LABBB Bedford Unified Basketball Group
Sharing best practices and promoting inclusive opportunities for students with special needs    
Interim Executive Director's

To the LABBB Community:

Serving as Interim Executive Director at LABBB for the 2021-22 school year has already proven to be a wonderful personal and professional experience. I have been particularly impressed with the support from our member district Superintendents, Special Education Directors, and Principals of schools where our programs are located. In addition, the staff at the LABBB central administration offices are amazing people, with a real commitment to the students and families who we serve. Finally, I am inspired by the work of our educators (teachers, specialists, and teaching assistants) who, despite the ever changing nature of the pandemic and its impact on their personal and professional lives, continue to find ways to provide all of our students with quality educational and social-emotional experiences every day. In a world that, unfortunately, has become less appreciative of the challenges that we all face as human beings, the entire LABBB team has demonstrated why this Collaborative has such a great reputation throughout the Commonwealth. I am grateful to have this one year experience to work with all of these incredible educators.
Executive Director Search
The LABBB Executive Director position has been posted and we are actively engaged in recruiting candidates. The position flyer is available here. We will be accepting applications until December 14, 2021.
In addition, we recently announced the Executive Director Screening Committee, which will conduct initial interviews with candidates and make finalist recommendations to the LABBB Board of Directors. The following individuals will serve on this committee:
  • Joe Adams, LABBB Business Manager
  • Melissa Allen, LABBB Coordinator
  • Skip Avery, LABBB Coordinator
  • Emily Bachmann, Parent Representative
  • Michelle Collins, LABBB Teacher (Elementary)
  • Tom DiPaulo, LABBB Teaching Assistant
  • Erika Lyons, LABBB Teacher (High School)
  • HamdAllah Modupe Olona, Parent Representative
  • Karen Myers, Community Representative
  • Rayne Pratt, LABBB Department Head
  • Erin Salipante, LABBB Teaching Assistant
  • Marianne Vines, Director of Student Services (Bedford)
Thanks to everyone who volunteered to be part of this important part of the search process.
LABBB Program Space
LABBB has been an integral part of planning for the new Arlington High School (opening in August 2025) and Belmont Junior Senior High School (opening in August 2023) facilities. We are currently consulting with school and district leadership in both Districts regarding the upcoming furniture, specialized equipment, and technology expenditures for the dedicated LABBB spaces being created in both of these amazing school projects! My thanks to Elizabeth Homan, Arlington Superintendent, and John Phelan, Belmont Superintendent, along with their leadership teams, for their commitment to LABBB’s programs and students. Their efforts to ensure dedicated LABBB space in school buildings should be applauded and never taken for granted!

Please do not hesitate to contact me directly at with questions or comments on these (or any other) topics.


Bill Lupini

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

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

We hope that our parents will be able to attend!

Omar’s Second Grand Opening
By: Donna Goodell

If you’ve been a part of the LABBB community for a while, you may recall that January 15th of 2018 was a legendary day for LABBB graduate, Omar Masood, and his parents. This was the first day of the next chapter of Omar's life. It was the day that Omar’s dream came true as his new store, Omar's World of Comics and Hobbies, opened in Lexington Center. It was a joyous day for Omar, his family, and the LABBB Community as the Masood family generously included LABBB as part of the vision of the store.
Since the original opening, Omar’s store has employed students from LABBB and provided wonderful internship opportunities where LABBB high school students can learn and hone employment skills. LABBB students recently expressed what they like most about their internship at Omar’s. In completing the thought, “I love working at Omar’s because …,” David stated, “Omar’s has showed me a different part of myself I never saw.” Emily commented, “I have fun. I like making bags of candy.” Finally, Tristen reported, “I like pricing and visiting the Cobbler next store at 16 Waltham Street!”
After almost two years in business, Omar’s Comics and Hobbies outgrew their first location and began plans to move to a larger place. The grand opening of their new location, just a couple doors down the block at 20 Waltham Street in Lexington, was held on October 30, 2021. The event was packed with community partners and supporters including Select Board Member, Joe Pato, and State Representative, Michelle Ciccolo. Representative Ciccolo presented Omar with an official citation from the State House expressing congratulations and best wishes for continued success and acknowledging how the family and business has brought a community together in support of people with disabilities.
The Masood’s vision is not only to build this store for Omar but to benefit the larger community as they continue to partner with the town of Lexington and the LABBB Collaborative. In addition to Omar’s Comics, the new location boasts a beautiful state of the art gaming center called Pixel Paradise, run by Omar’s sister, Laila and her fiancé, Neil, which offers virtual reality and video gaming as well as tabletop games. The next phase of the new building is also underway as the Masood’s plan a third section of the business, Omar’s Bistro, which will support the LABBB Community with employment and internship opportunities.
LABBB is grateful to Omar and the Masood family for including us as part of their growing community. We are excited to be embarking on this journey as it continues to flourish and expand, serving Lexington, the LABBB Community and people with disabilities.
Parent Night - November 18, 2021

We are pleased to welcome Leo Rotman and Meredith Green to our Parent Night on November 18th. They will be sharing their expertise, wisdom, and insight on special needs planning.

