Assistive Technology is "any device, piece of equipment, or product system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of a student with a complex learning profile." Assistive Technology can be “low tech”, such as a reading strip with colored overlay for visual tracking, or it can be “high tech”, including laptops and online programs.
Pretty soon after the Near Year, parents everywhere are starting to think, “Okay, what is my child going to do this summer?”. For roughly a third of LPS students, they will attend our three week Summer Program which is held every July. And for the 2nd year, we are thrilled to open up the program to the public!
At the start of the 2022-2023 school year, LPS sent three staff members to the Boston Headquarters for a three-day intensive Social Thinking® Clinical Training Program. Alyssa Carle, Katrina Keenan and Meredith Sullivan all have experience implementing Social Thinking® concepts in their therapy areas, and this training allowed them to learn about the latest developments in the Social Thinking® Methodology and prepare them to share this new knowledge with LPS staff and students.
In September, we reintroduced our Mindful Minute (MM) strategies to all our classrooms after it had been put on hold due to COVID. A Mindful Minute Area is a place in each classroom where students can take a few minutes (2-5 minutes) to assist them with being ready learners in the classroom without the need to leave the teaching space. Each teaching space has: a motivational stress ball, a glitter bottle, and a MM area packet. The MM packet is divided into 3 areas: breathing exercises, movement exercises and positive thoughts. All of our students were introduced to and taught the MM strategies in their health classes in early September.
This year the DEIJ committee has been working on a few different initiatives.
First, we are working to more actively celebrate heritage, history, and pride months at Learning Prep. This first began with work towards celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, and we are now celebrating Native American Heritage Month. Our hallways are now decorated with flags, famous faces, and maps to inspire curiosity and conversation. We are incorporating educational materials that prioritize authentic voices and sources telling their own stories and histories.
In many public schools in Massachusetts, there is a system in place to ensure that all students make progress in their academic, organizational, and social emotional programs. This system involves different tiers of support, which could mean different programming, differentiated instruction in the classroom, supplemental instruction, or, ultimately, very small group tailored support. This tiered system, or Multi-Tiered System of Supports, came out of Response to Intervention models, follows Universal Design for Learning principles, and was implemented in 2015 and updated in 2018 in Massachusetts.
At LPS, we believe that elective classes can enrich the lives of our students, helping them find their interests and passions, build self-esteem, and develop real-world problem-solving skills. In addition to some traditional elective classes like Art, Physical Education, and Computers/Technology, we also offer three unique elective opportunities for students: Horticulture*, Food Service*, and Childcare*.
After School Programs have been proven to support social, emotional, cognitive, and academic development. This is especially true for the program at Learning Prep School. We offer programs that encourage students to continue to develop their physical abilities, cognition and creativity while also having fun. The confidence gained through these programs can be seen in and outside of the school environment. Teachers and parents at LPS see the growth in their students. All of this happens while the students are having fun! The After School Program can be a wonderful addition to help foster your child's academic progress and social growth. Learning Prep School was thrilled to bring back our After School Program at the start of the 2021-22 school year after its hiatus due to Covid.
We are thrilled to announce a new partnership with MassBay Community College that provides qualifying Seniors the opportunity to earn college credit while attending LPS. This opportunity provides so many advantages to our high school seniors including Transfer credits, Exploration, and Building confidence. Students enrolled in college courses have the chance to see that they can do it and take the "scariness" out of going to college. More information will be coming out soon including how students can qualify and how to apply. With dual-enrollment now an option for students at Learning Prep, we know this opportunity will be a wonderful supplement to their educational experience.