Weekly Update: January 27, 2022

Weekly Update

Reading about The Great Kindness Challenge inspired Ms. Walz’s class to take part!

Information From Cotting School
A Message From President Bridget Irish

Dear Parents and Caregivers,


We need your input! Cotting is always looking for ways to grow and improve in the work we do with your students. That’s why we’re asking you to please fill out our survey, available in English or Spanish, by Friday, February 3rd.

This tool has been carefully formulated to help us track our progress over longer periods of time, and your direct feedback will help to inform our decision-making. Thank you in advance for helping us accomplish this important work. And thank you to the PAC members who helped shape and edit this survey to make it such an effective tool!

Coming Soon: Flower Day
This Valentine’s Day, on February 14, 2023, the 2023 Senior Class will be hosting Flower Day to fundraise for the Senior Trip and Senior Gift. You can order red or pink carnations at $2.00 per flower to be delivered to students and staff that day. In the spirit of the holiday, you can also order 4″x6″ Valentine’s Day Falcon sticker sheets at $4.00 per sheet for delivery.


To place your order for:

  • Flowers, please fill out this form and pay by Venmo to @Cotting-School with “Flower Day” in the note section.
  • Sticker sheets, please fill out this form and be sure to include the total number of sticker sheets  you wish to purchase and, most importantly, who they are for. Please pay the full amount for the total number of sticker sheets ordered by Venmo to @Cotting-School with “Sticker Sheets” in the note section.


If you have questions or would like to request a paper version of these forms, please email Senior Class Advisors Mike Teuber at mteuber@cotting.org or Marcie Garon at mgaron@cotting.org.

Thank you,

The Senior Class of 2023 (Tori, Nico, Alex, Isabel, Mira, Emily, Jack, Julian, Amelia, Gabe, Michael, Anna, and Emma)

Next PTO Meeting

Friday, February 3, 2023 at 9 a.m.

Want to learn more about the PTO and volunteer opportunities? Join us at the next meeting! You can either attend in person (meetings are held in the school’s Board Room) or online via Zoom. All Cotting parents and guardians are welcome to attend!

Tip of the Week

From Cotting parent Audrey Griffin-Goode:


Agganis Arena’s New Sensory Room Debuts! Space will now be available for those experiencing sensory overload during Disney on Ice, hockey games and other events.

Click here for more information.

Upcoming Events

Please mark your calendar for these upcoming Cotting School events. All in-person events will be on campus and more information will follow.

Cotting Conversation: Establishing Healthy Boundaries

Tuesday, February 14, 3:15-4:15 p.m. ONLINE ONLY

Learn how to discuss establishing healthy boundaries with your children and teach them to be safe and good friends. Click here for more info and to RSVP for a link to the YouTube live stream.


Cotting School-Massachusetts Historical Society Partnership

Wednesday, March 15, 6:30-8:00 pm

Mass Historical has graciously agreed to be the archivists for Cotting’s rich educational history. Come help celebrate the partnership complete with a display of records and images from our 130-year history.


Play it Forward Fundraiser

Featuring Falcon Trivia

Thursday, April 13, 6:00-9:00 pm

Support our after-school and athletics programs! Play trivia, take your chances on exciting raffles and silent auction items, and even give the new candlepin bowling alley a try!


Student Art Show

Wednesday, May 31, 6:00 – 7:30 pm

Wonder at the creativity and artistic expression of our talented students. Student civics projects and other interactive displays will be on hand.

Cotting Student Art Cards Can Still Be Ordered for Delivery

Order your Cotting School Student Art Cards now for delivery next week!

Community Resources & Events
Apply Now: EPIC Service Warriors

The final countdown is on to join our next team of EPIC Service Warriors! EPIC is accepting applications for youth with disabilities to join our Boston & Worcester Service Warrior Teams.


As EPIC Service Warriors, young leaders with disabilities will journey into the communities of the city they are serving. They will brighten schools, refresh public park and address critical needs in the community while attending leadership workshops on topics such as teamwork, political literacy, public speaking and employment readiness.


