TEC Phoenix Academy

TEC Phoenix Academy building

TEC Phoenix Academy

TEC Phoenix Academy is a 502.4i program developed in partnership with the Walpole Public Schools.

At TEC Phoenix Academy, experienced, certified classroom teachers and special educators provide students in Grades 7-12 with an academic curriculum aligned with the Curriculum Frameworks. Students’ social-emotional needs are at the forefront so that they can access their learning and achieve their educational goals. In addition, we have small classroom sizes and individualized plans for each student that goes beyond the IEP. We offer vocational training in culinary arts as well as various community involvement opportunities; our “whole person” approach provides the necessary educational, emotional, social connectedness and therapeutic learning environment where students can thrive.

Who We Serve

Located at the Plimpton Building on the beautiful campus of Walpole High School, 319 Common Street, Walpole, MA, TEC Phoenix Academy is designed for students in Grades 7-12 with academic, emotional and/or behavioral challenges that necessitate a small, structured educational setting. Many students have a significant trauma history, display disruptive behaviors, or have become school-avoidant. Students may struggle with social-emotional regulation, executive functioning issues, substance abuse, as well as specific learning disabilities.

The program assists students to develop a sense of self-awareness and effective personal decision making that will enable them to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to be successful in school, college/career and post-secondary decision making. The length of enrollment varies with 40-day assessments available.

Meet the Principal

Welcome to TEC Phoenix Academy!

“It’s not about what it is, it’s about what it can become.” Dr. Seuss

I came to the Academy 5 years ago, with a vision inspired by a simple quote. My work in the educational field, has been beyond rewarding. Establishing a school and opportunities, where students thrive, grow and change, has been an unexpected professional milestone. This educational program is supported by an extremely talented and dedicated team, who are a huge part of the vision.

I am a Licensed Administrator for middle-high school; Special Needs Educator from Fitchburg State University and Transition Specialist from University of Massachusetts Boston. I have been the principal at TEC Phoenix Academy since its establishment in 2015. As an educator of 39 years, my path has been extremely diverse, which has allowed for the development of programming that is differentiated, experiential and real life oriented.

Our mission at TEC Phoenix Academy is to prepare our students for post-secondary education and training in an atmosphere of high expectations, strong support and personal responsibility. Through individual planning, activities, groups and therapeutic behavioral interventions, students work towards their individual goals.
I look forward to the opportunity to discuss TEC Phoenix Academy further. If you have any questions feel free to contact me.

Sheila A. Thomas, Principal
M.Ed. Special Education
Email: sthomas@tec-coop.org

Sheila Thomas, Phoenix Academy Principal


TEC Phoenix Academy prepares students for post-secondary education in an atmosphere of high expectations, strong support, and personal responsibility. Our “whole person” approach provides the necessary educational, emotional, social connectedness and therapeutic learning environment where students can thrive.

Therapeutic Milieu

All interactions that take place at school are done through a therapeutic lens. Each staff member is trained to respond to every situation with dignity, respect, and empathy. There is an emphasis on pro-social skills at all times. This creates a safe, secure, place for students to learn and grow; it is rich in therapeutic interpersonal relationships and co-operative attentiveness to students’ needs.


Staff is comprised of licensed special education and academic teachers who specialize in core subjects, licensed school social workers, clinical/behavioral specialists, instructional support staff.

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