Leo has been working in the financial services field since 2001. He received a B.S. in economics and finance from Bentley University and later became a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER. He focuses on working with families to give them peace of mind about their future and in particular enjoys working with folks who have a special needs loved one. He lives in Sudbury, MA with his two boys, Jakob and Noah.

He’s spoken at LABBB’s events before and brings wonderful knowledge and perspective regarding special needs planning. If you’ve already heard him speak, I’d still encourage you to come out as it’s often true that you pick up on something different each time.

Leo will be joined by Meredith Green who is a Partner at Day Pitney, LLP. She advises individuals and families on estate planning, particularly special needs planning, guardianship, conservatorship, adult services advocacy, and government benefits advocacy. Meredith represents clients in all aspects of estate and generational wealth planning, probate matters and estate administration.

She develops first-party and third-party supplemental needs trusts, irrevocable trusts, marital deduction trusts, wills, health care proxies, HIPAA release authorizations, durable powers of attorney and appointments of advocate. She also performs trust reviews and serves as a professional trustee on special needs trusts.

Meredith represents families in guardianship and conservatorship proceedings. In addition, she advocates for clients with the Department of Developmental Services and disability service providers and represents clients in Social Security Administration appeals. Meredith has been appointed and has served as guardian ad litem in probate court matters.

Meredith was trained as a parent advocate, representing children and families in the area of special education, through the Federation of Children with Special Needs. She is a member of multiple organizations on behalf of individuals with special needs. Meredith speaks often covering diverse topics, including special needs planning, guardianship and alternatives/supported decision making, and government benefits for individuals with special needs.

We are excited to have Leo and Meredith join us on November 18 from 7:00 – 8:15 at the Lexington Community Center, 39 Marrett Road in Lexington. We hope you will join us regardless of the age of your child. Each time you hear great speakers like Leo and Meredith, you will walk away having learned something new.
Hoop There it Is!
By: Meaghan Henneberry

Hoop season is back on the court. Sounds of nets swishing, fresh sneakers squeaking and bright orange basketballs bouncing furiously up and down the gymnasiums of Bedford and Lexington High School. The season of Unified Basketball has begun. Unified basketball is a team composed of mainstream high school students and LABBB students who compete against other Unified basketball teams in the Middlesex region.

As for Bedford Unified Basketball, there have been three games so far, resulting in two wins and one loss against Watertown. Bedford’s second victory was on Oct 26th in which Bedford Head coach Bill Brincklow took on his brother, Tommy Brincklow, Head coach of Lexington Unified Basketball. It was the “Battle of the Brinklows”.  Two high shooting three pointers by Alex, along with points racked in by Bedford’s: Rachel, Mason, Tommy, Evan, Faizan and Brigitte led Bedford to a 56-50 victory. It was a tremendous team effort with their Best buddies and the Bedford High school students that accounted for many assists and hard defense played. Overall, Lexington and Bedford displayed a significant amount of team sportsmanship during the game and after. Each school showing gratitude and respect to the opposing team.

