Weekly Update: May 6, 2022

Weekly Update

Baseball season is off to a great start!

Information From Cotting School

Yearbooks Now On Sale

The last day of school is just six weeks away, which means it’s school yearbook time! If you would like to purchase a 2021-2022 yearbook ($30), please complete this form and return it to Cotting (Attention: Carly Churchill). Payment by cash, check or Venmo (@cotting-school) is accepted. Please note that seniors (class of 2022) receive one yearbook free of charge.

Prom is Coming!

Information for families whose students are attending this year and an introduction to this Cotting tradition for all families.


Cotting’s prom is a formal, elegant evening for students in Upper School, Capstone and at HOPEhouse. The evening is filled with socializing, dancing and having fun while we are all dressed in formal attire.

This year’s theme is “A Night Under the Stars.” The prom committee will be transforming our dining room, along with a tent on the patio, into an elegant dance hall. Beverages (fruit and herb infused water, sparkling water and plain water) will be served throughout the evening. We will not be serving any food items. Each student will have a professional prom photo taken as they arrive (the digital proof will be sent to you the following week), and there will also be a fun photo booth with props for them to enjoy!

The prom will begin at 7pm. We kindly ask that parents drop students off with the faculty greeter and do not enter the prom. There will be a specified area available nearby if you would like to take a picture of your child before they go to the prom entrance area. Specific information about short term parking and dropping off will be shared closer to the time of the event. Parents are welcome to come pick up students as early as 9:00 pm, but no later than 9:30 pm. Parents are welcome to spend a few minutes at the venue during pick up.

If you have any questions, please direct them to Senior Class Advisors Mike Teuber (mteuber@cotting.org) and Marcie Garon (mgaron@cotting.org) or to Director of Post-Secondary Pathways Sejal Costa (scosta@cotting.org).

A New Addition to the Cotting Prom Tradition: The Parent/Guardian Gathering

We invite you to join us for an informal gathering the night of the Cotting prom. Enjoy light refreshments, lawn games and the chance to connect.

Friday, May 20, 2022

7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Campus Center Lower Level

This event is open to all Cotting parents and guardians, regardless of their student’s age and whether or not they plan to attend the prom.

Click HERE for more info.

Click HERE to RSVP by May 17.

It’s Cotting Graduation Season!

Each spring, we celebrate the upcoming senior class in a number of ways!

Seniors have a big hand in planning the senior trip, gearing up for prom and attending a senior luncheon with President Irish, culminating in the opportunity to reflect on a busy year and educational career at Cotting School. This year, the seniors are going on a three-day, two-night trip to Cape Cod to relax, enjoy the scenery and share good times! These events help to prepare our seniors for their graduation on June 4.

NEW Info Session

Our next in-person info session (including a brief tour) will be Friday, 5/20 from 9:30-11 a.m.

Please feel free to share this information!

RSVP to Elizabeth Russell, 781-862-7323 ext. 114 or erussell@cotting.org.

Cotting Conversations

Puberty: Changes, Challenges and Opportunities

Monday, May 16, 9:30 am – 10:30 am in the Campus Center (an optional tour of Cotting campus will take place after the event)

Our panelists Include:

  • Dr. Pam Varrin, Family Support Coordinator at Cotting School (Discussion Moderator)
  • Rachel Vorkink, School Psychologist at Cotting School
  • Dr. Julia Berg, Development-Behavioral Pediatrics Fellow at Boston Children’s Hospital and Medical Fellow at Cotting School

Please RSVP to Amanda Balagur, Director of Marketing & Communications, at abalagur@cotting.org or 781-862-7323 ext. 205.

Community Resources & Events
Explore the Six Main Areas of Future Planning

When developing a person-centered plan for a person with an intellectual and/or developmental disability (IDD), there are different aspects of daily living that need to be considered.


To help you get started, we have broken the future planning process into six manageable sections. In each section, you will find tips to help guide planning and questions to think about as you start working on your future plan.


Explore these six areas on our website:

  • Expressing wishes for the future
  • Deciding where to live
  • Financing the future
  • Employment and daily activities
  • Supporting daily and major life decisions
  • Making social connections


VKC Introduces Two New Toolkits to Mitigate Stress Caused by Needle Sticks in Patients with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Author: Elizabeth Turner

Vanderbilt Kennedy Center researchers have created two new toolkits – one for parents and one to share with clinicians – to help ease the stress caused by needle sticks and blood draws. You can download these toolkits at the link below or email pvarrin@cotting.org for copies.


Read More

Disability Benefits & Transition Age Youth

Webinar, May 10, 2022, with the Employment First / Institute for Community Inclusion with UMass Boston. The Institute for Community Inclusion, with funding from the Department of Developmental Services, has partnered with Work Without Limits to offer this two-hour training for educators, family members, DDS staff and providers.

