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The Spurwink School

The Spurwink School provides integrated special education, behavioral and therapeutic services in a community-based setting since 1982.

Our History

Established in 1982, The Spurwink School is a licensed, year-round, special education program located at 365 River Road in Lincoln, RI. The school offers integrated academic and therapeutic services to 40 students (ages 5-18) with emotional and behavioral challenges in a safe and nurturing community-based environments. Our small classrooms are staffed by highly qualified, certified teachers, teacher assistants and behavioral specialists, who are supported by a multi-disciplinary team of licensed clinicians and professionals.

The philosophical framework, which underlies all aspects of the Spurwink model, is an eclectic mix of theoretical principles from a variety of pioneers in the fields of humanistic psychology and child development. Our approach is based upon the shared belief that there is power in the therapeutic relationship, which can create/foster positive values by appreciating a child as an individual and accepting him/her as a member of the community. 

My experience at The Spurwink School helped me get along with others, do my school work, and learn jobs skills so I could move on with my life.

Joseph B. - a former Spurwink student

Special Education Services


The Spurwink School services students in grades Kindergarten through 12th grade. In accordance with RI State Regulations, The Spurwink School curriculum follows the Common Core Standards with individualized accommodations and modifications, as needed. There is an emphasis on the integration of project-based, experiential learning as well as technology across grade levels. All students participate in Social Emotional Learning through a variety of individual and group activities within the milieu. The goal of our program is to assist students with interventional strategies, techniques, modifications and accommodations so that they can return to a less restrictive educational setting, or to transition from school to the workplace. Staff participate in professional development seminars, including implementation of the Trauma Informed Schools model. 


An important piece of student support and intervention addresses Social Emotional Learning, which correlate to all aspects of our program. This is central to the purpose and identity of The Spurwink School. The students’ who attend our program have challenges in these areas, which impact their ability to function in a traditional school setting. Prosocial skills, such as showing respect, maintaining safe behavior and remaining on task, are addressed in the classroom, and individual and group counseling sessions. 


Related Services: 



Speech/Language Pathologist 

The Speech/Language Pathologist addresses all areas of school-based communication and utilizes the Social Thinking Curriculum to assist with the application of pragmatic language in daily living. 


Occupational Therapist 

The occupational therapist addresses fine and gross motor skills, sensory processing needs and utilizes the Zones of Regulation program, which provides a tool for students to identify their level of arousal/internal stimulation at any given time. 


Arts Education 

Provided through a unique program of collaboration, The Spurwink School utilizes an Artist in Residence model that includes well-known local working artists who rotate on a quarterly basis through all age groups. Students create and perform in Music, Cartooning, Fine Arts and Dance/Movement.

All of the Spurwink School staff have done a great job balancing my child's social, emotional, academic, and medical needs. I want him to be challenged and I admire the teaching methods and behavioral strategies which allowed him to be successful this years.

Alicia P. - a Spurwink parent

Clinical Services

​Clinical services at The Spurwink School is integrated with clinicians whom are Licensed Mental Health Counselors (LMHC) that conduct individual, and group counseling, case management and professional development seminars within the school setting. In collaboration with the clinicians, The Spurwink School also has a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist and Clinical Psychologist who provide consultative services.

Spurwink is a special school to help you. This school teaches you about respect, Math and History, etc. At this school, there is always someone to talk to - staff or kid. You'll always be safe here. This school will hopefully make you a better person in your life.

Robert S. - former Spurwink student


Statewide Local Education Authorities should direct all inquiries and referral packets to:

Carleen Bellaire, M.Ed


The Spurwink School

365 River Road

Lincoln, RI 02865

P: (401) 781-4380

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