The LABBB Collaborative
  October 2015
The Annual LABBB Reunion Dance attracts 150 LABBB Graduates
In This Issue
Message from the Executive Director
Patric Barbieri

Let me Introduce you to Newton

In the past five years, collaboratives and districts have had a significant number of mandates that have needed to be implemented in a short amount of time. This includes: RETELL, new evaluation system, District Determined Measures (DDM's), and now the new physical restraint policy, procedures and reporting requirement. We believe each mandate has an important impact on student learning, but getting up to speed on all these mandates has been challenging.
With the new physical restraint regulations, we needed to find a way to build a system to ensure we are in compliance. This system would need to provide a way for all of our programs to record the needed data to run reports to comply with the mandate for weekly and monthly review of data on the use of physical restraint, and to compile data to send an annual report to DESE. All collaboratives and districts will be required to do this starting on January 1, 2016.
Instead of waiting to see what everyone was going to do, LABBB decided to get ahead of the game. We knew this would have a big impact on our programs and staff, considering we are located in 17 different buildings. This mandate was rolled out very quickly and there was not a program in existence that we could purchase to record this data.
For all you Red Sox fans out there, I am sure you have heard of Carmine. Carmine is a computer program that the Red Sox use to evaluate and pick players. It is a data machine that runs the numbers and statistics of prospective players. The Red Sox organization places a heavy emphasis on this data, and they decided to call the computer program Carmine.
Considering the new physical restraint mandate was approaching quickly, we decided to use the talents of our computer technician and programmer, Kerson Belizaire.  He is a very talented programmer, and has built many programs and apps for LABBB that have been very helpful to our staff. In response to this new mandate, Kerson built a new app for recording data on the use of physical restraint, which we decided to call Newton.
Newton will be able to record and produce reports on all incidents in LABBB in compliance with the DESE forms and procedures. Newton will also be compatible with the DESE server so we can transmit data directly to their system. We are also using the highest level of security for all data, similar to banks and other IEP on-line programs.
Our purpose in creating Newton was to try and find a way to make this process as easy as possible for our staff, so they can focus more time on teaching. This is a very important project, and we will be using this data not only for DESE reporting, but also for our own knowledge of student and program progress.
Interestingly, a few districts have heard about Newton, and they have asked for a demonstration of this software. They have been impressed and will also be trialing Newton in their district.
We want to be a collaborative that is an innovative leader, and we believe that technology can be an important part of this evolution. Taking more data in all our learning environments has been an initiative over the past two years, and Newton is going to help us in one very important component of it. 

I want to thank Donna Goodell and Kerson for all their hard work on building this program. Kerson was the programmer and Donna was the designer.  


Show Me the Community! 150 Graduates attend the LABBB Reunion Dance
by Patric Barbieri
On Friday, September 25, approximately 150 LABBB graduates attended our Annual Reunion Dance. Graduates as far back as 1986 were there catching up with their old friends from LABBB.  

The LABBB community connections are alive and kicking many years after a student graduates. This reunion dance is just once example of why we believe in "community."

I have been at LABBB for 26 years and many of the students that graduated were in my class when I was a teacher. I continue to see and talk with parents I attended IEP meetings with, and I really look forward to talking with them and hearing how they are doing. 

This is a wonderful evening for all the graduates. They certainly dress up for the occasion and come looking their best. It is great to see everyone in formal dress, enjoying a nice meal, dancing, and most of all connecting.

"Owl" Bet This Will Be The Best Year Yet!
By: Sarah Bennett

We are off to a great start to the year here in Room 112! 
For the month of September, our theme in Room 112 was "Falling into Learning." We did many great activities related to that theme, as well as many others that incorporated our MCAS alt goals.
We just recently finished a unit on solids, liquids, and gases in Science. The students had a great time learning about the three states of matter, and then identifying different objects and categorizing them into one of the three groups. They also did a matching game where they had to match pictures of different solids, liquids, and gases.
Another fun activity we did this month was an "All About Me" poster. The students each chose different picture symbols that described them. For example, they chose their favorite color, how old they are, or how many brothers and sister they have. They then made a creative poster with all these descriptors, and the other students in the class had to guess whose poster was whose. The posters flipped up to reveal who was who!
We also continue to have a cooking Group which has been a great opportunity for the students in Room 112 to work on increasing their independent communication skills through a variety of augmentative communication devices. Cooking also illustrates how teachers and specialists can collaborate in the classroom to promote group learning. It doesn't hurt that there is a delicious end product every week!
The students have thoroughly enjoyed school so far this year and are ready to zoom into October!

Arlington High School / Ottoson Middle School Fall 2015
By: Donna Vanderlinden
Arlington LABBB has hit the ground running for 2015.   All classes are up and going strong.  We have had a great start welcoming many new adventures, as well as a new leadership team...Steve Goodwin & Skip Avery.  We are so happy to have them on board with their vibe of positive energy!   They have literally already rolled their sleeves up and jumped right in!

New staff.....Chris Nicastro....Randy Parker....Robin Abbott....Julie Stoupakis...are very welcome additions to our already hard working dedicated staff!
We also had some long time staff move to new positions....Jeff Caritey & Frank Rallo....A big thanks to both of them for all their hard work with the students and all the support and contributions they offered to the LABBB Arlington team!

Students have been doing a great job getting back into the swing of things.   Academics, communication, job sites, transition class, yoga and mindfulness are some of the activities that AHS students are participating in and enjoying!
We are looking forward to a great year and wish you all the same!

Adapted Physical Education Yoga Classes
By: The APE Staff
A new community center has been built in Lexington and LABBB is fortunate to be partnering with them. We will use space at the community center during the day for APE classes, in the evening for LABBB dances, and to offer other after school recreational activities. This space is amazing and has all of the bells and whistles you can imagine. 

