LABBB Collaborative 
September 2013

In This Issue

by: Patric Barbieri, LABBB Executive Director

Dear LABBB Community:


This year LABBB Collaborative celebrates its 40th anniversary of providing high quality services to students with special needs in the least restrictive placement. Although LABBB offers many other services, LABBB's niche has been in developing programming for students with special needs from ages 3-22.  


In 1973, three parents had a vision to educate their children with special needs. Two parents were from Lexington and one parent was from Arlington and they they wanted to prepare their children to live independently and for life beyond school. They met with the late Ray Bohn, who was the Director of Special Education in Arlington, in one of the parent's living room to discuss programming for their children. They all agreed that they could benefit from this unique programming, but wondered how they would develop a program given that they were from different towns.   


This was a dilemma many parents were facing in districts. One district could not do it alone, and they did not have the expertise or large enough population of students to create a program. The outcome of this meeting with Ray Bohn was a collaboration between the parents and communities. Lexington purchased a house at 45 Forest Street, in which the students would be educated. George Bibler and his wife, Virginia, were hired to work with these three children in the house and teach them the skills they would need to live independently. This was the first regional effort between two towns to create a program in the LABBB districts.  


In 1974, Chapter 40, Section 4e was passed and this gave districts the opportunity to regionalize their services under a joint service agreement. LABBB formalized their agreement on April 11, 1974 and we became "LAB," (Lexington, Arlington, Burlington). In 1979, Bedford joined and then we had "LABB." Finally, in 1996 Belmont officially became a member and now we are known as, "LABBB". Back in 1974 we served about 25 students and started to grow; now 40 years later, we serve over 300 students with special needs from over 65 districts and all of our programs are in public schools.     


We are looking forward to another 40 years of growth and innovation; to continuous evolution of our services to meet the needs of our districts.  


LABBB will Zoom into 2014!       


Please follow LABBB Collaborative users and hashtags:

LABBB High School Transition Program, Belmont MA.

"...they wanted to find a way to teach their children how to live independently in a real life environment" (Barbieri).

Out of that desire, LABBB was born. Since the first day in 1974, LABBB educators have worked tirelessly to fulfill this shared goal. Over the past forty years we have broadened our understanding and expanded our program. This growth was to better assist in providing every student the opportunity to enrich their lives and live as independently as possible. Through our educators and the variety of programs that we provide, we have helped many students and families reach their goals. LABBB's growth will never cease as we strive to provide programs for every student. Therefore, LABBB is continuing to move forward and bridge the gap.

2013 - 2014 is the first year of the LABBB High School Transition Program.


We have been specifically designed for students between the ages of 18-22 who present with mild to moderate special needs. The program focuses on the development of transitional skills, connections with adult service agencies, employment, career development, and post-secondary exploration for individual adults to successfully participate in their community after leaving high school. Students who participate in the Transition Program will spend two days a week focusing on a blend of classroom-based curriculum and applying skills out in the community setting. In addition, students will work three days a week at LABBB supported work sites or OJT (on the job training) work placements.

The LABBB Transition Program has been built upon, and will continue to grow under, the IDEA regulations of Secondary Transition. In addition to these regulations, LABBB has always had a culture among the educators to strive far above the "coordinated set of activities" set forth by the IDEA (IDEA Regulations). The Transition Program is comprised of LABBB educators that bring decades of experience to the students. Prior to the formation of the Transition Program, the staff already had many years of experience assisting students with living independently in their community, gaining full time work and attending community college. This specific level of experience has created a seamless flow from the traditional classroom to the Transition Program. To achieve any level of independence, we understand that "the transition experience should be a time of exploration and testing of limits" in combination with and a strong collaboration between student, family and community (Korpi).

We look forward to working with all of LABBB's programs that may have a student that could benefit from the LABBB Transition Program - Moving Forward.


LABBB Transition Program 

To Visit our Blog: labbbtransitionprogram                            

Follow us on Twitter: @labbbtransition


Barbieri, Patric. "40 Years of Building LABBB." Email to [email protected]. 1 September 2013.

