Weekly Update: February 3, 2022

Weekly Update

Upper School students enjoy working with plants at Mount Auburn Cemetery Greenhouse through Project Bridges!

Information From Cotting School
Tune Into Cotting Conversations On YouTube Live

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.

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 our students. That’s why we’re asking you to please fill out our survey, available in¬†English¬†or¬†Spanish, by¬†Friday, February 3.

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!

Cotting Parent Advisory Council

(PAC) Meeting

Friday, February 10, 2023

9:00- 10:00 am

This meeting will take place both in person in the Board Room and via Zoom online. The link will be sent out with agenda.

Coming Soon: Flower Day
This Valentine’s Day, on February 14, 2023, the 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‚Äôs 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)

Upcoming Events

Please mark your calendar for these upcoming in-person events taking place on campus. More information to follow.

Cotting School-Massachusetts Historical Society Partnership Celebration

Wednesday, March 15, 6:30-8 p.m.

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, 6-9 p.m.

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


Student Art Show

Wednesday, May 31, 6-7:30 p.m.

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

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
Important Notice From the Arc About MassHealth Redetermination

When the COVID pandemic began in March 2020, the federal government declared a Public Health Emergency (PHE), which included “continuous Medicaid enrollment”. In effect, everyone who already had Medicaid was required to continue receiving Medicaid–even if they were no longer eligible for that Medicaid category.


The federal government has determined that the “continuous Medicaid enrollment” requirement will end. Therefore, everyone with Massachusetts Medicaid (MassHealth) needs to complete a redetermination application.¬†MassHealth will begin mailing Medicaid redetermination applications to everyone who is enrolled.

Click here for more information on how to prepare.

Join Lexington’s Sing Along Chorus

Registration is now open! SNAP’s new Sing Along Chorus spring session will run from¬†February through June. If you are a current singer and your information has not changed, you can pay the spring registration fee without filling out a new application.

  • New to Special Needs Art Program (SNAP):¬†please click here
  • Current singer paying for the spring session:¬†please click here
  • Location: Lexington Community Center
  • Cost: $270

Questions? Reach out to the SNAP office at info@snaparts.org.

New MRC Program: NextGen Careers

Webinar, February 14, 2023 with the Arc of Massachusetts. 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 it’s for a a certificate program, on-the-job training or an internship in STEM, NextGen will pair participants with a team of dedicated experts in counseling, benefits and peer support to help them reach their goals.

Registration is required.

For more info, call 781-891-6270 or email arcmass@arcmass.org.

Lunchtime Advocacy Roundtable for Massachusetts Families

Webinar, February 14, 2023 with Massachusetts Family Leadership Series in partnership with Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services, Multicultural Community Services of the Pioneer Valley, Riverside Community Care and the Nemasket Group.

  • Network with Advocacy Allies at these lunchtime sessions.
  • Facilitated by Haran Phaneuf, Central Family Leadership Coordinator, who oversees strategic planning and program implementation for the Family Leadership Programs of Central Massachusetts.

Roundtables will take place at 12 p.m. on:

  • Mar 14, 2023
  • Apr 11, 2023
  • May 9, 2023
  • Jun 13, 2023

Click here to register. For more information call the Director of Northeast Family Leadership Programs, Riverside Community Care, at 781-645-9577.

Adaptive Youth Para Nordic (Cross-Country) Skiing in Weston

DCR’s Leo J. Martin Ski Track, Weston, February 15, 2023 with Adaptive Sports New England. The Adaptive Sports New England 2023 Youth Para Nordic (cross-country) Skiing series will be held on three Wednesday afternoons at the Leo J. Martin Ski Track in Weston, MA.

  • Eligible youth ages 8-17 with any level of experience can be skiers, including first-timers.
  • Eligible skiers are those who have a visual impairment or a physical impairment, such as Cerebral Palsy, amputation, etc.
  • Guides will be provided for blind skiers.

Participating youth must:

  • Be able to ski standing up using typical cross country ski equipment (which will be provided)
  • Have the endurance and focus to ski in a lesson format for at least 30-45 minutes
  • Independently participate in a group lesson without support from a parent or aide

Pre-registration is required. For more info, email joe.walsh@adaptivesportsne.org or call 617-690-9103.

Embracing Intersectionality: A Conversation About Race & Disability

Online, February 15, 2023 with MassFamilies. Join Mass Families for a virtual event in honor of Black History Month with a panel discussion led by members of the Black Disability Community. The panel will comprise both Black self-advocates and family members supporting those with disabilities and discussing their lived experiences.


  • Gyasi Burks-Abbott:¬†LEND Program faculty, writer, public speaker and autism self-advocate who serves on the boards, committees and commissions of several autism and disability organizations.
  • Firdosa Hassan:¬†Pharmacist, Somalian immigrant, Boston representative for Muhsen.org for Muslim outreach and mother of a daughter with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
  • Lesa Antoine:¬†Librarian, Family Leadership Graduate, Charting the LifeCourse Ambassador, immigrant and single mother of a daughter with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
  • Lisa A Sims:¬†MassFamilies board member, Charting the LifeCourse Ambassador, Supported Decision Making advocate and single mother of an adult son with disabilities who also has her own disability challenges.
  • Paloma Fernandes:¬†Neurodivergent, Cabo Verdean, disabled, Social Worker, LSWA, MassFamilies board member, Charting the LifeCourse Ambassador and mother to neurodivergent children.

Click here for more information or contact hello@massfamilies.org

“Beyond the Spectrum‚ÄĚ Art Classes for Teens Ages 13-18

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, February 18, 2023. This is scheduled to be an in-person event. Please check with the host for confirmation. For teens with Autism Spectrum and Aspergers Disorders ages 13-18. Students will focus on specific art topics and learn how to incorporate discussion, critical inquiry and sketching in the galleries. They will then work independently on a project with guidance from an experienced instructor.

February Theme: Honoring Black History. In celebration of Black History Month, explore African art history in the MFA’s African and Nubian collections and contemporary art by Black artists in the Touching Roots exhibition. Then, create your own collage honoring an important figure in your personal or cultural history.

Fees Apply, registration is required. For more info, contact artfulhealing@mfa.org or 617-369-4027.

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.

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.

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.

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 ‚Äď 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

Stay warm!


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
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