LABBB Collaborative 
January 2014

In This Issue
Message from the Executive Director
by: Patric Barbieri, LABBB Executive Director

Dear LABBB Community:


We want to inform all parents who are part of the LABBB community about our newly formed LABBB Parent Advisory Council (PAC). For many years LABBB has facilitated parent groups in the evenings on important topics for their child with special needs. This year the PAC was formalized and we are excited to see parents from our pre-school through High School programs attending the meetings. I want to thank the parents who have been attending for all of your participation in making this happen. This will be a benefit for all of the LABBB community!


I want to thank Theresa LeBlanc for all her work in facilitating the parent groups in the past. She has done a tremendous amount of work to bring in speakers to these events to help guide all our parents. Theresa will continue to be involved and will have the support of many parents who have offered to be co-chairs and hold other positions in the PAC.  


As this group continues to organize, we will be creating a link on our webpage with all the information about the group and the respective parent roles.  


We want the PAC to be active in working with LABBB to continue to build communication and quality programming for our students.  


You can click here to view the PAC meetings for the rest of the 2013-2014 school year. This page will be updated so please check it before you attend the meeting for the correct location. 

Please follow LABBB Collaborative users and hashtags:


LABBB John Glenn Middle School News

by: Katrina Wright, Teacher, JGMS, Bedford  

At JGMS-LABBB we recently took a special community trip to the Burlington Mall. We ate lunch in the food court and we looked for items on sale.

We are also learning multiple step word problems in math to help us get ready for MCAS! We are trying to remember all the steps to PEMDAS! 
In Social Studies, we are finishing up our unit on World War II.  We decided to read a readers theater about Anne Frank. We learned that Anne got a red and white book for her birthday and she decided to use it as a diary.  We learned so much about her life.




LABBB Upcoming Events

  • Recreation Activities: For more information please click here: LABBB Recreation. 

    • The LABBB Recreation Dept. has a new after school program that will start in January. It is a 6 week program for our 18-21 year old students.  LABBB Afterschool Recreation Transition Pilot Program. Look in the mail for more details to come in December.  

    • January 31 - LABBB Team B BasketBall Game,7 pm Cotting School, Lexington  

    • February 7: LABBB Bloggers Day! Visit and comment on the LABBB Community of Blogs!  

    • February 13 - LABBB Dance, Burlington High School
    • February 13 - LABBB PAC Meeting: 6:30 - 7:15 to be followed by a presentation by: Leo Sarkissian -Executive Director of ARC of Massachusetts: "Building a Good Life for Your Child with Special Needs." 7:15pm, Burlington High School, School Committee Room
    • March 22 EdcampAccess, Burlington, Marshall Simonds Middle School 
    • April 30 - Special Olympics, Lexington High School

Adapted Physical Education and Recreation News


by: Paula Rizzo


Through all this snow and cold we had starting the New Year off, we have still been able to run the A.P.E. classes. We have had a pool or two close on us due to the cold effecting pump systems, but we have still found creative ways to have the students participate in a Phys. Ed. class.  We have had some cool gym spaces, but this is the Adapted Phys. Ed. Department, if we can't adapt to changes, who can? Students have been doing a lot of moving this winter. 


Our new Transition Recreation Program is up and running, and seeing it in action has made me realized what a wonderful opportunity this is to get the students involved in the planning aspect of our Recreation Department. All these years, our students have been depending on these programs to always be there for them. This new program will help shift the onus for the planning to the students, so they understand what needs to be done, and learn to do it themselves.


After our first meeting, I realized that the Transition Recreation group see themselves using our LABBB vans to take them places they want to go. Another learning opportunity for this group will be to use more local transportation and the "T" system for after school activities. Don't worry, we will still do trips that take us near & far, but when we can, we will look for alternate transportation, not our LABBB vans or a charter bus.


Look for Sign ups for Spring after school activities to come in the mail the end of Jan.