EPIC Service Warriors are as diverse as the disability community. In addition to diversity in types of disability, Warriors make up a team diverse in identity and experience that represents the communities they serve. Some of our Warriors enter the program with rich volunteer, academic, employment and social experience, while others have yet to have had access to their communities beyond home and school. There is a place for all these young people at EPIC, since they all bring a unique perspective and leadership style to their team.


If you know a young person who would make a great Service Warrior, please share this opportunity with them. You can learn more about EPIC, read our FAQ and apply online to become an EPIC Service Warrior in Boston or Worcester by clicking here.


Applications for both Boston and Worcester are due Tuesday, January 31.

Please note: This program is available at some other YMCA sites.
New Series from The Arc of MA: Advocacy for MA DDS Self-Directed Services as Envisioned by the 2014 Real Lives Law

Your voice is needed! Join the conversation about the Massachusetts Alliance for 21st Century Disability Policy’s (MA21) advocacy for changes to the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS) Self-Directed Services to comply with the 2014 Real Lives Law.


Help improve regulations and waivers at DDS to increase transparency, flexibility and self-determination. Learn how to be part of organized advocacy with DDS to transform regulations, policies and guidelines to make Self-Direction more transparent and less restrictive.


Sessions are currently scheduled for the following dates and times. You can attend one or more sessions. Additional dates will be posted.


Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m.:

  • March 21
  • May 16

Register for Sessions Here

MA21 Real Lives Law Fact Sheet

Universal Access Outdoor Connections in Massachusetts

Winter Recreation: DCR Programs, Parks and Trails

The Department of Conservation and Recreation’s (DCR) Universal Access Program provides outdoor recreation opportunities in Massachusetts state parks for visitors of all abilities and ages. Join them on Zoom at Universal Access Outdoor Connections to learn about their offerings and share your experience with accessible and adaptive programs in DCR Parks.

All 2023 Dates and Topics

  • February 17- Partnering with DCR Parks for Programs and Groups
  • March 17 – Accessible Hiking in DCR Parks
  • April 21 – Birding in DCR Parks
  • May 19 – Summer Programs and Opportunities

To get more information, register and get the link to attend, email Kristen.Rhodes@mass.gov.

Need Supportive Housing? Mainstay Can Help!

Join our Housing Informational Sessions on Zoom, led by Doreen Cummings, Director of In-Home Services! Learn about Mainstay’s seven properties and other housing resources in Massachusetts. We will review budgets, websites and meet current residents who will share their perspectives.


All Sessions are from 6-7 p.m.

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Click here for the link

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Click here for the link

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Click here for the link

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Click here for the link

Mainstay coordinates supportive homes in Newton, Malden, Norwood and Walpole for adults with a variety of abilities. Residents live largely independently. Services offered include live-in overnight staffing, evening and weekend staffing, professional cleaning of common areas, a daily communal dinner, support with activities of daily living and built-in socialization and friendship opportunities.

Visit our Websites:




If you cannot attend a Zoom Open House session, please contact Doreen via email at doreen.cummings@mainstayliving.org or phone at 617-799-6739 to schedule a one-on-one meeting.

Supported Decision Making for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Webinar, January 30, 2023, with Seven Hills of Central Massachusetts. Guest speaker Frederick M. Misilo, Jr., will discuss coming of age legal issues for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

  • Fred is the Chair of Fletcher Tilton’s Trust and Estate Department and is a member of the firm’s Management Committee. His practice focuses on all aspects of estate planning, including the areas of elder law, special needs planning, estate administration, trusts and foundations, guardianship, and adult service advocacy.
  • He will be discussing the legal logistics of guardianship and supported decision-making and its practicality.
  • Virtual events may be attended outside of your typical geographical region. For questions, please contact our Family Support Transition Specialists, Eliana Agudelo, eagudelo@sevenhills.org or Malissa Wilson at mwilson@sevenhills.org.

