Back in School and Having Fun!
Sharing best practices and promoting inclusive opportunities for students with special needs    
Interim Executive Director's
Message

To the LABBB Community:

The 2021-2022 school year is off to a great start for LABBB and our programs! While we have faced challenges with a myriad of issues related to the ongoing pandemic, our teachers, educational assistants, and other employees have done incredible work to ensure that the needs of our students and families remain the priority in all LABBB programs. These educators have demonstrated creativity, resilience, and selflessness that warrants our appreciation and support!
 
Executive Director Search Process
The search process for the permanent Executive Director at LABBB is underway! You can access the timeline for this process here, as well as a video that will walk you through the different aspects of the search.  

You can be involved in the search process in the following ways:
Community Survey. I am very pleased to invite you to complete the LABBB Executive Director Search Survey, the results of which will assist me in creating a position profile for the upcoming search process. The survey can be accessed here. If you have not already done so, please take a moment in the next few days to provide your feedback. The survey will close at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 21st.
Community ForumsIn addition to the survey, we will be conducting a series of on-line (Zoom) meetings to gather information for the search process. The parent and community sessions are scheduled for Tuesday, September 28th and Thursday, September 30th, both from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. I hope that you will be able to attend one of these sessions. You can participate in these meetings using the links available on our website (www.labbb.com). 
Screening TeamWe will also be assembling a team of employees (teachers, educational assistants, administrators, and others), along with parents and community members, to conduct preliminary interviews with applicants. If you are interested in being part of the Screening Team, please email me at blupini@labbb.net by Friday, September 24th.  

LABBB Evening Parent Meetings
We will continue to hold LABBB Parent Meetings on the same evenings as our monthly dances. This allows our parents to drop off your son or daughter at Lexington Community Center (39 Marrett Road), then attend the meeting upstairs at the Center.  

These informative meetings allow us to discuss various topics related to programming, special needs planning, recreation, transition, post-22 planning, supplemental security income (SSI), financial planning, and many other important issues.

Parent meetings for 2021-2022 will take place from 7:00 to 8:15 p.m. on the following dates:

October 21
November 18
December 16
January 20
February 3
March 10
April 28
May 19

We hope that our parents will be able to attend!


Please do not hesitate to contact me directly at blupini@labbb.net with any questions or comments.
 
Sincerely,
 
Bill Lupini



Tribute to Peter Ciampa
By: Skip Avery
 
The LABBB family suffered a tremendous loss on Saturday, 9/4/2021 with the sudden passing of LABBB Staff Person, Peter Ciampa. 
 
Peter was dedicated to his family, friends, colleagues and students, both current and former. He was a quiet man of many talents, proud veteran of the Marine Corps, master carpenter, skilled in martial arts, knowledgeable in fitness and health and so much more. To LABBB, Peter was everything. He was the “go to guy” to fix things, move things, organize things, order things, deliver things, and everything he did was to benefit students.  
 
Peter served LABBB in different capacities over his 22 years, in the classroom as a Teacher Assistant and most recently as a Community Instructor in the Transition Department. He respected his students by helping them be the best they could be. Peter taught them the value of hard work, teamwork, taking responsibility for their actions and taking pride in a job well done. When Peter’s students were working with him they were happy and proud knowing they would be doing quality work with a person who truly cared about them. 
 
Peter was always willing to help. He was the type of person who saw a need and quietly went about fixing the problem without being asked and never looking for credit. He was student centered, always looking at ways to help students learn life skills and build confidence. Whether it was using his carpentry skills to make adaptive equipment for a person in need or fixing things at LABBB or suggesting a better way to do things, always with the goal of benefiting students.  
 
There are no words to adequately describe Peter, he truly was one in a million and as it has often been said, to know Peter was to love Peter. We are all better people for having Peter in our lives and will never forget him.

Clinical Corner: What Is Social-Emotional Learning
By Kelly Sexton 

Although the concept has been around for some time, the pandemic has brought new interest and focus to social-emotional learning (SEL). According to the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), social-emotional learning is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions. SEL also includes the ability to set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. Research shows that social and emotional competencies can be taught, modeled, and practiced and lead to positive student outcomes across settings. 

The five areas of SEL are:

SELF-AWARENESS: The ability to understand one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behavior across contexts. 
SOCIAL AWARENESS: The ability to understand the perspectives of and empathize with others, including those from diverse backgrounds, cultures, & contexts.
SELF-MANAGEMENT: The ability to manage one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors effectively in different situations and to achieve goals and aspirations. 
RELATIONSHIP SKILLS: The ability to establish and maintain healthy and supportive relationships and to effectively navigate settings with diverse individuals and groups.
RESPONSIBLE DECISION-MAKING: The ability to make caring and constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions across diverse situations. 

For more information about social-emotional learning, please visit the CASEL website at https://casel.org

Walking the Talk at the LABBB Transition Program at Belmont High School
By: Scott Procko & Theresa LeBlanc
 
The LABBB Transition Program at Belmont High School focuses on learning and applying knowledge and skills to everyday life. We pride ourselves on teaching functional ways to meet the daily challenges of work, home, and community life. These skills were put to work this summer for two months during our transition to the newly built Belmont High School in September.
 
