Chenery Room 112
Participating in Earth Day
Sharing best practices and promoting inclusive opportunities for students with special needs    
Interim Executive Director's

To the LABBB Community:
Some thoughts on what is a very busy time of the year here at LABBB . . .
Pam Girouard, LABBB’s incoming Executive Director (as of July 1, 2022) and I have begun the transition process over the past few weeks. Pam has been an active participant in our leadership team meetings, in meetings with central office staff, and is working to create a schedule that will allow her to begin meeting with staff, students and families before the end of the school year. She is making great efforts to learn more about LABBB and the structure of collaboratives, all while finishing up her responsibilities as Administrator of Special Education in Winchester!
Our LABBB Special Olympics will be held on Monday, May 16, 2022 at Lexington High School. We are very excited that our students will have this opportunity to compete for the first time since 2019! Opening Ceremonies are expected to begin at 9:00 a.m. Please plan to join us for this terrific event and to honor a special guest (don’t tell anyone, it’s a secret)!
LABBB graduation ceremonies are scheduled for Monday, June 13, 2022 (middle school) and Thursday, June 9, 2022 (high school). Again, we are very excited that these events will be in-person as we assemble to honor our 2022 graduates!
Hoping that you and your families are enjoying the transition to Spring!

Bill Lupini

Parent meetings for 2021-2022 will take place from 7:00 to 8:15 p.m. on the following dates:
May 19 - Forever Parent Presentation

We hope that our parents will be able to attend!

Dressed for Success
Alicia Dessanti, Transition Department

Students in the transition classroom at LABBB Bedford High School have been learning about dressing professionally. Students had an opportunity to put this learning into practice on a trip to Old Navy in Burlington. Students had fun trying on professional clothing. Considerations regarding clothing fit and style were discussed. Many students
made professional clothing purchases. Students learned about how they can plan ahead for a shopping trip by looking at a store’s website. They also worked on functional living skills by managing their belongings in the store, budgeting, and making purchases. We are excited to see students sport their new clothing in their volunteer, internship, and work experiences!
LABBB's Annual Transition Fair
By Donna Goodell

LABBB was excited to be back in-person for our Annual Transition Fair this year with over 70 parents and family members attending! Our theme this year was recreation and socialization. These are aspects of transition that may not always make it to the top of the planning list, but are important parts of anyone's adult life. We had an amazing parent panel open the night around this important topic. The parents represented both current parents and parents of LABBB alumni. They had great recreation resources to share as well as some great advice to offer to our parents and family members of LABBB students who have not yet reached that transition point. We extend a sincere thank you to our parent panel for coming out to share their wisdom. Please see the LABBB Recreation article below for more details offered by our parent panel.

In addition to this opening event, we had several people come and present workshops on other equally important topics. Dafna Krouk-Gordon presented on Housing Options, Michael Weiner presented on "Planning A Life", Karen Mariscal presented on Guardianship, and Michelle Algeri presented on DDS Programs and Services. LABBB extends sincere gratitude to these presenters who have been partners with LABBB for many years. You can click on the links to see copies of the presentations. Not all of them could be uploaded to our newsletter due to technology limitations, but not to worry, you will have additional opportunities to learn about these topics!

It is LABBB's goal to share information with you on topics that are important to the LABBB Community. We do this through our monthly parent information nights and our Annual Transition Fair. If you have topics of interest that you would like us to cover, please let us know. You can email me directly at
Wellington is Showing Appreciation for Moms
By Jenn Malenchini
With the holiday just around the corner, the students at Wellington are getting prepared for Mother’s Day. They talked about Mother’s day in the classrooms and how we can show our moms that we care about them. In order to tell their mom’s just how much they appreciate them for all they do, the students spent time making cards to share with their moms. Each student made a card or picture for their mom while practicing important academic, fine motor and communication skills including: writing, making choices for words and materials to use in their cards, cutting materials, using stickers, gluing, and more. We wish all of our hard-working moms a very happy Mother’s Day!
Mindful Minute written by the LABBB Mind/Body Team


The time to relax is when you don't have time for it.” 

~Attributed to both Jim Goodwin and Sydney J. Harris


There are proven benefits of Progressive Muscle Relaxation.

PMR helps you distinguish between the subjective experience of a tensed muscle versus a relaxed one.

Over time, you can learn what it feels like and cue this state to lower tension and stress levels when you start to feel anxious.

The technique offers relief for many health conditions including lack of sleep, anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, digestive disturbances, and the side effects of cancer treatment.

Be well,
The Mind/Body Team

Trip the Bedford Farms and an Unexpected Glitch!
 By: Classroom 825/Christina Langone

Last month some of the students in Class 825 took a field trip to Bedford Center to visit our friends at LABBB Bedford. Our monthly theme was “Social Planning” so we decided to use our skills to do something fun. We reached out to Mr. Brincklow’s class to arrange the plan. We initiated by sending an email and followed up with a text. We were excited to hear back! Together with Mr. Brincklow’s class, we picked a date, time and place to meet. Then we got our plan underway. We talked in class about being flexible in case Mr. Brincklow’s class was unavailable, how we would prepare for the weather and how we would solve issues that might come up. Little did we know, we would have to put our problem solving skills into action.

