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January Newsletter

The monthly newsletter that celebrates our community.


Martha Bushey

High School Literature/Language Arts Teacher

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What do you do at LPS?

I am a high school Literature and Language Arts teacher. I have been teaching at LPS since 2012.

Where were you before you came to LPS?

Before I came to LPS, my career in education encompassed several different facets. I was a high school English teacher, and directed a resource room in a public high school in Western Massachusetts. Additionally, I taught at the Linden Hill School in Northfield, Massachusetts, which was a school for middle school boys diagnosed with dyslexia. The school was founded over fifty years ago, and it was the first school in the United States specializing in educating middle school boys diagnosed with dyslexia. There, I was both a Literature and Language Arts teacher.

What is your favorite part of being an educator?

First, and foremost, having the privilege to work with such an amazing group of LPS students whose kindness, determination and courage allows them to reach their potential and goals is an extraordinary gift. Additionally, everyday I'm excited to be able to share all the wonders we can learn from books about ourselves, about the world's people, their cultures, struggles, and achievements.

Why did you get into education? 




20 Years of Thinking Maps

Twenty years ago in 2002, Learning Prep School began using a new system of visual tools called Thinking Maps®. Developed by Dr. David Hyerle in 1988, he figured out that every person analyzes information in 8 different ways: 

  1. Defining
  2. Describing
  3. Comparing/contrasting
  4. Classifying
  5. Breaking down into parts
  6. Sequencing
  7. Cause/effect
  8. Establishing relationships between things

From this understanding, he developed a set of visual tools for understanding and mastering these eight thinking processes in a way that is clearly defined and helps students to think on their own, and process information independently. 

All students at Learning Prep School use Thinking Maps®, starting from their first day here. Since all staff are trained and use them on a regular basis, students develop an automaticity with them and are able to apply critical thinking skills to problem-solve and develop higher-level, abstract thinking. Because Thinking Maps® works in every grade, in every subject, in every elective, and at any level of academic activity, we have found that students are able to more quickly and effectively grasp and retain new concepts, given that they are used in every class by each teacher. Through their use, students can organize and see their own thinking and teachers can then use the completed maps to observe the students’ thinking processes.

Since we have been using them, we have found that Thinking Maps® have an enormous benefit to our community:



Friday, January 14: Early Release, 11:00 AM

Monday, January 17: No School, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Friday, January 28: HS Winter Trivia, 6:00 PM (details TBA)

Wednesday, February 2 & Thursday, February 3: MCAS Biology retest

Monday, February 14: All School Wear Red Day

Thursday, February 17: Parent Advisory Group (PAG) meeting, 8:00 AM

Monday, February 21 - Friday, February 25: February Vacation


Why is Social Emotional Learning so Important?

By: Amy Plante, Assistant Principal

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Students and adults world-wide have gone through an ever-changing world of expectations socially and emotionally the last two years. Our society has been asked to recreate how we educate, communicate and socialize. Individuals have been expected to include structure and consistency in their life yet must remain flexible to the continuous requests being placed on them. This challenge has created the necessity for individuals to build a “tool box” of ways to remain resilient.

The Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) has identified five competencies of social/emotional learning:

  1. Self Awareness
  2. Self Management
  3. Social Awareness
  4. Relationship Skills
  5. Responsible Decision Making

We are all lifelong collaborative learners. Here at LPS we have a vision of assisting all of our adults and students in creating a healthy and inclusive school that supports all learners. We know how difficult the lack of social interactions has been on our students. We realize recognizing self awareness and fostering relationship skills has been extremely cumbersome to do over Zoom and social media. Some media interactions have created even more misunderstandings for students. Now that schools have gone back to “in person” we have an opportunity to practice these skills with our students in real life situations. Integrating these competencies into our daily instruction helps our students to build connections with each other, their community and ultimately understand themselves better. 

At LPS our view on discipline is...



Announcements & Reminders

Updated Covid Protocols

The 2021-22Covid Protocols have been updated. You can find them on our website under Current Students/Covid-19 or attached here.

You can also see this updated flowchart from the Department of Education on what to do when identified as a close contact or testing positive for Covid.

9th grade families

Attention parents and guardians! We are looking for a volunteer to be a Grade Parent for the 9th grade. If interested in learning more, please contact Amy Davis at adavis@learningprep.org.

Get involved

The Parent Advisory Group (PAG) & the Partners In Education (PIE) are two parent organizations that families can participate. For more information about each group's goals and the meeting dates, click here.

The next meeting is:

PAG: Thursday, 2/17 9:00am

Zoom link for all meetings:


MCAS Dates

Please see the schedule below for MCAS dates the spring. More info to come.

February 2 & 3 - Biology retest

March 9 & 10 - ELA retest

March 15 & 16 - Math retest

March 22 & 23 - 10th grade ELA

April 5 & 6 - 5th/6th grade ELA

April 7 & 8 - 7th/8th grade ELA

April 26 & 27 - 5th/8th grade Science

May 10 & 11 - 5th/6th grade Math

May12 & 13 - 7th/8th grade Math

May17 & 18 - 10th grade Math

June 7 & 8 - Biology - 9th grade & retest

High School Yearbook

It is time to pre-order your 2021-22 High School Yearbook! A full color book documenting this extraordinary school year! Order today on JostensYearbooks.com

Grade Level Parents

Grade representatives for the 2021-22 school year:

12th: Debbie Berechman

11th: Stacey Suckerman

10th: Roslyn Michelson

9th: (available)

8th: Lori Day

5th-7th: Christina Chatalian

2021-22 Calendar

You can download the 2021-22 School Year Calendar here.

(updated 7/12/21)

Also, check out learningprep.org/calendar for a full list of events.

Family Directory

Is now available. Please check your email for a separate invitation from "Directory Spot" to access it.

Lunch Menu

To review the lunch menu, click here.

Parent Facebook Group

Join our private Facebook group just parents and guardians called:

LPS Panther Parents & Families Group.

Click this link to join!


Get your LPS Gear!

Here's a great way to show your LPS Panther Pride!

The School Store has been updated so check out the school store today!

Know someone who would benefit from LPS?

If you know someone who may be looking for a place like LPS, tell them about our weekly, Virtual Information Sessions and to reach out to:

Korina Martin, Director of Admissions at kmartin@learningprep.org

Contact Info


1507 Washington Street

West Newton, MA 02465

Phone: (617) 965-0764

Main Fax: (617) 527-1514


Nancy Ishkanian


617-965-0764 ext. x 1014

Nurses Fax: (617) 244-1921


All transportation changes and early dismissals to:

HS: dhurley@learningprep.org

MS: ccaruso@learningprep.org

Amy Davis, Principal


617-965-0764 ext. x 1221

Amy Plante, Assistant Principal


617-965-0764 ext. x 1322

Vanessa Craveiro, Chief Financial Officer


617-965-0764 ext. x 1317

Korina Martin, Director of Admissions


617-965-0764 ext. x 1202

Kurt Moellering, Executive Director


617-965-0764 ext. x 1201

Gretchen Petersen, Chief Operating Officer


617-965-0764 ext. x 1208

Dee Lane, Director of Development & Alumni Relations


617-965-0764 ext. x 1206

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