Our temporary home at Arlington High School provided us with new opportunities that allowed both staff and students to get creative. A special thank you to the Arlington HS crew who went beyond expectations to ensure that we were comfortable and had everything we needed. When the students were asked about their favorite part of our time at AHS, the general consensus was using the phenomenal kitchen...or 5 kitchens in 1 to be exact. An “old School Home Economics kitchen” was at our beck and call, and we did not let the opportunity to get creative go to waste.
 
From Caprese salad, scratch made meatballs 'n sauce, American chop suey, breakfast sandwiches, snow cones, and Mickey waffles, our students were able to walk the “Culinary” walk in style! A big shout out to our students this July for “Walking the Talk” as they utilized great flexibility, problem solving skills, and led in various helping roles.
 
We are now in our new “digs” with an open floor plan, massive windows, and updated technological tools. We are getting our “steps” in, enjoying the views from the fourth floor and creating lessons that are more interactive and interesting with “Sam” (the Smartboard).
 
With the dedication of each member of the LABBB staff, especially the teaching assistants and community instructors who demonstrated great patience, creativity and flexibility. They assisted our students to make lemonade from the misperceived massive mound of lemons. It wasn’t always easy, however the “we can do this” attitude made the transition of the “LABBB Transition Program” from the old school to new, fun and educational, a wonderful experience that will not be forgotten anytime soon!
Socialization and Breaks for Learning
By: Crystal Kaloostian M.Ed.
 
 
As we embark on a new school year it is important to reflect on things help everyone connect and enjoy their time at school. One of the things that helps is building in time for every student to connect and socialize. Students need to feel part of their class and community and one way to do that is by building friendships and relationships with each other and staff. The more comfortable students are in their environment, the more open they are to trying new things and things they feel are hard. It is important, as educators, for us to remember this and build in opportunities for students to connect and work with each other.

Another thing that helps students with comfort in their environment is time to reflect and relax their brains. This can be small movement breaks, like walking from one class to another and chatting with friends or getting water and just breathing, or larger activities for students to decompress like playing games with friends, coloring, or using a device to relax with for a few minutes.

Adding in these opportunities allows students to breath and connect and that makes their school environment safe and fun. With this foundation, students can feel ready to learn.
Laundry Fun in Room 715
By: Melissa Allen

The students in room 715 at Lexington High have started the school year learning about responsibility by completing routine classroom tasks. One procedure they started this month is doing laundry. There are many functional skills integrated into this hands-on activity. It incorporates so many components such as vocabulary, math, following directions, turn taking, matching, sorting, sequencing, categorizing and motor skills. This week the students focused on words and concepts that included, “put in”, “measure” and “help”. As the year goes on they will learn more tasks, build their independence and have some fun doing it!





LABBB Adapted Physical Education, Recreation and Social Opportunities

September is always a busy month in the LABBB Recreation Department. 
 
Some complications related to Covid prevented us from getting our brochure printed and out to families this year. However, our wonderful teaching and central office staff helped get digital copies out to parents as well as posted on our website and in our August newsletter. To view the brochure, go to https://labbb.com/main/recforms.aspx.
 
Due to Covid, the LABBB Reunion Dance was held via zoom again this year. While some people were disappointed that we could not gather in person, many LABBB alumni joined in and had a great time. Fingers crossed that we can return to in person next year.
 
Again this year, families will see some changes with our after school activities due to the continuing pandemic concerns. While parents will have to do more of the transportation, we are excited that at least some of our activities will be held in person.  
 
We are looking forward to our first in-person dance of the school year! We have an outdoor space at the Lexington Community Center for our LABBB Halloween Dance on October 21st. Students & staff will be wearing masks, but it is a Halloween Dance, after all.
 
Other Upcoming events:
September 28 Tuesday Bowling starts
September 29 Wednesday Recreation starts (Walking, Glee Club and Bingo)
September 30     Thursday Bowling starts
October 4                       Apple Picking Trip 
October 14           LABBB Open House, no Thursday bowling
October 15         Mini Golf Trip
October 16           LABBB/Best Buddies Craft Fair
October 1          School Photos for LABBB high schools
October 18          Apple Picking Trip
October 21          Halloween Dance
October 25         Apple Picking Trip

To view the sign up sheets for the 2021/2022 school year Recreation Activities please Click here

Remember to follow @LABBBREC on Twitter
Updated LABBB Brochure

Click here or on the image to view the new LABBB brochure.






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

In episode #22 we talk about our journey in building a mindful culture in LABBB. It is one of our core values that is posted throughout our collaborative. There is a significant difference between just talking about these practices and actually doing them. We made a commitment to offering mindful practices for all students in all our classrooms every single day. We also believe for us to be successful we need to offer and teach this to our staff as well. We are a community practicing together and this is the only way to get the true benefits. We have been fortunate to have many staff persons who have a myriad of unique mind-body skills to bring into our environments for both students and staff. 

This initiative started organically back in the early '90s. We realized that these practices have a significant impact on managing the pervasive anxiety symptoms that people are feeling. Our mission was to bring these practices directly into our schools and for staff and students to know they have permission to practice at any time. When one individual is practicing it is benefiting their entire community!

Rayne Pratt and Lisa Poirier, LABBB Occupational therapists, join me in this podcast. They are members of our LABBB Mind/Body team and they are also the creators and facilitators of our all-day staff retreat that we offer. 






 













 
LABBB Contacts
LABBB Collaborative
123 Cambridge Street, Burlington MA. 01803| LABBB.com