Ivy Street School

Spring 2016 Newsletter
In This Issue


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

Save the Dates

May 4


Family Advisory
Committee Meeting  

Parent Support Group

May 30

Memorial Day

No School

June 8


June 9

Berklee Performance Center

June 15


June 22


Spring Groups and Electives

A student rock climbing at BU FitRec
At Ivy Street School,
students get the opportunity
to participate in a variety
 of fun, engaging activities
 that match their personal interests. Here are just some
 of these groups and
activities occurring in
the Spring:



Girls' Group


Rowing at
Community Rowing Inc. 

Music Therapy
with Ken DoRosario



Scavenger Hunt

Gospel Singing

(adaptive sports)

Photography Class
with Darlene DeVita


Nail Art


Brookline Public Library


Rock Climbing at
Boston University FitRec Center

Theater Group at
Wheelock College

Returning Soon:

Equine Therapy at
We are always looking to  
create more opportunities for innovative, exciting activities  
for our students.

If you have an idea for future activities please contact our Activities Director
Anastasia Kanistras.

The Ivy Times
Student Newsletter

The cover of Issue 1 of the Ivy Times

Ivy Street School students
have released the inaugural
issue of their very own newsletter, The Ivy Times!

Packed with interesting
articles, reviews, opinion
pieces, fun facts, games,
and more, it's is a must-read!
All content was created by students, and we are very
proud of all the hard work
 they put into it.

Read The Ivy Times here 

Learn About 
the Latest 
Ivy Street School 
News and Events 
on Social Media

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Follow us on Twitter

RSVP Today for Extravaganza 2016

Students and staff dance on stage at Extravaganza 2015

Registration is now open for Extravaganza 2016!

is Ivy Street School's annual night of singing, dancing, acting, and more, as our students take to the stage to show the world what we already know - that they truly are stars!

This year we are honored to present two special recognition awards:

- The Community Award presented to the Cottage Farm Neighborhood Association, our neighbors in Brookline, in honor of their commitment to community inclusion, community advocacy, and community building.

- The Center Stage Award will be presented to WCVB Chronicle for all the work they have done to raise awareness and support, not only their decades of showcasing the arts in the Boston area but also their commitment to airing stories about individuals with special needs.

Please join us at the Berklee Performance Center on June 9th to  for this FREE evening of fun and celebration!
Staff Profile: 

Laura Miceli,
Education Director  

Laura Miceli

Education Director Laura Miceli came to Ivy Street School in March with 20 years of experiences in public schools as a principal, district administrator, state-level specialist, and teacher.

A native of Quincy, MA, Miceli earned a B.S. in Elementary Education from UMass Boston and two Master of Education degrees from Boston University in Reading and in Policy, Planning, and Administration. Laura is currently enrolled in the doctoral program at Northeastern University for Curriculum, Teaching, Learning, and Leadership.
From a young age, Miceli always knew she would go into education.
"My dad was a teacher," she says. "He had a very strong influence on my career path."
Miceli's career began in special education, at Cardinal Cushing Center and later Brockton High School, where she was initially a Special Education Teacher.
"I love having the opportunity to learn how students think and process information to help them best learn the material," she says.
Most recently, Laura served as principal at both the Paul A. Dever Elementary School and the Edward Everett Schools in the Boston Public Schools. She has also held positions of teacher, Assistant Housemaster, Director of School Improvement and Title I, and Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Professional Development.
Part of what drew Miceli to Ivy Street School was the prospect of working in a smaller setting. This allows for strong individualized programming and the ability for her to get to know each student and family personally and build relationships, something she says is one of her favorite parts of the job.

Laura Miceli talks with a student about a project at the recent Ivy St. Science Fair
Laura Miceli talks with a student about a project at the recent Ivy St. Science Fair
Some of Miceli's duties as Education Director include working with and overseeing staff in regards to educational programming, maintaining communication with supporting school districts and agencies, supporting clinical staff on PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports), and ensuring compliance for students' IEPs.

Miceli stresses the importance of including student and parent voices in each step of the process, and then working collaboratively with staff to support each student's vision to meet their goals.
Since her arrival at Ivy Street, Miceli has been impressed with the hard work and dedication of both the students and the staff, and in particular the ways in which the different teams collaborate to ensure the best possible outcomes for each student.
"The staff are incredibly committed and knowledgeable," she says. "They're a really dynamic group that all work together to serve the students, and that is really unique.
"Every person here gives their all every day - the staff and the students. It truly is an inviting environment."
New Program: "Skills for Life"

Skills for Life

Ivy Street School has launched Skills for Life, a new home- and community-based program for transition-aged youth.    
These one-on-one services take place in the individual's natural environment, at home or in the community, and help them to identify, prioritize and develop the life skills they need to maximize their independence.

This service is available to young adults 16-26 who are able to set goals and work towards those goals given structure and moderate support. Diagnoses include autism spectrum disorder, brain injury, behavioral health, non-verbal learning disability, and learning disability.

For more information or to schedule a free 30 minute consultation with an Occupational Therapist, call (617) 879-0305 or visit the program's web page, ivystreetschool/org/skillsforlife

Vocational Partner Spotlight:
Transitions to Work

JVS banner

Congratulations to our latest Ivy Street School student to graduate from Transitions to Work, a 9-week training program that takes place at the CVS Regional Learning Center, a full-scale mock CVS store.

Transitions to Work trains adults with disabilities, helping them develop vocational skills to launch their careers. The program is made possible by a collaboration between Jewish Vocational Services (JVS),   Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP), and the Ruderman Family Foundation.

For Ivy Street students accepted into the program, it gives them a valuable opportunity to learn and reinforce these skills outside of the school environment, preparing them for real-world competitive employment.

"The Transitions to Work Program," says Ivy Street School Vocational Coordinator Shawna Boesch, "has offered Ivy Street Students a highly supported and structured environment to expand their vocational and social skill development, which are both crucial to obtaining and maintaining meaningful employment.

An Ivy Street student rings out a customer at the Transitions to Work mock CVS
An Ivy Street student rings out a customer at the Transitions to Work mock CVS

"Each student who has graduated from the Transitions to Work Program has identified that they are now more confident and eager to enter the work force than ever before."

Our Vocational Program staff work to ensure that students placed in the Transitions to Work program are able to maximize the benefits of their time there.

"Each of our interns coming from the Ivy Street School came well-prepared and were eager to learn the skills needed to reach their goal of gainful employment," says Josh Bock, Transitions to Work Career Coach.

Madeline Wenzel, Director of Disability Services at JVS Boston, agrees, and looks forward to working with Ivy Street students in the future: "The staff at Ivy Street School understand the Transitions to Work program and work closely with the Transitions to Work team to provide support for participating students to help ensure their success. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with the Ivy Street School and serving more students in the future."