• 27 Mar 2019 12:15 PM | Anonymous

    On Wednesday, March 13th, students and their families participated in a Family Baking Night, learning how to make fruit tarts and enjoying their delicious creations. It was a great success and a lot of fun! Stay tuned for future Family fun events!


  • 25 Feb 2019 12:20 PM | Anonymous

    Founder and CEO of Magellan Jets, Joshua Hebert, is an LPS alumnus who attended LPS in the early 1990's. Joshua came to speak to this year's graduating class earlier this week to speak about successful career advice, making a good first impression, work ethic and pursuing their dreams!

  • 09 Feb 2019 12:22 PM | Anonymous

    The Transition department hosted another successful Financial Literacy Fair for the LPS juniors and seniors on Friday, February 8. Students learned from experts from PwC, Village Bank and Berkshire Hathaway Home Services of Boston how to budget for saving, investing, housing, nutrition, clothing, credit and lending, taxes, insurance, education, transportation and luxury items.

  • 06 Feb 2019 1:11 PM | Anonymous

    On February 6th, students of Chapter 766 schools were invited to the Massachusetts State House to speak about their experiences to state lawmakers with the goal of cultivating support for Chapter 766 schools. Reprensening LPS, was Jake O'Neil, Class of 2019 who did an amazing job sharing his perspective and wowing state representatives with his professionalism. You can watch Jake's 5 minute speech here. Great job, Jake!

  • 01 Feb 2019 8:24 AM | Anonymous

    On Thursday, January 31, Learning Prep School hosted a very well attended event to support Partners In Education (PIE). Food Service Director, Lindsay and her team prepared a wonderful meatball dinner and desserts for everyone, followed by a fun night of bingo called by High School Principal, Jennifer Thorell.

    Students and parents presented their winning bingo cards and they were able to select gift cards for i-tunes, Starbucks or Five Below. We concluded the evening with our LPS Gift Basket Raffle. For the night we raised over $300 thanks to the abundance of family members in attendance that will directly support PIE. The aim of PIE is to promote and enhance the character, culture, and values of the educational program offered at LPS, and to forge a unified, vibrant, caring community of support for Learning Prep School.

    Thank you to everyone who attended or helped out at this event and we hope to see you at the next LPS Family Night!

  • 28 Jan 2019 8:26 AM | Anonymous

    On the week of January 21st, the Elementary and Middle School GSA sponsored “No Name Calling Week”! No Name-Calling Week is a week organized by K-12 educators and students to end name-calling and bullying in schools. Students celebrated the week by taking the “No Name Calling” pledge in Health and Student Issues classes. They also discussed empathy, kindness, and being an “up-stander” in both Health and Performing Arts classes. Daily "Kindness Challenges" for students to participate in, as well. No Name Calling Week was a great success and students enjoyed the week dedicated to promoting a safe school environment for all!

  • 23 Jan 2019 9:28 AM | Anonymous

    The LPS Winter Alumni Event was a huge success! Over 40 alumni gathered at David & Buster's in Woburn, MA to reconnect with former classmates and friends while enjoying an afternoon of gaming, food, and fun! Make sure you attend the next LPS Alumni Event, stay tuned for details.

  • 09 Jan 2019 12:58 PM | Anonymous

    We are excited to announce that Molly Perlmutter, a High School junior, had her artwork published in the annual holiday edition of the Boston Herald newspaper! Her drawing of an albatross was both colorful and very unique.

    LPS had over 25 students enter some amazing artwork in this contest. Thanks to all who participated, and congratulations to Molly!

  • 04 Dec 2018 12:54 PM | Anonymous

    Choose "Little Peoples School" on AmazonSmile to benefit LPS!!

    With the holiday season upon us we wanted to share some information about AmazonSmile - a website operated by Amazon that has the same products as their regular website. When you purchase on AmazonSmile, .5% of your purchase goes to your favorite non-profit. That may not seem like much, but it can add up when an entire community like Learning Prep School takes advantage of the offer. All you need to do is save AmazonSmile in your menu bar and add your non-profit of choice.

  • 09 Nov 2018 1:45 PM | Anonymous

    A few weeks ago, Heather Carey was driving her son home from a soccer game. He was frustrated. His teammate never passed the ball.

    “Why not talk to him about it?” Carey asked.

    “I can’t. I don’t want him to think that I’m bullying him,” he replied.

    She was shocked.

    “I said, ‘That’s not bullying — bullying is when you have control and power over someone and purposefully demean and put them down,’ ” she recalls.

    He wasn’t convinced.

    Bullying has become an appropriately high-profile issue: It is devastating and corrosive. Massachusetts now requires public schools to maintain an anti-bullying and intervention plan, the result of a 2010 law in the wake of two suicides by students who were reportedly bullied. defines the behavior as “unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time.”

    This justifiably heightened awareness about bullying has an ambiguous edge, though: Not every childhood hurt fits the definition. Carey understood the difference and was able to explain it to her son. But it’s easy for children — and in turn, well-meaning parents — to become needlessly alarmed, educators say.

    Not invited to a birthday party? Ignored by a best pal at recess? Sometimes it’s a normal, age-old bump in the road. And it’s essential to understand the difference, says Michael Thompson, supervising psychologist at the Belmont Hill School and the author of books including “Best Friends, Worst Enemies: Understanding the Social Lives of Children.”

    “Anti-bullying programs have made schools much safer. I totally approve of them,” says Thompson. “But parents defining every little hurtful act or every act of social cruelty as bullying devalues the word and confuses children.”

    It can also strip children of their innate resilience, he says.

