Stoneham Zoo Lights
Sharing best practices and promoting inclusive opportunities for students with special needs    
Interim Executive Director's

To the LABBB Community:
During the past summer, we were very optimistic about the coming school year and the “return to normal” that the COVID-19 vaccines promised to bring to our lives. Unfortunately, for many reasons, our reality did not meet our expectations and we were left to open school dealing with masks, positive COVID cases, staffing issues, and many other issues throughout our LABBB community. The discrepancy between what we had expected and what we were experiencing was very difficult for many of us to accept.
However, everyone in the LABBB community has risen to the occasion and created amazing in-person experiences for our students. As 2021 quickly draws to a close, I want to thank all of our teachers, specialists, educational assistants, administrators, and support staff for their amazing work during the initial months of the 2021-2022 school year. In addition, I am appreciative of the level of support that these professionals receive every day from families as they strive to meet the needs of all of our students.
I am hopeful that 2022 will be a year of continued progress in dealing with the pandemic and that we will be able to do even more for our students and their families. To that end, we are committed to the LABBB Parent Meetings, which are held in conjunction with our student dances (January 20th, March 10th, April 28th, and May 19th). In addition, please “save the date” for our Transition Fair, which will be held on Thursday, April 28th from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum in Lexington, and which is designed to bring families information about the transition to adulthood, along with the challenges to be encountered along the way. LABBB is here to support all of our stakeholders - students, employees, families, and alumni - as we navigate this new world together.
Happy Holidays!
Bill Lupini

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

December 16 - Cancelled, please see email sent out to parents.
January 20
February 3
March 10
April 28
May 19

We hope that our parents will be able to attend!

Worker Spotlight: Jake, Lexington High School LABBB
By: Amanda O’Leary & Tim Callahan, Transition Department
Jake is a student in Mrs. Langone’s classroom, room 825, at Lexington High School. This classroom is a transition skills based classroom, where the focus for students is on increasing skills across all domains of learning so that they will be as independent as possible when they cross into adulthood upon leaving LABBB.
Jake has been a student at LABBB for many years but started in room 825 this year. His move up into room 825 went remarkably well and he quickly made friendships and is at ease with staff. Before the COVID 19 pandemic, Jake would sometimes have difficulty showing consistent expected behavior. He was participating in some community work experiences including helping maintenance staff at Grace Chapel. The staff at Grace enjoyed having Jake on their team but sometimes his unexpected behavior at school made it difficult for him to attend work in the community. But upon returning to school last year during the pandemic, while in his previous classroom, a different Jake emerged. Jake was more mature, consistently showing expected behaviors and worker traits. He joined a group of students who were charged with assembling all the breakfasts and lunches for the entire Lexington district for pick up. The staff in the Lexington High cafe were eager to have him and often gave him independent jobs, such as breaking boxes and other recycling jobs or making deliveries. Jake was also the late Peter Ciampa’s “right hand man.” He spent much of his time with Peter, helping to deliver supplies throughout LABBB, refill LABBB’s newly acquired portable sinks, set up LABBB’s outdoor areas, and fix items that needed fixing!
Jake’s family has also reported that he is quite the entrepreneur at home, often helping those in the complex in which he lives. He will take out the trash, rake leaves, and shovel snow. He takes great pride in this role, as does his family.
Jake joined room 825 in the summer of 2021 and he continued to make great progress. His classroom hosted a weekly car wash over the summer and Jake put his all into making it a huge success, not afraid to get wet and always making sure that the cars were shiny and clean before driving out of the parking lot. Jake also continued his work with Peter Ciampa throughout the summer. With the passing of Peter at the beginning of this school year, Jake’s schedule changed slightly. He now is volunteering one day at Cradles to Crayons and one day at Good Pickin’ Farm. Jake also advocated to volunteer at Grace Chapel again. Over the past couple of months, Grace Chapel welcomed LABBB back as a community partner and Jake has been able to start volunteering one morning per week, independently, with one of Grace’s maintenance workers. To say that LABBB staff and his family is proud of Jake’s achievements would be an understatement. More importantly, Jake has truly embraced the progress he has made and is proud to share that progress with staff, often saying that he is a hard worker, “just like Mr. Ciampa. I know that Mr. Ciampa would be proud of me.” 
Clinical Corner: Stress and the Holidays
By: Beth Armstrong, Adjustment Counselor