"IDEA Regulations. SECONDARY TRANSITION." Building the Legacy: IDEA 2004. U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs 02-01-2007. Website. 25 September 2013.

Korpi, Mary. " The Need for an Effective Transition Experience." Transition: Special Ed to Adult Services. Mary Korpi. 15 July 2009. 25 September 2013.


LABBB Upcoming Events

  • October 16: Belmont Special Education Advisory Council Meeting, for more information click here. BSEAC facebook 
  • October 23: High School Open House will be held at Lexington High School in the Dining Commons One
  • Recreation Activites: For more information please click here: LABBB Recreation.  
    • October 17: The Barnum and Bailey Circus 
    • October 24: LABBB Halloween / Best Buddies Dance 7-9 pm for High School students at the Lexington High Field House 
    • October 25: Pumpkin Picking
LABBB Connections: Reflections from our Interns

One of the benefits of housing our programs within the public schools is the relationships we build with the student body.  Currently LABBB staff person, Paula Rizzo, teach's a special education course at both Bedford and Lexington High School. These students become interns and work with our students in the classrooms.  We want to share with you a few of the reflections from these students.

By Alaina Greeny, Bedford High School Senior, and LABBB Intern 


Being a senior, there are many class options to choose from, but one that stood out to me was the option to be a LABBB Intern. Prior to signing up for the course, I did not know much about the LABBB program at our school, but based off of its description I knew it involved working with people around my age with special needs. I knew from my past experience of babysitting a ten-year-old boy with severe autism, that this was something I felt passionate about. I hoped by becoming an intern that I would be able to meet the amazing people who are apart of the LABBB program, as well as learn how to work with people with different disabilities. As an intern my job entails several different things. Some days I help the teachers file papers, where other days I help some of the children with their classroom activities. During breaks I get to talk to all of the kids and find out more about them, one of the girls already asked me if I wanted to be her friend. Never in my life had I met such welcoming people who are always eager to be your friend. Even though I have only been an intern for about a month, I already have gotten so much from what I have done. I always look forward to heading to class knowing I will meet knew people. Being an intern has also made me interested in becoming a part of the Best Buddies program, where I can be with the students for other activities outside of the classroom for things like game nights and dances. Being an intern has helped me find I passion I never knew I had before, and I can already tell that it's going to be one of the most rewarding things I have ever done.

By: Dana Shahar, Bedford High School LABBB Intern

Being an intern with BHS LABBB is an amazing experience. It is so
rewarding to be able to spend time with these incredible people. I have
learned a lot and I have been able to connect with many of them. I
remember how on the first day I came in, three or four of them came up and
introduced themselves to me before I even had a chance to approach them,
which instantly made me feel welcome and eager to begin. Working with the
LABBB students shows me how pure-hearted and kind they are. I also get to
see that each of them is trying to overcome their own battle, just like
each of us. Just because their struggles are different than ours doesn't
limit us from being able to connect. I find myself looking forward to the
block I get to spend with them each and every day, excited to be a part of
assisting them in learning brand news things, just as they help me to
learn brand new things as well. I can wholeheartedly say that being a BHS
LABBB Intern is one of the best experiences I have had at this school.

Alyssa Stroup, LABBB Bedford High Intern

Being an intern in the LABBB program is an amazing experience. I find this so great, because I get to see them progress and learn to fit in with society. The reason I wanted to intern was actually because I just thought it would be an interesting experience and it would be nice to help other kids. Now that I've actually started though, it's been so inspiring, because I get to see the people I work with learn new things to help them become successful adults and its
inspiring to see their positive attitudes despite their disabilities.