Always remember to follow @LABBBREC on Twitter


LABBB Best Buddies Chapter Updates

by Paula Rizzo, LABBB Recreation and integration Coordinator

I am really excited to see what is going on in all of our LABBB Best Buddy Chapters and I want to share it with all of you, so that we can all work together to make these events great for our LABBB students/buddies.


Below are some of the awesome things that each chapter is doing. 


Best Buddies Dances


The Best Buddies Winter Ball was held on January 15.  Each chapter reached out to Ben, President of the Bedford High School Chapter, to get food items and provide him any assistance he needed.  The night was a huge success and over 80 students attended this event.


The February LABBB Dance will be held at Burlington High School on Feb. 13, in the cafeteria. Adriana, President of Burlington High School Best Buddies Chapter, will be reaching out for assistance in planning this event.  


Spread the Word to End the Word 


March will bring the "Spread the Word to end the Word/Say No to the "R" Word" Campaigns. Arlington High has started planning their assembly which will take place on Friday, March 14 at 1:30PM.  Lexington High is also planning an assembly in March and a specific date will be announced shortly. All chapters will be selling shirts for this event so please buy one from your chapter representative.  


In the past we have ordered shirts to sell to help spread the message. The chapter Presidents will meet to decide on a logo and color for this year's shirts.


Special Olympics 2014 


We had the 1st meeting of the Special Olympics Management Team.  The date for the Special Olympics is Wednesday, April 30, 2014 and will be held at the Lexington Track and Field starting at 8:30am.  This is the 10th year we have been doing this event and each year it gets better with more people getting involved. We are fortunate to have a buddy for each athlete from one of our Best Buddies Chapters. Our High School programs from  Lexington, Arlington, Bedford, and Burlington, along with Chenery Middle School will all have buddies there to be with the athletes.  






 Belmont Chapter of Best Buddies  


By: Haley Brown, President Chenery Middle School Belmont Best Buddies 


In the Belmont chapter of Best Buddies, we have a meeting one Wednesday of every month where both the students with intellectual and developmental disabilities and the students without intellectual or developmental disabilities work together. During those meetings, we do seasonal arts and crafts that the students that have specific roles in the chapter (called officers) come up with or find. For example, one of our December activities was to make snowmen out of milk jars, and another was to have a game of "pin-the-carrot-on-the-snowman", a spin-off of the classic "pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey." We made the game safe by using tape instead of a pin.  


In our chapter, there are several roles given to a few of the Chenery Middle School students that participate in Best Buddies. Some being a photographer, a secretary, a president (I'm the president this year), and other various roles. These roles have extra meetings before the monthly Wednesday meetings to share ideas about what crafts and activities to do.  


This year, we decided to have a booth in a craft fair to raise money for our Best Buddies chapter. In the booth we sold bake goods (baked by students and parents), and jewelry (made by students and staff). The booth ran from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Best Buddies is an incredible organization that gives me a new perspective on life and I'm so grateful to be a part of such an amazing environment.



Holiday Charity Project in the Allen/Farley Lexington High LABBB Classroom


by:  Melissa Allen, Teacher, LABBB Lexington High School


In December 2013 in the Allen/Farley classroom at Lexington High School, we used what we learned in Social Studies class about wants and needs to actually help others in need. For our Holiday Charity Project called "i-Care about the Community," we thought about the people in our community that do not even have the basic items that they need for their families. With the money that we collected, we were then able to budget and create a list of items that we could buy to make bags full of these items for as many families as possible. We donated the many bags we made to local families living in a hotel in Bedford.  Watch our video by going to the Executive Director's blog at the website and scrolling down to the Melissa Allen/Kathy Farley classroom blog link to see the great work done by the students!





Extra Curricular is a Blast!


by: LABBB Wellington Elementary School, Belmont, Staff (classroom 127


It has been very busy in the LABBB Wellington 127 classroom. Our week is filled to the max with several extra curricular enrichment activities.


It all begins with swimming on Monday. The students practice their dressing skills and absolutely love swimming while they work on coordination, and fine and gross motor skills.


