August Newsletter

Sharing best practices and promoting inclusive opportunities for students with special needs 
   LSEP 2020 
In This Issue
Message from the Executive Director
Patric Barbieri

  Return to School September 2020

LABBB launched its first in-person services since March with our LSEP (LABBB Summer Extension Program) at Lexington High School on August 3rd. It ran for two weeks with great success. We worked together as a team, became familiar with PPE and how to use it in different situations, and helped our students navigate this new school environment with its many changes, including wearing their masks and physically distancing. 

Now that we've had that successful experience, we are ramping up to have students return in all our 16 buildings. We want to get our students back in a routine of coming to school every day. As long as the buildings are ready for us to occupy, we were going to move in this direction. 

The LSEP program started with a shortened day and this gave students the chance to experience all the changes and get comfortable with a new routine and new rules without getting too overwhelmed. With this success, we felt it would be an effective way of helping all students transition back to school. Every aspect of coming to school will be a different experience for our students. Right when they step onto the van, they will need to follow new guidelines. Throughout the school day they will experience new rules about how to move around the school, use bathrooms, and participate in all the daily living activities we typically do, while keeping safe. They will also see staff engaging in new cleaning routines in our various environments to keep our community healthy. 

LABBB has an expansive Transition Department and students who typically go out to work on specific days of the week will not be able to return to their work sites at the beginning of the year. We are communicating with our community business partners and will slowly get back to work as we develop plans for returning safely. Our community partners want us back, but they and we want to move slowly and make sure all necessary safety measures are in place. The good news is that some students who are working independently at sites may be going back when we return or have already started back. We are looking at this on a case by case basis. 

A few of our programs may need to shift to a hybrid model if we are not able to keep physical distancing in the classroom due to the number of students and staff who need to be in that space, but we will continue making every effort to move towards a full in-person model. 

We believe if everyone can return and focus on getting acclimated to our environments, new routines, working with our new guidelines, and wearing masks and other PPE, then we can begin to focus our full attention on what LABBB has always done best for almost 50 years and that is provide special education services in the most inclusive settings. 

We have had to think differently and there are so many people who are working to help make this possible. While there are some things we might not know yet, we do know this, working together collaboratively is what will make the transition back to school successful. 

LABBB In-Person Summer Extension Program (August) Video
LSEP 2020
LABBB Summer Extenstion Program 2020
LABBB Health and Safety Training: By Sasha Reed, LABBB Nurse Leader
We felt that it might be helpful for parents to see the training, procedures, and protocols LABBB has put in place to keep our students, staff, and larger LABBB community safe as we plan our return to school.

In this series of trainings, all staff will receive information on a variety of enhanced procedures, protocol changes, and need-to-know information in preparation for return to school this fall. Trainings are available in a fully online format to help facilitate staff learning and streamline completion requirements under our unique remote circumstances. 

These trainings are specially designed for the population of students that LABBB serves.

In addition to these video trainings there will be a competency test to make sure all PPE is put on and disposed of correctly. 

2. COVID Training

LABBB COVID-19 Training
LABBB COVID-19 Training

3. Hygiene and Prevention Training

LABBB Hygiene & Prevention Training
LABBB Hygiene & Prevention Training

4. PPE Training

LABBB PPE Training
LABBB PPE Training
Clinical Corner Video: By Kelly Sexton, Counseling Department Head 

Kelly Welcome

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Team Updates
LABBB's Diverity, Equity and Inclusion team has been working to develop our plan of bringing more awareness to our community. LABBB has a set of Core Values that are posted on our website and in all our LABBB classrooms and offices. Our original Core Values were established 10 years ago. Over these past 10 years, we've continued to revisit them, revise them, and add to them. They are not merely words and phrases printed on posters and hung on walls. They are at the very heart of who we are. They drive what we do and how we do it on a daily basis.

Most recently, we felt it was important to add a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Core Value to show our commitment to providing a community that understands, nurtures, respects, and celebrates the individuality and diversity of students, staff and our surrounding communities in a safe and supportive environment. 

The team has also been interviewing outside agencies who have expertise in working with organizations on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. We plan on making a final decision by the end of September. We are trying to find an agency that also has a significant amount of experience working with students with special needs. 

Below is our Core values poster. It will also be in our new brochure and on our website. You can click here to view.

A LABBB PODCAST: Executive Director, Patric Barbieri, Hosts a Podcast talking about special needs planning and resources related to our community

In episode #20 we talk about sibling support with Emily Rubin. Emily is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at UMASS Medical School and Director of Sibling Support at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center. She is also Co-founder and Executive Director of the Massachusetts Sibling Support Network (MSSN). Emily is a Licensed Social Worker.

This was a special podcast and it was a reflective experience for me as a sibling of a sister with special needs. Emily shares her research on sibling support groups and her perspective and knowledge on this subject is profound. This is a must listen for families and siblings and there are many resources you can access.

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