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The Professional's Corner

TLC's Katherine Thomas School


March 2014
In This Issue
STRIDE Program
Crime Scene Investigation



Link to Summer Programs webpage.



TLC's Summer Programs - FUN learning for preschool - grade 12.
FUN learning for  
preschool - grade 12.




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 18, April 8
Space is limited. Please RSVP.

For more information.   

Marjorie Theard
Admissions Director

301.738.9691, ext. 177 

Professional Luncheon 
at TLC

April 30, 2014


Link to flyer with information.


RSVP to Bonnie Lawhorn

301.424.5200 x138







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Burgess  A Note from Cathy

We all have our own traditions as we ring in a New Year. A few  years ago, when I was still in Maine, my family and friends noticed that our stamina for late night festivities had dwindled, so we decided to begin a new tradition.  We bring in the New Year with an early morning breakfast celebration called "First Light" and watch the dawning of a new day and a new year together, enjoying the glorious colors and peace that encompass a magnificent sunrise.   As the light grows brighter, with gratitude and hope we silently ask that our wishes  and dreams for the New Year are met. 


I love this tradition, and it reminds me daily that each day that begins anew here at school, is a chance for us all to start fresh, and to find a new ways to excite, support, and challenge  our students.  Each day, as I walk through the halls and into the classrooms I see bright new beginnings everywhere.  Posters about the constitution, stories of tornadoes, projects on Africa, Power Points on laptops, experiments on condensation and math challenges galore  are only a few of the  new and exciting adventures that await our students. And the best part of it all...  seeing a  the faces of our students  light up with bright smiles as they accomplish each new endeavor.   Its like having a "First Light" day, every day.  Who could ask for more?


Happy New Year!



Lower and Middle School Director  

 High School Director

Use of Accommodations Training Program at KTS

Given the importance of strongly implemented accommodations for students with special needs, staff at KTS recently researched and presented "The Understanding and Use of Accommodation for Instruction and Assessment" at several conferences including the American Speech-Hearing- Language Association Conference. KTS performed a study examining the efficacy of an in-service training program aimed at increasing awareness and use of accommodation needs and approaches within the classroom. The study involved all staff including teachers, teacher's assistants, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, physical therapists and social workers. The more familiar staff become with classroom and testing accommodations the more successfully they can be implemented.

Thirty-nine KTS staff were individually administered an accommodations-focused survey at three different intervals during the school year: beginning, middle and end. To start the group was split into two randomly selected groups, balanced by grade level and profession. A baseline survey was implemented prior to the start of the program. The survey focused on six accommodations outlined in the MSDE Maryland Accommodations Manual. After the first round of surveys, the lowest rated three categories were identified for areas of additional training: language, sensory and technology. Group 1 was given intervention training for the language, sensory, and technology instruction. Group 2 was given a alternative training which was not related to accommodations interventions, but was relevant to supporting student's needs before the survey was again administered. The groups were given a rotation of additional training and useful, but non-relevant trainings throughout the school year.

All staff received both trainings by the end of the year and the final survey results showed a significant increase in understanding and use of the accommodations. This study demonstrates that the in-service training program was effective. The training procedures used in this program represent a low-cost, systematic vehicle for teaching important concepts required of teachers and other professionals working with children who have special needs in an educational setting.

KTS STRIDE Program Update   

by Courtney Ples, Special Education Teacher

Have you heard that the KTS lower school has started a new program? The KTS STRIDE program (Student Transitional Readiness through Intensive Developmental Education) is designed to meet the needs of students in kindergarten through grade 5 who exhibit significant challenges in the areas of engagement, attention, regulation, group process, and social interaction that require more intensive support to succeed both academically and socially.  The STRIDE program has an interdisciplinary team consisting of a teacher, teacher assistant, speech-language pathologist, occupational therapist, and a social worker.


We currently have three wonderful students who fill our days with lots of exciting adventures and sensory learning experiences.  Our students thoroughly enjoy participating in Art, Music, and P.E., where they get to explore and express themselves in a more therapeutic and individualized manner.   We have built in sensory and work rooms within our classroom.  We feel lucky to be a part of this new program and look forward to its continued growth and student success.  If you have any questions about our program feel free to contact me at cmurphy@ttlc.org anytime! 
KTHS Government Classes Crime Scene Simulation

by Mary Goodin, Special Education Teacher

As students in Katherine Thomas High School's government classes began their unit on the Judicial Branch of government, 
developing an understanding of how courts work seemed theoretical.  To bring the court system to life, we created a simulation involving an investigation of a "theft" of a birdcage from the high school art room. 

Students started the project by planning their investigation and then began to carry out many of the tasks. They interviewed witnesses and made follow-up plans.  Students conducted a thorough search of a teacher's office, and analyzed various forms of physical evidence.  As students carried out their investigation, they gained a better understanding of The Bill of Rights related to rights of the accused. When students selected a suspect, they needed to decide if there was enough evidence to present to a grand jury, to make an arrest. The students were very enthusiastic and demonstrated excellent team work on this project.

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


Rhona Schwartz, Director, KTS High School 

Cathy Burgess, Director, KTS Lower/Middle School