Click here to RSVP or for more information or contact Family Support Transition Specialists, Eliana Agudelo, eagudelo@sevenhills.org or Malissa Wilson at mwilson@sevenhills.org.

Executive Function in Children: How Parents Can Help

Understanding Our Differences is pleased to invite you to join us on Thursday, February 9 at 7 p.m. for this special evening webinar, “Executive Function in Children,” with Kristen Jacobsen, MS, CCC-SLP. We are presenting this program as part of a series that offers expert advice to parents, caregivers and teachers about common challenges for children. All are welcome. Pre-registration is required.

From The Arc of MA: New MRC Program for 18-30 Year Olds


Tuesday, February 14 at 12 p.m. What’s New at the Massachusetts Rehab Commission? The NextGen Careers Program.

David Sykes and Michelle Banks from the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) will introduce participants to the NextGen Careers Program at MRC, including service regions and the pathway to enrollment. NextGen Careers is a new initiative at MRC that helps young adults with disabilities, ages 18-30, fast-track their career journey.


NextGeners will learn to advocate for themselves, gain self-confidence, and become self-sufficient on their career path. Whether a certificate program, on-the-job training, or an internship in STEM, NextGen will pair them with a team of dedicated experts in counseling, benefits, and peer support to help them reach their goals.

Register here.

2023 Schedule of Free Events

We’re happy to announce the full 2023 schedule of our Especially for Me series of free events for families with children on the autism spectrum or who have vision or hearing loss or sensory issues. Come explore and discover in a welcoming, ADA accessible, and universally-designed museum environment. These events begin in January and continue throughout 2023.


The event titles indicate the types of accommodations provided, but any family that would benefit from a limited capacity visit is welcome; a medical diagnosis is not required. See our website for more details on each event.


The events are free for all family members, but registration is required as space is limited. Dinner, including a gluten-free option, will be available at all evening events. Dates and registration links can be found online at http://bit.ly/EspeciallyforMe.


ASL interpretation may be available upon request; please indicate on the registration form if you would like interpretation.

2023 EFM Event Schedule


  • Sensory-Friendly Afternoons – Tuesdays, 1:30-4:30 p.m.
  • Mornings for Families with Deaf, Hard of Hearing, & KODA Infants and Toddlers – Mondays, 9:30 a.m.-12:30p.m.
  • Evenings for Families with Deaf, Hard of Hearing, & KODA Children – Saturdays, 5-8 p.m.
  • Autism-Friendly Evenings – Saturdays, 5-8 p.m.
  • All-Access Evenings – Saturdays, 5-8 p.m.
  • Visually Impaired Family Evenings – Saturdays, 5-8 p.m.

Click here for a printable schedule.

Wildstar Wranglers

Job Skills Training for Young Adults with Autism

Wildstar Wranglers provides a weekly structured opportunity for 18-24 year olds with autism spectrum disorder who only require minimum to moderate support to prepare for future employment and engage in meaningful work in a safe, supportive and supervised environment.

Tasks include horse care (grooming; leading horses in and out of paddocks; preparing and feeding grain; and performing basic first aid) and barn chores (cleaning stalls, outdoor areas and equipment; organizing tools).

Location: Horse SenseAbility at Wildstar Farm, 16 Nason Hill Lane, Sherborn MA

  • Ages: 18 to 24 years old (maximum of 6 participants)
  • Dates: Tuesday, March 28 – Tuesday, May 23
  • Time: Tuesdays from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Cost: $600 *

*Partial scholarships availableTo apply, fill out the online Participant Packet. We will contact you to set up an appointment to visit.


For more information, email info@horsesenseability.org or call 508-744-6774.

Download a printable flyer here

Looking Forward to Summer Already?

Updated summer camp information for 2023 is now available! Check out the extensive listing of camps that accommodate a variety of disabilities and needs by clicking here.


Please share your own resources and questions with Pam Varrin at pvarrin@cotting.org.

Helpful Links
Family Resources Dashboard
2022-2023 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
Follow us on social media for more photos, videos & updates!
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