Our parent organization, EDCO Collaborative, began in 1969 as a nonprofit organization formed by superintendents from Boston and seven other Massachusetts school districts. Their mission was to provide opportunities for collaboration among staff and students across urban and suburban communities. Over time, school districts saw the value in collaborating on other education issues such as special education, school-to-work, vocational education and professional development for teachers.
EDCO Youth Alternative began in 1979 as a school-to-work high school program. Students would students would alternate time between classroom learning and work-based learning, spending a week at school then a week at a job site for the duration of the year. This evolved into a morning/afternoon school-to-work schedule and, following changes in state education law during the 1990's, brought the alternating schedule to a close.
During and since that time, EDCO has placed a focus on the supportive and social-emotional needs of its students. For over 15 years, EDCO partnered with Wediko Children's Services to bring a staff of clinicians on-site during student hours for school-based counseling and wraparound support. At present, EDCO continues its priority of clinical support with full-time counselors and social worker, as we emphasize the importance of real-world learning.