    Recently, Thompson encountered a mother of a 6-year-old who was upset because her daughter’s feelings were hurt. Another child had called her an idiot on the playground. Thompson gently explained that while nobody likes to be called an idiot, it’s not bullying.

    Thompson also recalls another parent of two fifth-grade twin boys.

    ‘Parents defining every little hurtful act or every act of social cruelty as bullying devalues the word and confuses children.’

    “Her sons would come home from school and tell her all the mean things kids had done to each other and to them. So she would pay attention, go into the school, and tell the children what they’d done wrong. She was destroying her sons’ social life, because her presumption was that her boys can’t defend themselves,” he says.

    He stopped another father from writing a legal brief to a school after his fourth-grade daughter complained about a fickle friendship with another girl. Dad considered it bullying; in reality, it was the natural course of on-again, off-again fourth-grade relationships.

    Seth Kleinman, a social worker for the Danvers public schools, says that as bullying has come into focus, today’s parents are more aware and able to support their children in positive ways.

    But in other circumstances, “The pendulum has swung a little far. When you’re hyperaware, you develop worry about bullying happening, when in fact it’s just a conflict or there may not be bullying at all. I see both,” he says.

    Where does this compulsion to intervene come from? Thompson says the issue is that parents don’t want to feel helpless, and at the same time, human beings are hardwired to report more bad news than good. Your child might be more prone to complain about the kid who didn’t sit with them at lunch and gloss over the one who passed the ball at recess.

    In recent years, schools have implemented social-emotional learning programs to impart coping skills. These programs aren’t merely a response to bullying; they also address a heightened climate of anxiety and scholastic pressure. But such programs also aim to differentiate between bullying and ordinary childhood tussles, helping children to discern when to solve a problem independently and when to confide in a trusted adult.

    These programs help children “recognize and manage their emotions and solve everyday problems,” says Jim Vetter, executive director of the Social-Emotional Learning Alliance for Massachusetts.

    Social-emotional learning generally comprises five core competencies: self-awareness, which is recognizing one’s own emotions; self-management, which is the ability to regulate emotions; social awareness, encompassing perspective and empathy; relationship skills, which incorporate listening and cooperation; and responsible decision-making, which is making constructive, ethical choices.

    In practice, this means that today’s kids are more attuned to a child getting left out during a game and will problem-solve together to include him. Meanwhile, an excluded child who feels his chest tighten and his heart race might count backward from 10 and identify a friend to start a new game rather than having a meltdown, Vetter says.

    Respected programs include the Pear Institute: Partnerships in Education and Resilience at McLean Hospital and the Training and Access Project (TAP) at Boston Children’s Hospital. More than 300 schools nationwide use the Open Circle learning program, based at the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College. Right now, the curriculum is tailored to kindergarten through fifth grade, but this year, due to demand, they’re working on expanding it to middle school.

    Classroom teachers implement the curriculum during twice-weekly meetings; kindergartners are taught calm breathing techniques; second-graders do the “wave,” just like at a baseball game, to visualize what cooperation looks like; fourth-graders write down examples of negative self-talk on strips of paper and turn them into positive statements instead.

    It works. Research, notably a 2011 landmark study in Child Development, found that communities that use high-quality social and emotional learning programs and practices experience decreased aggression, fewer reports of student depression, anxiety, stress, and social withdrawal.

    Lately, the onus has been put on schools to teach these behaviors — behaviors that, in prior generations, may have been left to evolve on the playground, for better or worse. In a modern environment of structured extracurricular activities, some of that rough-and-tumble has evaporated.

    “Some natural opportunities have been lost along with the organic nature of play,” says Meagan Burke, a social worker at Arlington’s Dallin Elementary School, which has implemented a proactive social-emotional learning program. Dallin maintains a set of community expectations based on “courage, respect, and responsibility” throughout the school; at recess, students are asked to find ways to include others; at morning arrival, they’re reminded to say hello to other students with a smile.

    This structure may seem foreign to today’s parents — children of the 1980s and 1990s, when childhood angst was fodder for John Hughes movies. But the role of schools has changed since then.

    “We find ourselves in a position where we’re asked to field conflict here. Schools have become a place where people seek refuge, resources, and respite, where we haven’t been in the past,” says Dallin principal Thad Dingman.

    And as schools seek to impart these skills for students, they also find themselves soothing parents. Jenny Loop, an Arlington social worker who teaches social-emotional learning, fielded several e-mails from concerned parents after implementing one such curriculum last year.

    “I sat there saying, ‘This is a victory. Kids are hearing the information I’m teaching, making the connection, and reporting it at home. But now the parent has to do work: Is [behavior] one-sided? Is it over and over again? It’s something that I wasn’t prepared for. ‘Bullying’ is a very strong word. There’s a lot of emotion associated with it. So let’s take a deep breath: ‘I’m happy to meet with you, I don’t want to minimize it, but let’s look at these questions and dive in. Is it a conflict, is someone being unkind, or it is actual bullying?’ ”

    Today’s parents — some of whom might still nurse their own childhood scars (I’m raising my hand here) — are deeply attuned to their own children’s problems, Thompson says. This is natural. But if we jump in preemptively to solve them, we could also strip our children of crucial developmental milestones.

    “It seems wrong not to be in touch with every one of a child’s hurts, and it’s admirable. It’s really admirable and misguided. Because if you know about every one of your child’s hurts, you will want to go to war on behalf of your child — and what most normal children do is stop telling their parents about them,” Thompson says. “Treat your own sense of helplessness, and focus on your child’s resilience.”

    Kara Baskin can be reached at

Learning Prep School | 1507 Washington Street | West Newton, MA 02465  | (617) 965-0764

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