The holidays can be a joyous and relaxing time of year for families with lots of excitement and lots to look forward to. However; as most are aware, holidays can also bring challenges and can be a very stressful time not only for us but for our children. The increased pressure to meet familial expectations, the family events that may not go as well as we would like, as well as the increase of activities for parents and children can be a lot! 

In an effort to support your children, here are several strategies that can be helpful. Make sure to check in with your children to talk about how they are feeling during this time - this might include setting aside some quiet time to be with your children or engaging in a special activity or perhaps creating a calming ritual around the holiday you celebrate. Encourage your children to engage in self-care as well as being an example of this by remembering to engage in it yourself. This might help everyone manage their stress more effectively! Manage expectations. The pressure to find or give the perfect gift can be overwhelming. Reminding your children (and yourself) that the best one can do is enough can go a long way. Finally, setting aside some time to give back. Giving back to others is a great way to not only build empathy for those who might have less but can also create a sense of gratitude for what one does have. Happy Holidays! 

Mindful Minute written by the LABBB Mind/Body Team

The LABBB Mind/Body Team is committed to upholding the LABBB core value of Mind/Body Management and the belief
in a culture that supports the practice of mind/body exercise for staff and students.


“Meditation is not about what is happening, it is about relating to what is happening.”
-Sharon Saltzberg


If you want to know how to be mindful during a difficult moment, try this one minute meditation:

Work Stress Meditation (from HeadSpace):


Mindfulness improves the density of the hippocampus which is responsible for working memory and long term memory. It also improves cognitive function such as problem solving, language comprehension and reasoning. 

From 2018 Mass General Hospital Brain Imagery and Behavior Publication

Arlington Best Buddies is Back!
By: Erika Lyons

The Arlington Best Buddies program is up and running! We have a great group of best buddies and associate buddies this year. Due to the pandemic, we refrained from having any in-person best buddies’ events last year. While we made the most of those events, everyone was very excited this year to connect in person! At our Halloween event in October and most recently the Thanksgiving event in November, it was amazing to see everyone having a great time. These events allow for students to converse over snacks, get creative doing crafts and dance while listening to music. The AHS buddies are eager to start coming into our LABBB classrooms to spend time with their buddies and we should have a schedule up and running for this soon. Here are just a few snapshots of our Thanksgiving event. We are all looking forward to an exciting year for our AHS Best Buddies Program! 
LABBB Butler Dance Party
By: Laura Stewart

Butler School PTA hosted a Dance Party to celebrate a Successful fundraising “Fun Run” raising over $25,000.00. The run was around the school and all of LABBB students ran their fastest to help attain that goal.
The dance took place in the school gym with disco lights and disk jockey. Each grade enjoyed a half hour of line dancing and pop music. As you can see by our photos, no one sat out the fun.

LABBB Adapted Physical Education, Recreation and Social Opportunities

November brought the LABBB dances back inside after 20 months. Students and staff were great about keeping masks on and everyone enjoyed being together again. While the December dance had us back on Zoom, we hope to be able to get back to having the LABBB dances inside at the Lexington Community Center.

Fall bowling and Wednesday recreation are finishing up and will start again in the spring. Students were walking up to 3 miles or slightly more by the end of Walking Club. They increased their endurance, speed and distance. The Glee Club’s songs rang out from the room they occupied and caught people’s attention as they passed by.

Outside trips included Paradise Family Mini Golf and Stone Zoo Lights. In addition to the lights, we were able to see animals pacing in their cages, waiting to be fed and entertaining the crowd.

Spring sign up forms will arrive via snail mail the end of January/beginning of February. Please keep an eye out and watch for return deadlines.

Save the dates:

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from @LABBBREC

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.

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|