide-range of career opportunities that defy stereotype, and they are actively working in the following professions.

Clear Mission

“The first thing that really excited me about Franklin Academy was that it is ultimately a college preparatory school.”

Franklin Academy creates a community-focused boarding and day school where students with unique learning styles develop and strengthen academic and social competencies vital to the pursuit of college goals, professional aspirations, and fulfilling lives.

To fulfill this mission:

Students belong to a school community where they feel safe, connected, understood, and supported.

Students grow into independent, responsible young adults ready to pursue their interests and passions.

Alumni succeed because they understand their own strengths and challenges, are able to self-advocate, and have the skills necessary to move ahead as life-long learners.


Franklin Academy is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Accreditation means that our school meets the criteria for those standards of excellence by which the “educational community assures the high quality of each member school.”  NEASC commends Franklin Academy for creating an academic program and residential community that completely matches its mission.  Additionally, Franklin Academy is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools, comprising the best private independent schools in the country.

President’s Blog

School Calendar

Quint 4 Classes End
Mar 28 @ 4:00 pm
No Classes
Mar 29 all-day
Intersession 2
Apr 1 @ 3:51 pm – Apr 12 @ 1:00 pm
Intersession 2 Gallery
Apr 12 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Spring Vacation
Apr 12 @ 1:00 pm – Apr 28 @ 6:00 pm
Boarders Return to Campus
Apr 28 all-day
Quint 5 Classes Begin
Apr 29 @ 8:30 am
Reception and Dinner for Graduating Seniors, Postgraduates, and their Families
May 31 @ 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Graduation Ceremony and Luncheon
Jun 1 @ 10:30 am – 2:00 pm
Alumni Reunion and Connecticut River Boat Cruise
Jun 1 @ 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm

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140 River Rd, East Haddam, CT 06423, USA

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