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The Professional's Corner

TLC's Katherine Thomas School


February 2012
In This Issue
Summer Programs!
SAALT Trainings
Psychiatric Intern
Poetry Out Loud

Registration is open for TLC's Summer Programs!
TLC's Summer Programs

Programs for children ages 3-13 and grades 9-12, who have special needs in the areas of speech, language, perceptual motor, sensory processing, academic development, and/or skill maintenance.



Please join us for a presentation and tour of our K - 12 Programs at 9:30 a.m., or for a presentation and tour of our Prechool Program at 1:30 p.m.

March 6, 2012
April 10, 2012
May 1, 2012
June 5, 2012

Space is limited. Please RSVP.

Marjorie Theard
Admissions Director

301.738.9691, ext. 177


Golf Logo  

Monday June 4, 2012
at Bretton Woods in Germantown, MD

11 a.m. 

CLICK HERE for details.

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A Note from Rhona,

Highly acclaimed author Lloyd Alexander once stated, "The journey is the treasure."  The journeys taken by KTS students would certainly overflow a pirates chest!  Just this past week, the entrepreneurship and business management, restaurant management, and Spanish classes enjoyed a taste of South America as local importers of Peruvian chocolates gave a bilingual presentation about Peru,  the chocolate business, and fair trade.  Several days later, high school students visited a local Carribean chocolatier to learn about how the business was created out of love for an ingredient and the steps taken to control the quality of the product.   In this newsletter, you will have the opportunity to read about other journeys taken by our students and staff that not only enhance their skills, but help them to embrace a greater understanding of themselves and their connection to the world community.  I hope that you will enjoy catching up on news about our jewel, The Katherine Thomas School.


Rhona Schwartz
High School Director  
SAALT Training at KTS
Kathy Dow-Burger, KTS Speech-Language Pathologist, and Susan Barnett, KTS Occupational Therapist


This year the Katherine Thomas School's (elementary, lower and high school) theme is "Put a Little SAALT on it:  To Enhance Learning and Preserve Skills." SAALT stands for "Strategies, Accommodations, Advocacy, and Learning Techniques.  SAALT can be likened to the Old World's highly valued trade item, "salt", that enhanced the flavor of food and preserved it. 

For KTHS/KTS students, learning and retaining skills is often difficult.  KTHS/KTS' SAALT initiative is an effort toward integrating different therapeutic and teaching- based strategies into a framework in which the students are encouraged to explicitly identify, express and use them, learning to better advocate for themselves. SAALT is grounded in a strong foundation of collaboration and training for all staff, from one-to-one staff to administrators.  Selected trainings have been designed and implemented around strategies and accommodations throughout this year.

As of February, staff has learned about using technologies (both low and high tech) and adaptive tools, worked on identifying sensory needs and implementing sensory accommodations, and reducing language barriers and modifying language and content. They are designing and using graphic organizers, working with students with executive functioning difficulties and working collaboratively. So, come see the KTS movers and shakers, "put a little SAALT on it as they enhance their learning and preserve their skills."


KTS Welcomes Psychiatric Intern


We are proud to welcome Dr. Melana Banks, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Resident, to The Katherine Thomas School. Dr. Banks has joined KTS as the result of a partnership with MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and Adventist Behavioral Health.  The Child and Adolescent Residency Training Program utilizes the resources of both organizations to ensure a comprehensive educational program.  In their second year of training, residents have a rich school consultation experience which includes a rotation at KTS.

The program has twin goals of providing excellent education and training in the field and enhancing and expanding the delivery of child and adolescent services to the children and families in the Greater Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area. This type of training experience teaches child and adolescent psychiatrists how to meet the educational and social/emotional needs of their patients which is critical.

Dr. Banks says, "KTS offers a rich training environment because residents have the opportunity to observe children with varying degrees of learning disabilities in a therapeutic classroom environment. The experience and knowledge that I have gained through classroom observation and regular consultations with the educational staff at the Katherine Thomas School have been invaluable and has better prepared me for my work as a child psychiatrist."



KTS Students Particpate in Poetry Out Loud
Laura Wilson, Special Education Teacher
Katherine Thomas High School students once again participated in the Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Competition (POL). This national competition, challenges young people to memorize and recite a diverse range of poetry from great poets past and present. Once more KTHS juniors and seniors met the challenge.

As part of a poetry unit in the fall, students chose, studied and practiced reciting a variety of works including those from The Poetry Out Loud Anthology compiled by The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. Before the students competed, Linda Joy Burke, MSAC Coordinator for Poetry Out Loud, did a special poetry workshop for KTHS students, coaching them in the art of recitation. Students competed within their classes, then the class finalists competed before an audience of peers, parents and staff. Students shared fantastic performances with accuracy and great expression.  Based on requirements set down by the POL competition, three students were selected for their exceptional recitations by a panel of school staff. Brandi Severance, Russell Glymph, and Karla Calderon were given the opportunity to compete at the county level. 

On January 18, Brandi and Russell, representing KTHS,  joined students from three Montgomery County high schools at the Writers Center in Bethesda for an inspiring evening. Brandi recited "Bilingual/Bilingue" by Rhina Espaillat and "Love Lives Beyond the Tomb," by John Clare. Russell's choices included, "Song" by Edmund Waller and "A Red, Red Rose," by Robert Burns. Both students were able to capture the feelings behind the words, bringing them to life.  Brandi and Russell proved to be fine representatives of KTHS, once again demonstrating the determination and courage of young people that makes life's poetry.

Thank you for your support of our school. We welcome your feedback! 


Rhona Schwartz, Director, KTS High School Program

Cathy Burgess, Director, KTS Lower/Middle School Program