On Thursday's they have a very exciting Yoga group. The boys are becoming quite flexible and love saying Namaste!  When the group is finished they use a 2 step voice output device to let us know if they're relaxed and ready for work.

After lunch, we pack up and go bowling at the Woburn Bowladrome. The boys have made tremendous gains.  Carrying those bowling balls is surely hard work!


Finally, the end of our fun filled week, we head over to the Arlington High School O.T gym for a gross motor group, then back to the Wellington for our music group. The students love playing the guitar, parachute, and their all-time favorite is the extra-large Ocean Drum!


A special thank you to all the specialists for making these activities so much fun!The APE department Mike D, Eric and Jacqui for swimming and bowling, Sue (OT) and Janet (Speech) for our Yoga group and Joel (OT) for our gross motor group! We also offer a special thanks to Margaret and Cheryl (PT) for helping the students strengthen their muscles and increase their endurance!





EdCampAccess 2014 


In 2014, LABBB will again be partnering with Karen Janowski and her edcamp team for EdcampAccess!


Last year, EdcampAccess was a big success.  It was the first edcamp devoted to K -12 special education issues and ideas with a focus on reaching all struggling learners. The event started with a panel of students talking about how they use technology to help them in school and they demonstrated the specific tools and apps they are using. They explained how they struggled in school and what apps worked and what apps didn't work. They also displayed the school work they were struggling with in the past, and the work they are doing now with the help of assistive technology. Listening to the students talk about their experiences was a great start to the event.


For those of you who are not familiar with edcamps please see the information below:


What is an EdCamp? Watch the video below to get a better understanding: Edcamp 


EdCampAccess, in the tradition of EdCamps that have taken place around the world, is a "collaborative conference," where the conference attendees help to build and create the experience. As is the format for unconferences, we have not actually scheduled any sessions yet, and we're going to do so together as a group at the start of the day, based on brainstorming of sessions that attendees have indicated they are willing to facilitate or would like to attend to further their professional learning. It is not limited to special educators.


Where: Marshall Simonds Middle School, 114 Winn Street, Burlington MA. 01803   

When: 9 - 4, March 22, 2014   

Cost: FREE






LABBB Chenery Middle School News


by: Caroline Brown, Teacher, LABBB Chenery Middle School Belmont 


At this point in the year, it is safe to say that the new "switch" at Chenery Middle School is a success!  New this school year, the "switch" involves students from Ms. Brown's class going downstairs to Ms. Bartlett's class for science, and for Ms. Bartlett's students going upstairs for social studies.  The program was designed to give students more of a typical middle school experience.  The science/social studies block happens twice a week for forty-five minutes each session.


Over the summer, students were required to purchase color-specific folders to help with their executive functioning skills.  When Ms. Bartlett's students go up to Ms. Brown's room, they must go to class prepared and be responsible for their own belongings.  Each student brings their yellow social studies folder, while Ms. Brown's students bring their green science folder downstairs.  There are several expectations upon our students during these transitions; each student is responsible for his or her own materials, and they are expected to transition smoothly from one class to the other.


In recent social studies classes, students learned all about the winter holidays that are commonly celebrated.  Students compared and contrasted these holidays, and also identified various items that symbolize each.  Additionally, students shared some of their own holiday traditions.  More recently, students learned about Martin Luther King, Jr. and his contributions to American history.  Students learned about passive resistance, sit-ins, boycotts, and segregation.  Students compared and contrasted life then and life now, and all agreed that Martin Luther King, Jr. helped to facilitate positive changes in American society.


Recent science classes have entailed thorough research of the solar system.  Many of the students can now identify the planets by name and position in relation to the sun! Students have also received extensive education in the parts of a plant, and the seasonal changes that are made by plants. 


The students all look forward to changing classes.  It is a nice change of scenery for them, and they seem to enjoy the increased responsibility it requires.  For the staff, it is a nice way to interact with students from another class and learn more about their personalities and learning styles.   




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