Lexington Community Center is also the new site for the LABBB Adaptive Physical Education yoga classes. We have three LABBB classrooms that attend Yoga classes at the community Center: Allen/Goguen, Cronin/Dickson and Bedford High. Each class participates in Yoga classes one time a week.  

The APE staff would like to thank Melissa Allen, Lauren Buckman and Alicyn 
Dawley for their participation and help in getting this class organized and structured. Our students are really enjoying it.  

September 2015: LABBB Transition at Belmont High is "On the Move"
By: Michele Hirth & Scott Procko

We are off to a great start at the Transition Program at Belmont High, with a few new staff members and students filling the classroom. With support from the amazing counseling staff and specialists, this leg of our journey toward increased independence is on public transportation! Students are loading their Charlie and TAP Cards at the Alewife machines, learning key vocabulary, reading bus schedules, creating travel itineraries, and calculating round-trip fares. These efforts are rewarded with successful bus trips to Harvard Square and lunch in nearby towns accessible by the commuter line. All good practice for their "next step" after LABBB! 
Local Community
By: Kathleen Farley
As we begin the school year, we reflect on how much we access
the local community to deliver our curriculum. Our class is a transition class that offers a personalized curriculum that emphasizes real-world learning within the community. Our community contains a host of opportunities and supports built-in that gives students all the tools they need to learn and grow. We access our local community to do travel training, work on budgeting skills, develop social skills and so many other activities throughout the school week. As with many lessons, we wanted to offer a warm up activity. Our team decided that a wall map of Lexington would be an excellent tool for our students to access in the classroom. This became more of a task than we had anticipated. We searched everywhere for a map that our students could access. It brought up a lot of discussion with local vendors, but, with the onset of technology, no one had one. To our rescue, the Lexington Engineering Department made us a map.
As we move on into the school year, this is a fantastic part of our classroom that will be used in so many ways. As an intentional dimension of the curriculum, community based learning helps students acquire, practice, and apply subject matter knowledge and skills.    

Clinical Corner:  What Exactly are the Zones of Regulation?
By: Lisa Gurdin
Many of our students have difficulty processing environmental events, integrating their sensory experiences, understanding their emotions, and managing their own attention and behaviors. As a result, it is very challenging for these students to function appropriately and consistently across all school settings. They often become overwhelmed and behave in unexpected ways that interfere with their learning. In order to help these students better integrate their emotional, attentional, and sensory experiences and learn strategies to better control their impulses, LABBB clinicians, specialists and educational staff teach students how to utilize the "Zones of Regulation."  
The "Zones" are visual descriptions of states of being and are categorized by color:
  • Blue - Low level of alertness - tired, sad, sick, bored
  • Green - Ideal state of alertness - happy, in control, focused
  • Yellow - Heightened state of alertness - stressed, frustrated, anxious, silly, afraid
  • Red - Extremely heightened state of alertness - anger, rage, out of control, terror, grief

Through individual counseling, groups, and staff instruction, many of our students learn how to identify when they are in these zones and what to do to return to the optimal "green zone." The Zones are presented visually as many of our students are visual learners. There are also many activities that clinicians present  to assist students to learn and use the zones to empower them to more effectively  manage their own behaviors.
For example, at John Glenn Middle School and Bedford High School, students recently completed classroom posters and did skits about each of the Zones.  During the skits, students identified which zone they were in and which coping strategy they should use. LABBB teaching staff routinely uses "zones" language with all their students, making it fun and playful with reminders to "stay in the green!" throughout the day.  

For more information on how to use the Zones of Regulation with your child at home, please contact your child's teacher. There are also many online resources, including

Recreation News and Events
By: Paula Rizzo, Integration and Recreation Coordinator

Welcome LABBB families:

The LABBB Recreation Department is up and running.  We have had monthly movies, mini golf, around town dining, Saturday destination trip, Saturday golf, and PLAYBILL all out on their first trips for the school year.  We have a good number of students doing something at least once a week and once a month with LABBB.  Most are doing multiple activities. 
The Recreation Department has the usual weekly activities happening. Bowling is up and running at the Woburn Bowladrome with 36 students attending on Tuesdays and 25 students on Thursdays.
Wednesday Recreation is going strong. We have a total of 40 students pretty well divided up between the three choices:  Walking, Soccer, and Arts and Crafts.  All seem to be having a good time.
We have a new photo class that we started on Mondays that is running for 10 weeks.  We have 10 students signed up for that activity, and they are learning not only about taking pictures, but cameras and their history. This is collaboration with SNAP (Special Needs Arts Program).
Robotics class is back and will be having two sessions this month.  Look for more information to come out.
The LABBB Reunion Dance was held September 25.  We had 185 people attend this highly anticipated event.  Our oldest graduates were from the LABBB class of 1986, Keith Bayles and Brian Fruscione. 
Our big Halloween Dance coming up October 30th is at a new facility that LABBB is very excited to be using.  The brand new Lexington Community Center on Marrett Rd. in Lexington.  It is a state of the art facility and we are privileged at LABBB to be able to use if for during school and after school activities.  All LABBB dances this year will be held at the Lexington Community Center.
Best Buddies and PALs Chapters in all of our LABBB High Schools, Chenery Middle School, and John Glenn Middle School are up and running. By mid October, all the Buddy matches will be made and events will be occurring. 

If you have new ideas to offer, please email them to [email protected]. We are always looking for new ideas and opportunities our students will enjoy!
Parent Resources and Events
School Cancellation: All LABBB programs follow the school cancellations in their respective towns.


Communication and Contacts Links
About Us
LABBB Collaborative Central Office
36 Middlesex Turnpike
Bedford, Massachusetts 01730
(339) 222-5615