Spring 2015 Newsletter
Save the Dates

May 6

Family Advisory Committee Meeting

May 18-29
Bay State Summer Program

June 3
Family Advisory Committee Meeting

June 11 
Extravaganza: An Evening of Music, Magic, and Dance

June 17
 Graduation and Awards Ceremony

July 1
Family Advisory Committee Meeting

July 9

August 5
Family Advisory Committee Meeting 
September 2
Family Advisory Committee Meeting

September 13
Family BBQ

September 30
Excellence in Special Education Summit
with Dr. Ross Greene

October 1
Family Advisory Committee Meeting 

October 27
School Open House

November 4
 Family Advisory Committee Meeting

December 2
Family Advisory Committee Meeting 


A student and a staff member belt out a song from Frozen at Extravaganza 2014

It's time for the Extravaganza, our annual night of student performances at the Berklee Performance Center!

Information and RSVP

Would you like to help our students look and feel like 
 the stars they are?

On June 11th, the day
of the show, we need volunteers to come to the school and help with hair and makeup to get our  
students ready for the stage!

Interested? Email  
Activities Coordinator  
Anastasia Kanistras at:  akanistras@ivystreetschool.org 

Solarium Restoration and Literacy Campaign

As Ivy Street School continues to grow, having added two new classrooms in the past three years and expanding the populations we serve, we are proud to announce that are completing a campaign to raise $250,000 to restore our Solarium, build a 21st century library, and launch a school-wide literacy initiative.

With this funding, our library will be refurbished and enhanced with academic materials, new furniture, and the most advanced assistive technology and computers to support our students.

The adjacent Solarium will provide a comfortable new space for study and group projects. We are deeply grateful to the benefactors who have supported this campaign so far.

Learn more about this initiative in our Solarium Project Brochure. Naming opportunities are still available.
Solarium Project Brochure Cover  


Give the gift of opportunity with a donation to Ivy Street School!

ISS Expands Programming for  
Spanish-Speaking Students

At the Ivy Street School, our goal is to accommodate the unique needs of our diverse student population, providing whatever support they need to be successful academically, socially, and emotionally as they develop and transition to adulthood.

We are excited to announce that we now have a staff team dedicated to meeting the needs of Spanish-speaking residential and day students. The team includes:


    - An ESL (English as a Second Language) Certified Teacher


    - An SEI (Sheltered English Immersion) Instructor


    - An SEA (Sheltered English Administrator)


    - Bilingual day and residential staff


    - Bilingual Master's-prepared, licensed trauma-informed therapists for individual and family work


The Ivy Street School is committed to integrating our Spanish-speaking students into the school community, ensuring that all students have the same opportunities to learn, grow, and successfully transition into adulthood.


Staff Profile:  
Brooke Howard, MS, OTR/L
Transition Coordinator 

Brooke Howard

Brooke Howard has always had an interest in working with people with different life experiences and perspectives, learning about how others understand their experiences and how they navigate through their lives despite whatever challenges they may face. Today Brooke applies that knowledge and understanding as the Ivy Street School's new Transition Coordinator and Director of Related Services (which includes Speech, Occupational Therapy, and Physical Therapy), having officially started in that role this past January.


"The role of the Transition Coordinator," she explains, "is to set up systems and support staff to ensure that students' transition needs are met as they prepare to leave Ivy Street."


Brooke has a Master's degree in Occupational Therapy from Sargent College at Boston University and a B.S. in neuroscience from Oberlin College. Before coming to Ivy Street, she worked for six years at the Franciscan Hospital for Children in both the residential inpatient program and outpatient programs, working with children with complex needs.


One of the factors that drew her to Ivy Street School in particular, Brooke explains, was "because it is small, which allows for creative, individualized approaches and a lot of flexibility in terms of how we meet the students' needs. I particularly like working with clients and families during periods of change."


A student presents at the recent Ivy Street School Vocational Night

Brooke started at Ivy Street in 2009 as an Occupational Therapist, and since then has played a crucial role in the expansion of our transition programming throughout the school.


"We've created a transition team with the OT department and vocational department, we've hired more job coaches to support students in pursuit of community employment, we've put together a process for transition evaluations and goal-setting specifically related to transition needs, and we continue to work to engage students more specifically in their own transition process."


Under Howard's leadership, each student at the Ivy Street School is involved in their social and education planning processes and is given the space to set goals for themselves, as well as to understand and implement what is necessary to reach them.


Brooke believes in empowering students to respond as they transition and expectations are changing. "I want to continue to develop a program that helps students create a vision for themselves and their futures," she says. "I see it as our absolute responsibility to provide our students with the tools they need to not only navigate their lives with as much independence as possible but also to feel like agents of their own future."


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