We looked up the menu on the Bedford Farms website and budgeted our money. The ice cream at Bedford Farms was delicious and we were lucky to go on a sunny day. On the way back we learned a life lesson when the bus was late picking us up. We were very patient when we waited and tracked the bus on the MBTA app. We learned that sometimes issues come up and life is about how you handle issues and not about trying to prevent them. We talked about how it was just an unexpected glitch. Even though we were a little late coming back, we still had a great time!
Resources to Prepare for Medical Visits at Boston Children’s Hospital
By: Caitlin McDonough (SLP)
For many of us, visits to any doctor’s office or hospital can provoke feelings of uncertainty and or even fear; whether it be navigating an unfamiliar environment with new people, comprehending medical information, or concerns we have about what will happen to our body during the visit. We take steps to prepare ourselves- mark the date and time in the calendar, look up directions and where to park, call the doctor with a question, or turn to Google as a medical guide (for better or worse!). All these steps are taken to get ready for what’s to come, and that preparation is key to help us navigate and cope throughout the experience.

Medical visits can be particularly challenging for many of our students because they are unable to adequately prepare themselves when these feelings arise. Providing additional support or an alternative way of presenting the information can help in many ways.
Boston Children’s Hospital has taken steps to create resources that help make information accessible when preparing for a medical visit. Here are a few of their resources, including brief descriptions and direct links to access directly or through their website to learn more:
My Hospital Story: Pre-made social stories that provide a step by step visual narrative to help prepare children for their visit or procedure. The stories include simple, reassuring descriptions and photos of different places you may visit in the hospital, what the rooms look like, who you might meet, and what might happen. The website includes a resource library of social stories for various locations (main Boston campus and satellite locations), as well as types of visits (e.g., surgery, neurology, vitals at primary care). Their mobile app allows you to customize the social story to include the names of the individual and their caregiver(s).
Virtual Tour (available for main Boston campus): Provides a visual tour of the hospital that can be accessed digitally anywhere, at any time. This can help with transitions as you are able to prepare with a real view of what the hospital experience looks like before you arrive. The website includes helpful tips and information about features within the tour.
LABBB at Chenery Middle School
By: Liz Steele

The students in room 112 learned about Earth Day and why we celebrate it. “A green future is a prosperous future” was their take away from the theme around Earth Day. Reduce, reuse and recycle.
“Can we clean up the playground,” asked a student, smiling after a discussion on how we can make an impact. “ We can make a difference by doing small things and being responsible.”
So, together as a class, a plan was discussed for our half day on May 5th.
Not only did we honor Mother's Day by making gifts and writing poems, students decided to help Mother Earth by collecting trash on school property.
So, after the gifts were created, the students headed outside with gloves and a trash bag for a meaningful experience.
"So being outside and learning how to take care of the earth shows us how we can be better humans and change the world one piece of trash at a time," another student said admiring the hard work they had done collaborating with the other students.

UMass Lowell students will serve as Unified Partners for this program. Registration is on a first come, first served basis. Athletes can register here.

LABBB Adapted Physical Education, Recreation and Social Opportunities

We had a very informative Transition Fair in April. This Fair had a big focus on Recreation for post 22. The biggest point that came across was that while there are many opportunities for post 22 recreational programs, very few, if any, offer transportation. This makes participation difficult for many families.  
The last couple of years have been difficult on recreation programs in general and everyone has had to shift to try to meet the needs of as many people as possible. Procedures have changed, staff have left this type of work, facilities have closed, and transportation protocols have had to change and adapt due to COVID 19. Typically, one of the many benefits of LABBB is that we have been able to provide transportation to students from their respective schools to recreation activities. With COVID, this year that had to change temporarily. We've had to follow certain protocols which means more vans have been required for daily academic transportation as well as transporting students to and from their homes. This has had an impact on vans being available for after school activities. It has not been easy for anyone involved. We hope that in the fall, everything will go back to LABBB having transportation for all our after school activities.  
Some suggestions offered during the parent panel at the Transition Fair to think about now, before your student turns 22:
  • Have your student use Uber or Lyft. You may take some comfort knowing that a LABBB staff member will help your student navigate this new adventure.
  • Carpool with other families.
  • Look at other programs and try to have your student participate in these in addition to LABBB activities. This may make it easier for them to participate in other non-LABBB activities once they turn 22.
  • Look to connect with other families so that 2 or 3 sets of families can do a recreational activity each month and rotate the supervising parents.   

Think outside the box. Use some LABBB ideas, and start implementing now, when your student still has the luxury of having LABBB recreation right in the same programs they attend.  

Save the Date for upcoming events:

May 16: Special Olympics all day at Lexington High Track
May 19: LABBB May dance in person at Lexington Community Center and Parent Night Presentation of "Forever Parent" with Patric Barbieri
June 2: LABBB Alumni Dance via zoom 6:30 – 7:30PM
June 9: LABBB Graduation, Scottish Rite Masonic Museum

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.

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|