Disability Benefits & Transition Age Youth – This training provides information related to the significant benefit changes that young adults with disabilities need to understand as they approach adulthood, including:

  • The mandatory Supplemental Security Income (SSI) age 18 redetermination process
  • How adult benefits differ from childhood-related benefits under both Social Security programs
  • SSI and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
  • How changes to public health insurance can occur
  • Section 301 (Continued Payment under a Vocational Rehabilitation Program or Similar Program)
  • The Student Earned Income Exclusion (SEIE) for individuals 21 and younger on SSI
  • How a PASS Plan can help young adults leverage financial resources to fund education that may give them a head start on their career goals

ASL and CART have been requested. Requests must be made when you register. The deadline to request ASL is May 5 for the May session.

Pre-registration is required or contact Berenise Reyes-Albino at berenise.albino@umb.edu or 617-287-4314 with questions.

What Happens When a Parent Retires and They Have a Child With a Disability

Webinar, May 10, 2022, 6:30 p.m., Advocates for Autism of Massachusetts (AFAM) and the Autism Alliance will host Attorney Svetlana Uimenkova of the Disability Law Center .

  • Join a webinar focused on the transition for families that occurs when a parent retires, begins receiving Social Security retirement benefits, ends employer-based commercial health insurance and enrolls in Medicare.
  • Attorney Svetlana Uimenkova of the Disability Law Center will present about this transition and its impact on the adult disabled family member’s social security and health insurance status.
  • After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar, a fact sheet and an AFAM email address where registrants can send questions in advance of the webinar.

Register here or contact 508-652-9900 AutismAlliance@Advocates.org

“Junior Varsity” Program for Ages 5-10 With a Mobility Impairment

Quincy, May 14 – June 18, 2022. Adaptive Sports New England, in collaboration with Spaulding Adaptive Sports Centers, is launching a “Junior Varsity” program for youth ages 5-10 who have a mobility impairment.

  • This program is focused on fun and friendships, as they look to build a cadre of kids to play sports like basketball, whiffleball and pickleball/tennis, as well as kids’ games like tag and red light/green light.
  • This will be a monthly series kicking off with the May 14  Adaptive Sports and Games session at the South Shore YMCA in Quincy.
  • The series will continue with a field day on June 18 at Braintree High School in conjunction with the 2nd Annual Adaptive Sports New England Track Meet.
  • They will have sessions each month based on input from the kids and their families.
  • Youth who use wheelchairs, as well as those who do not, are both welcome to the Junior Varsity program activities.
  • Siblings are encouraged to participate.

To register or for more information contact Joe Walsh joe.walsh@adaptivesportsne.org or 617-690-9103

Special Needs Arts Program: Sing Along Chorus Spring Concert

Join us on Sunday, May 15th, 3pm at Cary Hall in Lexington for the SNAP Spring concert, A Brighter Day! This event will feature a performance by the SNAP Sing Along Chorus. Special musical guest is Cambridge Common Voices.


Cary Hal is located at 1605 Mass Ave in Lexington. The concert is free and open to the public. Donations are welcome. Click here more information.

Minute Man ARC: Paving the Way to Age 22

To Whom Do I Turn (And When)?

Free Parent/Guardian Training

Please join us for this evening of essential information and discussion.


Presenters from the Department of Developmental Services will address the Chapter 688 referral process and its essential function in the transition from school to adult supports for those who have IDD and/or Autism. As part of the evening, they will speak about timelines, eligibility requirements, necessary paperwork, the transition plan, the role of the 688 coordinator and the ever-changing regulations. They will also cover the different adult service agencies and how they may interrelate.


Additionally, they will discuss the extra challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic as it has pertained to these transitions.


Please bring your questions to this informative evening.


Michelle Algeri has worked for the Department of Developmental services for over 22 years and served as Transition Coordinator for Central Middlesex for over half of that time. She loves working with transition ages students and families during this challenging and often stressful time when they are leaving the school system.


Danielle M Terrell recently joined DDS as a Transition Coordinator in the Central Middlesex area. Her professional experiences have served diverse age groups across settings from early intervention to geriatric care.


Date: Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Time: 6:30-7:30 P.M.

via Webinar

(We will send you the Zoom link following registration)


To register for this workshop, R.S.V.P. by Monday, May 16th to


Please include your phone number and e-mail when registering.

Stay in touch!

Please share your own resources and suggestions! Send them to pvarrin@cotting.org.

Helpful Links
Family Resources Dashboard
2021-2022 School Year Calendar
AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support Cotting School every time you shop, at no cost to you. Just select “Cotting School, Inc.” as your charitable organization and remember to shop at smile.amazon.com! Amazon will then donate a portion of your order’s purchase price to Cotting School!
Spread the Word!
Do you know someone who would like to learn more about Cotting School? Please share the information at the links below with someone you know. Cotting School parents are our best ambassadors, and our team is available to connect with families that would like to learn more!
Cotting’s Viewbook: Cotting Forward!
Cotting Admissions Information
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