Indigo Fox Tree-McGrath, LABBB Bedford High Intern

This is my first year interning in LABBB. I'm a Junior here at BHS. I decided I wanted to intern last year when picking my classes because I have been involved in Best Buddies since about 6th grade and I really wanted to see what school life was like for a LABBB kid. Also this year I am the event coordinator officer for best buddies, so I wanted to have time to get to know all of the kids and for them to get to know me so I could be a effective communicator between them and their buddy if they needed me to be so. When I am interning I usually help the LABBB kids with their work or help one of the teachers with something like organizing. I also am there as a friend for them to talk to in between subjects. I really hope this year I will be able to bond with each student enough so they will feel comfortable with me around school as a friend and fellow schoolmate and or at best buddy events. I also hope they will look forward to seeing me around as much as I will look forward to seeing them.


Students are Learning How to Feel "Just Right" and Solve Problems in the Allen/Farley Classroom


In the LABBB Lexington High Allen/Farley class, students are talking about how their "engines are running" and are learning some strategies to get them running "just right" so that they are ready to learn.  With the guidance of our classroom physical therapists, Margaret Tessler, Carla Giordano, Cheryl Rodgers and Nancy Richard, as well as our occupational therapist, Betsy Kidder, students are being exposed to part of the "Alert Program", published by Therapy Works, in order to increase their self-regulation awareness.  A piece of this includes being able to identify if your engine is running too high, too low or just right.  Visuals of a race car and a turtle accompany the terminology in order to help students conceptualize the concept.  Our most concrete learners benefit from photos of themselves depicting how they look at each level.  Many afternoons after lunch, students participate in posture prep exercises to help them get on track for the second half of the day.  When you walk by our room you may sometimes see a student in the hallway using the stair stepper as a way to help release some extra energy, or at break time some students choose to do a five minute yoga video or relax in the rocking chair.  In addition, teachers with the help of classroom assistants, actively engage students by incorporating lessons using the interactive whiteboard which are often a class favorite.  Counseling staff also assist students when they need it to help them get back on track when they are having greater difficulty regulating themselves to feel "just right."


As always, with generalization of skills being the ultimate goal, our speech therapist, Jenn Malenchini, is also helping us integrate the idea into our Problem Solving class.  We are not only learning to identify types of problems, but how we feel when we are in the midst of a problem, and how our engine may be running at the time.  We hope to help students have some increased awareness of this when they are even having the smallest problem.  So the next time you feel really tired after lunch, ask yourself, "How can I help myself get ready to work?"







Hello Everyone, 


It is hard to believe that we are now in October with a whole month of programming already behind us! I just wanted to encourage all parents and guardians of students in our High School and Middle School programs to attend the LABBB Open House at Lexington High School. It is truly an informative evening, covering high school curriculum, programming and services, as well as some very creative presentations of our prized vocational sites. It is our annual opportunity to display the students' vocational learning environments to you, the parents and guardians. This year we will also have a table representing our newly restructured Parent Advisory Group. This will enable us to share the redefined direction the group will have moving forward! Please make it a point to visit the information table at you convenience.  We are looking forward to seeing all of you on Wednesday, October 23, from 6:30-8:00, in Dining Commons One. This has certainly evolved into another energized event on the LABBB calendar!





James Kelly

High School Program Director


LABBB Finds a New Home at Fox Hill Elementary School


Our elementary classrooms have settled nicely into their new home at Fox Hill Elementary School in Burlington. We have received such a warm welcome from all the staff at Fox Hill, from the principal and front office staff, to the teachers, custodians and lunch room staff. We want to extend a huge thank you to all our new colleagues at Fox Hill!!


Open house at Fox Hill was a huge success and it cemented our home there, as our teachers were announced during the principal's introductions in the opening ceremony. It was wonderful for the parents of our LABBB students to attend the presentations of the classrooms where their children participate in inclusion as well as the presentations in the LABBB classrooms.


It has been a great start to the new year, and we look forward to our continued collaboration with Fox Hill Elementary School!



  Donna Goodell, Program Director


Labbb Collaborative Central Offices | (339) 222-5615|
LABBB Contacts
281 Winter Street
Waltham, MA 02451

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