To catch a glimpse of more action shots from the Bedford vs Lexington Unified Basketball game, visit this link:
Clinical Corner: The Positive Benefits of Previewing
By: Nolan Duchi
Getting a “head’s up” going into situations that are less familiar for us can help us to feel better prepared for those moments. For students that are living with anxiety, autism, or learning difficulties, it can be challenging to support novel situations in the moment. They may very much want to succeed in the novel situation, but may be preoccupied with other thoughts that may increase their feelings of worry about being able to do so. Previewing can be a helpful manner of supporting individuals through anxietizing moments, so that they do feel a sense of accomplishment after attempts of working through the challenge.
As we are all individuals, these novel situations vary from person to person from certain academics, to social situations, or trips to the doctor’s office. Knowing the individual and what makes them experience these emotions is the first step to understanding how to support them with previewing information. For example, if the individual is nervous about going to gym class because they do not understand what is expected of them during that class, it can be helpful to preview with the student a few facets of that class. The first could be identifying what the class will look like, the second might be focusing on who the staff are in the class to go to if there is an issue, and third identifying how long the class will last. Additionally, providing visual supports can be beneficial in helping the child to better understand this information. Setting up a daily schedule of the class at home on the refrigerator or reviewing it during a morning meeting at the start of each school day are ways to support students in preparing for the day. Social stories can be useful tools for individuals living with autism to help them better understand social expectations (Grenier & Yeaton, 2011). Paired with social stories, role playing and live demonstrations (depending on the event happening) can also help reinforce a deeper understanding of the situation, aiding the individual with autism to feel better about approaching the challenge with confidence.
Since previewing offers structure and helps to support the routines of life at school and at home, previewing changes to those routines is also good practice. Communication is a key part of ensuring that previewing brings the best possible result, so staying in touch with those involved in the student’s daily functions about upcoming changes is important. 
Community Experiences at Bedford High School
By: Alicia Dessanti

This fall, Bedford LABBB students have been developing their transition readiness and vocational skills while making a significant impact on the Bedford community and community at large. 

In the local Bedford community, students have been interning at Whole Foods Bedford, assembling food bags for charity, facing and fronting products, and assembling pizza boxes. They have also been interning at CVS Bedford, helping to keep the store appealing to customers by facing, fronting, returning, and restocking products. 

Other Bedford High students have been traveling to Somerville to assemble boxes of food for those with food insecurity at the organization Food for Free. Still others have been traveling to Woburn to assist with mailings and office work at El Hogar Ministries, an organization that supports students at a school in Honduras. 

Lastly, other students have been cleaning and organizing Grace Chapel in Lexington, cleaning glasses to donate to those in need, and sorting clothing for Cradles to Crayons. 

It is exciting to see each student develop their unique skills, maturity, and independence through these community based learning experiences.
Drums Alive
By: Tom Brincklow

Lori Doherty's class has been participating in a workout called Drums Alive at the Lexington Community Center this fall.

Drums Alive is a high energy workout that incorporates full body movements that can be adapted or modified to fit the needs of participants. This class combines drumming, music and movements for a fun workout that everyone can enjoy! 

In addition to Drums Alive the students also participate in chair yoga, a variety of stretching and working out with exercise balls. The students in Mrs Doherty's room are doing a great job listening and participating in all activities at the community center each week. 
By: Jessica McAlduff

At the Butler Elementary School, our students participated in Vocabulary Day where each student dressed up as a vocabulary word of their choice. Vocabulary words included: Pointy, Bones, Buzz, Devour, & Soar. They marched with their inclusion classrooms around the school and had a blast! When their march was complete, they enjoyed watching the other classrooms march in the parade and seeing all of the other vocabulary words and costumes. 

Vocabulary Day is based off the book Miss Alaineus: A Vocabulary Disaster Written by: Debra Frasier

LABBB Adapted Physical Education, Recreation and Social Opportunities

October was a busy month for the LABBB Recreation Department.

  • The weekly activities are going strong. The Tuesday and Thursday bowling has been steady. Wednesday walking only had one day of rain, and the glee club learned a new song. 

  • Our apple/pumpkin picking trips seemed like old times. Everyone enjoyed being together in the beautiful fall weather followed by a nice dinner out. 

  • Paradise Family Golf is an outdoor mini golf course that stays open all year long. LABBB’s trip was a great success, so we will be back! 

  • We may have to hold the LABBB Halloween dance outdoors every year. Halloween blowups were all around the dance floor and no one complained about being hot or cold. It was a perfect night for all our villains, goblins and ghouls out for a haunt. 

  • The Lexington and Bedford Best Buddies Chapters held their match parties. New friendships were made and old friendships renewed. Buddies even got to be together at the Halloween dance.

The annual LABBB Best Buddy Craft Fair took a hiatus last year due to Covid. This year, we thought outside the box and moved the date to October, so that we could hold it safely outdoors. The Lexington High School Parking lot was sprinkled with tents from over thirty local crafters. Aside from the wind, we lucked out with a beautiful day. It was great to see families socializing, shopping and enjoying lunch from a catering truck. It was a very successful day enjoyed by all, as there was something for everyone. Stay tuned for information on next year’s date & location. 

We look forward to more trips and dances in the upcoming months. We hope you enjoy the pictures above of some of the activities.

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|